Find out what happened when Sassy’s Weddings Partnership Manager Emily said “yes” to creating a bespoke wedding dress with Christina Devine.
Any bride-to-be knows the struggle. With so many wedding dress styles to choose from, how are you expected to narrow your options down to one? If you’ve tried on countless gowns but have not found “the one”, seeking out a bespoke wedding dress might be the way to go!
When luxury bridal designer Christina Devine offered to help Sassy’s own Weddings Partnerships Manager Emily create a one-of-a-kind dress for her big day, of course she said yes! Scroll through to find out more about Emily’s experience…
Why did you choose to go down the bespoke route?
Unlike many girls, I didn’t grow up dreaming of my wedding dress so when I went shopping, I had no idea what I was looking for. I knew very little about what suited me and I found the whole process quite stressful. A lot of the boutiques I visited only allowed me to try on two to three styles, then expected me to confirm and pay a deposit on the day!
Given the current travel restrictions, we decided to have a small civil ceremony at Cotton Tree Drive followed by an intimate brunch. Most of the dresses in-store, as beautiful as they were, did not really suit my style or the occasion.
I also found that many of the dresses in Hong Kong were too small for my body shape (UK size 12). Plus, I was to be 18 weeks pregnant on the big day, and did not want to deal with the stress of not being able to fit into my dress!
What made you choose Christina Devine Bridal for your bespoke wedding dress?
My first encounter with Christina was a business meeting, not a personal one. I arrived at her studio, ready to discuss marketing ideas. I had just recently become engaged so it was hard to concentrate with so many beautiful gowns surrounding me. Christina suggested I try on a few pieces from her collection “just for fun”.
She ran through the process of creating a bespoke dress and showed me a range of gorgeous laces and fabric swatches. I loved how personal the experience would be, and that the dress would be handcrafted by her talented team right there in her Sheung Wan workshop.
To be honest, I hadn’t considered a bespoke dress prior to our meeting as I was under the impression that it would be too expensive. However, after speaking to Christina, I learned that not all custom-made garments have to cost an arm and a leg. Christina Devine takes the best of couture dressmaking, and makes it accessible and affordable for all brides.
Tell us about the bespoke journey.
Step 1: Initial Consultation With Christina
Christina explained that while some of her brides come in knowing exactly what they want, she also gets many like me who have no idea. She was not phased by the fact that we only had four months until the big day, nor that my body shape was constantly changing. I tried on a few styles off the rack and found certain elements that I liked.
I also took another look at the different fabric options and picked my favourites. It was great to be able to feel how the different laces and fabrics would feel on my skin (especially considering I would be getting married in the midst of Hong Kong summer). I had always thought I would go with silk, but after seeing how beautifully lace looks in photographs, the french open flower guipure lace was a clear favourite.
Christina took my initial measurements and told me she would send through some initial ideas and hand sketches based on my preferences.
Step 2: First Fitting
I was super nervous about my first fitting, as I didn’t give much direction at my initial consultation and still couldn’t picture the dress I wanted.
The fitting involved trying on the toile, which is essentially a mockup of the initial design using an inexpensive cotton blend fabric. This important stage was able to give me a rough idea of the overall silhouette and design. Although we were far from the finished dress, I got butterflies in my stomach just trying it on.
I had no idea how Christina was able to take my vague comments from our last meeting to create something that I really loved. From this point, we reviewed the shape, design and fit of the toile and made some adjustments to the neckline and fullness of the skirt to make it perfect for me. Once we were 100% happy with the toile, Christina and her team were ready to finalise the paper pattern and create the final dress.
Step 3: Follow-Up Fittings
I had another three fittings. At the second, I was able to try the dress with my chosen lace fabric. At each of the fittings, Christina and her team meticulously made sure every seam and pleat was just right, making tiny adjustments here and there to a dress that I thought was already perfect! At the final fittings, we added some special finishing touches, such as self-fabric buttons down the back, made to match the fabric of the dress. It was amazing to see the dress take shape before my eyes.
Step 4: The Finished Dress
Christina took the time to personally deliver my dress to the Upper House the night before the big day. When I put on the finished dress for the first time the next morning, I couldn’t help but get a bit emotional as it was so much more than I had hoped for. Going bespoke not only allowed me to have something that fit like a glove, but I loved that my dress was one-of-a-kind and made just for me!
How much time would you typically need to create your own bespoke dress?
Christina recommends that brides start their bespoke journey six to eight months before their wedding day. This allows enough time for her team to source the laces, fabrics and all of the fittings to ensure the dress is ready by the big day!
How much will it cost me?
Christina’s bespoke dresses start from around $38,000 and the collection gowns start from $32,000, depending on the design. Their process and pricing is very transparent, and includes everything from initial sketch to the final fitting, something that is hard to find in Hong Kong.
Finally, would you recommend going down the bespoke journey to other brides-to-be?
Absolutely! Going bespoke is wonderful for a bride who is looking for something very specific and special that she cannot find anywhere else, or like me has no idea where to start and needs that extra guidance. From the hand drawn illustrations and fabric sourcing, to multiple rounds of fittings, Christina’s process is stress-free and will make every bride feel amazing on her big day.
Christina Devine, 10C Hollywood Centre, 77-91 Queen’s Road West, Sheung Wan (by appointment only), 6167 2289, [email protected], Facebook: Christina Devine, Instagram: @christinadevinestudio, christinadevine.com