Some brides want an elaborate cake, some want the most romantic venue, but ladies, we all want the perfect dress! Christine, the couturier behind CR Weddings, had a bit of trouble finding hers for her big day in Macau, then she had a life-changing idea. Why not just make her own dress? After finding an amazing team of tailors in China and diving headfirst into fabrics in Sham Shui Po and other high quality imported materials, Christine realised she was really onto something here – and that’s why she set up her custom wedding dress boutique, CR Weddings, to offer other women the same fulfilling and affordable experience.
Sometimes, it’s very easy to be intimidated by wedding boutiques (never mind the price tags!), but CR Weddings’ modest shop in Sheung Wan instantly puts you at ease. I was greeted by an artful display of bright silk flowers before turning the corner to finally see dresses upon dresses on several racks.
There are quite a few dresses there, but the nice thing is that it’s not to the point that you’ll run to the hills screaming. You won’t find any brand names here though; Christine has designed each European-style dress herself for her beloved clients!
Aside from creating bespoke wedding dresses, Christine also designs bridesmaids dresses, veils, evening gowns and to cater to the growing demand, even offers rentals. Unlike other wedding dress rental services however, Christine actually allows her clients’ to customise their dress on request.
She even has a selection of five inch heels (the usual height brides go for, she assures me) so that brides will have a better idea of what the dress will look like on their wedding day, extra height and all. If you’re particularly taken with Christine’s kicks, you can even rent them out for your special day if you want to.
I sat down for a chat with Christine and she walked me through her process. First of all, brides are welcome to come for a free consultation and a cheeky look through all of Christine’s premade dresses. Whereas other bridal boutiques will charge you to try on their gowns, Christine’s only restriction is that you can only try on five at a time. She collaborates with brides-to-be on their dresses to come up with an illustration of her clients’ vision.
If you want to be super hands on, Christine even does sourcing trips to Sham Shui Po and her suppliers with her clients so that you can handpick everything that goes into your dress from lace to lining. Otherwise, you can sit down with her impressive collection of swatches and leave it all in Christine’s capable hands. After a recommended four appointments over the course of a few months, the magical wedding elves in China will have your dress aisle-ready and Christine can organise deliveries to your home and even overseas for international clients.
Christine showed me a number of her dresses, all of which were radically different from one another! It seems like she can do pretty much anything, whether you’re looking for something architectural in one of her fractured pleat column dresses or a little more fusion with a Chinese collared empire waist lace gown. Here are a few of mine and Christine favourites below:
Viva Kate Middleton
As soon as I saw this gown, all I could think of was Kate Middleton’s iconic Alexander McQueen wedding dress. This was one of Christine’s more on-trend pieces and as such, one of the most popular designs requested by her brides-to-be in the recent years.
The mid-length lace sleeves and satin sweetheart bust are perfect for the daunting Hong Kong humidity – there’ll be no heat exhaustion on Christine’s watch.
I wasn’t such a huge fan of the diamante belt, but I know for sure that there are women who will be. Luckily, Christine’s knack for customisation and sensitivity to her customer’s requests means that she can help you create a simpler cincher or string the crown jewels across your waistline.
The dramatic train on this dress was what absolutely sold me. It’s devastatingly romantic and it’s easy to envision a positively cinematic walk down the aisle as it trails impressively behind you. The corset fastening and cheeky sliver of open back adds a slight hint of sex appeal.
The Not So Little Mermaid
Now, this is a dress I would’ve killed to see in the Disney movie. This satin body hugging dress flares out into a beautiful mermaid tail of dreamy lace; the perfect compromise for the woman who wants both the sensuality and the drama. Accessorise with a bit of bridal bling if you’re keeping your hair up or go for demure drama with big and bouncy curls that brush the adorable sweetheart neckline.
The creative ribbon embellishments on this dress were quite unique and even Christine made sure to point them out to me, noting that they were quite rare in the wedding dress industry.
The lace on this train was my absolute favourite.
This was made for the sassy girl with a whole lot of character! While this design is one that I know will certainly divide women, I just had to see the layered dress in its full force. As you can see, I had trouble even getting the whole thing into my camera’s viewfinder! I absolutely adored the mixture of textures and layers in the skirt, particularly the peekaboo pleats in the front, which ironically kept the skirt more grounded.
The floral detailing on the bust sweetens the whole dress up, I had to keep resisting the urge to touch it.
This is where I had my first lesson in wedding dress making 101. As you can see here, the waistline is slightly lower. Because of the volume of the skirt, having a regular waistline hides your trim waist – so dropping it just an inch or so helps highlight all that dieting you’ve been getting down to!
This is one of Christine’s absolute favourite designs. To be honest, when I heard it was one shouldered, I was a little dubious. You never know what something will look like off the rack though and when she put it on the mannequin, I fell hopelessly in love.
A dramatic trail of fabric and a beautiful brooch adds an unexpected touch of whimsical sophistication. It’s little surprising details such as these that create CR Weddings’ sartorial voice that sings through all of their dresses.
And just LOOK AT THESE LACE CUT OUTS. Gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous.
All in all, CR Weddings is the place to go if you have a wedding dress vision and want it realised at a great price. Christine is just the sweetest person around and her passion for wedding dress design is transparent within a few minutes of speaking to her. Her customer service is unbeatable as well, offering thoughtful additions like even customising lace on your veil and she’s consistently available on her whatsapp, sending you images of the dress in process from dummy pattern to the first embellishments.
While the quality of her dresses isn’t quite up there with luxury brands, the complete customisation and her eagerness to comply with any of your design requests is something you can’t get off a rack.
CR Weddings, Unit 405, 4/F, the L.plaza, 367-375 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, 6976 0553, www.crweddinghk.com, Facebook
Hi, I’m Megan and I’m an aspiring superheroine, avid wanderluster and now an editorial intern at Sassy Hong Kong (which is something of a post-university dream). I just graduated from the University of Warwick’s English Literature with Creative Writing programme and am somehow still obsessed with words after dissecting and reassembling them over the course of my degree. I’m a little wedding stir crazy (you’ll undoubtedly see my pieces clogging up the wedding section), though I’m always looking for the next best thing to do in my hometown with a pen, camera and maybe a cheeky glass of wine in hand.