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This blog shares the latest news about {So Happi Together}, an event design and planning firm, along with my personal inspirations, ideas and love musings.

My hope is that it can serve as a resource to anyone who loves weddings as much as I do. If you're looking for more or just want to chat, please do not hesitate to contact me or simply leave a comment! I am always thrilled to meet new people and hear new love stories!

Happi Planning!


The Dress - Tomato Weddings, Los Angeles

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

There have been numerous e-mails, FB messages and blog comments asking about my dress.

Oh. my dress.

How I love it. :)

But it isn't technically mine... Yes, it was custom-made for me. But I opted to rent rather than purchase the dress. Sounds crazy, I know. But I have good reasons, I promise!

good reason #1
I don't want to pay for dry-cleaning and specially packaging/storing the gown after the wedding. yeah. I said it.

good reason #2
What if I paid for it to get dry-cleaned and it was ruined or unable to be completely cleaned? I have heard some horror stories and would hate for that to happen to my dream gown with nothing for me to do about it.

good reason #3
Eddie and I are moving into a small apartment in Irvine while we wait for escrow to close on a still-small place in the same area (ugh. if you haven't heard about banks being backed up and crazy busy, you haven't heard about short sales).

Small. Translation: no room for a big poofy wedding gown.

good reason #4
I don't plan to get married again, so I don't think I will ever need to wear it again. Thus, holding on to it will be hording for no good reason. And as you can see, I like good reasons.

good reason #5
Some brides plan to keep their gowns and give it to their future daughters to wear on their wedding day. I am all for sentimentality and family heirlooms, but I would have felt uneasy if my mom saved me her gown all these years and I felt "guilted" into wearing it on my own wedding day. She looked BEAUTIFUL on her wedding day but she and I have very different styles. I am so envious when other brides are able to wear their mother's vintage wedding gowns, but know it wouldn't have worked for me. So, I have to consider that this may be true for me and any possible future children as well.

good reason #6
I saved about $1000 renting versus purchasing! what more do you need?! :)

I think these reasons are pretty good, no?

The Dress itself is fashioned after a Monique Lhuillier, blush-pink gown named Camille. The original ML dress if near $10,000. Count the zeros.

That would have been a over a third of our original wedding budget! *gasp*

Which brings Vivian at Tomato Weddings into the picture. My oldest sister had her wedding gown custom-made so I decided to look into this option as well. I knew two other brides who had rented from Tomato with good reviews to it was my first stop. Much of the website is still under construction, so I think it is best to just give them a visit if you want to see her wedding gown collection.

Vivian and her husband Ken own Tomato Weddings. Vivian makes, rents and sells wedding gowns, bridesmaids dresses and tuxes for everyone - down to the youngest members of your bridal party. She also does hair and make-up for bridal parties and has a formal background in cosmetology. Ken provides photography services for couples in love and families and babies. (Their baby portrait studio is ADORABLE!)

The quality of her gowns is not what you would traditionally think of when you think "rental" because she makes sure everything fits you perfectly and has some really beautiful gowns in stock. I mean, really beautiful. Very unique and stunning ranging from grecian sheath to glittery ball-gowns. She even has some with hand-painted flowers on them. GORGEOUS!

Anyways, I went to Vivian with some images of the original ML gown and she was sure that she could provide me with the same color/type of fabric but warned me that the beading and other small details would not be the same as the original. That was not a problem for me as long as she was able to achieve the same "look" to which she responded, she would do better! Essentially, even though the original gown is uber-lovely, it isn't custom-made for my body type. She promised to make the gown look even better on me than the original ML sample did in their boutique. I let her know that I am a perfectionist and that she may not want me for a client... to which she responded that she was excited to take on the challenge! ;)

It's true, I am a perfectionist. But I am NOTHING compared to Vivian! Over my 19-month long engagement, I went in for over 10 fittings... beginning with simple measurements, to several muslin-fitting to the actual material of the gown and finally fitting/perfecting of the gown itself. I couldn't have been happier with the result!

She also provided me with a shorter dress to change into for my reception, which I changed into after the cake cutting. Along with this I got 2 sets of earrings (one for my wedding gown, one for the reception dress), 1 flashy necklace for my reception dress, a beautiful vintage-style beaded veil and a floral hair-piece. All for about 1/4 of the price of the original dress alone!

We ended up also renting tuxes and men's tuxedo shoes from her, so it was quite convenient to do the pick up and drop off of all items at one place!

My oldest sister, who was not in the bridal party but still an extremely important part of the day, also rented a dress from her and received 2 fittings and jewelry with the price of the rental. Her daughter, my niece and flower girl, had a dress from JCrew for the wedding and we had Vivian alter it significantly to match the look and style we were going for. (I will have to post a picture later when I find one!)

All in all, I couldn't be happier with my choice to rent from Tomato. Vivian is such a professional and is truly passionate about making brides look their best. I encourage anyone who is dress-shopping to make a stop at Tomato and try on one of her gowns. It really just FEELS so different on because she really knows a woman's body and makes her gowns accordingly.

And for those of you who are considering renting but are still kind of hesitant - I can't tell you how carefree and comfortable I felt on the day of our wedding because I didn't have to worry about getting "my" dress dirty. (and believe me, it will get dirty!) In my opinion, that is priceless. :)

* all images, courtesy Amelia Lyon Photography *


Aggie said...

I can't remember how I found your blog but,I found it last November, and have been following ever since. Your wedding was simply beautiful. You look absolutely stunning and does the dress. Best wishes.

rara said...

i completely agree with you! and your dress was SO gorgeous...it really fit you like a glove. i will definitely keep tomato weddings in mind ;) haha~ for the way. way. distant future. :D

connieMchung said...

tomato really did an awesome job on your dress. vivian did such a wonderful job.

Type & Swash said...

i don't usually like poofy big dresses, but your dress blew me away! it was gorgeous!! congrats nehn-shee!

monirose said...

I saw your wedding posted at SMP today - absolutely wonderful!

I feel like one could just fall into the folds of the gown you wore! hehe

Tomato is such an awesome concept! Thanks for sharing.

nancy {So Happi Together} said...

Thanks, ladies! I am glad you find the info useful!

Unknown said...

Nancy I love love your dress and your SHOES are to die for!!! Can you please tell me what brand are they and where did you get them?

Best Wishes!

nancy {So Happi Together} said...

Hi Joanne! Thanks!! :) My shoes are by Giuseppe Zanotti and I got them for ~70% off at their Las Vegas boutique. If you are in Southern California, South Coast Plaza also has a boutique. I think that color is discontinued, but I know it comes in a variety of other colors as well. good luck!! ;)

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing a few photos with us, Nancy! You look absolutely wonderful! Congrats to you, and we wish you a long, happy marriage!
Register on Matchfinder Muslim matrimony to find beautiful brides and grooms from Muslim community.

BeverlyCrestCleaners said...

When it comes for bridal the dresses matters more especially the wedding gown weared by nancy was wonderful since that gown exposes her beauty to the outside world for that we need to preserve our wedding gown since it was a memorable one for life.