My Philippine-made Wedding Dress
Raq now based in Germany shares her Philippine-made wedding dress. Here is her story:
I was already four months pregnant when I got married. We cannot marry so fast because of the billions of paperworks needed in Germany — I have collected two thick folders holding all the papers necessary to marry. And not to mention those documents translated from English into German.
For everything to move faster, I decided to fly back home to closely monitor the paper works and also because, I wanted to say goodbye to my family and friends in the Philippines and in Bangkok. I know getting married is a big step, and my choice husband would bring me too far away from all the people and places that used to mean home to me. I simply wanted to have the chance to walk one more time to my old world so that I could easily welcome the new one.
Plus, I have always wanted to get married in a nice Philippine-made wedding gown. I already know what I wanted, a babydoll dress, so short to be sexy but fit enough to complement my growing stomach. Actually, being pregnant made me feel so sexy that I am ready to experiment with my wedding dress. But I wanted it to be made of indigenouos ethnic materials such as pina or jusi.
Piña fabric is hand woven from pineapple leaves and has a natural ivory color (although it can be dyed). On the other hand, when banana fibers is mixed with silk, the fabric is called jusi.
And marrying in a far away foreign land made me want to show off what I am. I wanted to represent the Philippine woman. Especially since most of our guests, including my future husband, doesnt even know the Philippines!
It was luck that a very good friend, who also arrived from the US, got to meet with me to help me choose my wedding gown. Since he’s a great dresser, I trust his judgement. We met at Rustan’s Shangrila and went through their boutique and immediately found what I wanted in Filipinian section.
I got to try on two jusi dresses from Dita Sandico Ong, both baby doll dresses; it was a real fun and funny experience because my friend, who’s gay — acted like he’s my mom; complete with sentimental gestures, fake tears and loads of ooohs and aaahhhhs. He made all the sales ladies laugh as he insisted on wanting fit some Filipiniana gowns, too! Well, of course, he only tried on the wonderful shawls; he simply cant resist and he’s making me and the people around us laugh, so it’s a welcome side show. I really had fun and would not have shopping for my wedding dress any other way.
Although I know that the Dita Sandico Ong babydoll dress is the right one; we nevertheless searched Patis Tesoro’s boutique for any possible wedding gown ‘candidates’; they have some pretty terno’s but you see, I have already fallen in love with the first dress and there’s no more changing my mind.
My wedding dress is then a sleeveless babydoll from Dita Sandico Ong made of jusi. It is fitted on the bust and accented by small fine translucent beads around the bust areas. It has a flowing skirt silhouette that introduces some welcome butterfly kisses to my bulging stomache. The shawl is also made of mixed ethic materials with fine beads, too.
I wore my dress with a light colored stockings and a light colored pair of shoes. I also asked my husband to buy a beige or light colored suit despite the fact that almost all formal wedding here has the groom in dark suits. Of course he fitted them, as I tried on my wedding dress. I guess I never really thought about that old superstition that if you tried on your wedding gown, it would not push through because from then on, the preparation went without a hitch.
And oh, we also asked the guest to come in light colored attires. I wanted the wedding to have happy colors and not the dull dark ones.
I was real proud of my wedding dress. I was real proud that I got to introduce my heritage by the simple act of choosing a Philippine-made wedding gown. That made me more a happy bride, feeling like my family’s there with me.
Next, am going to talk about my second wedding dress. Oh yeah, we did got married in Manila, too!
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