It’s not everyday you meet the man who will make your dreams come true. Your wedding dress dreams, that is.
After months of watching Say Yes To The Dress, endlessly favorite-ing bridal styles, and flipping and clipping through hundreds of magazines pages… I finally made an appointment with the amazingly talented Oliver Tolentino.
I’ll be honest… I’m one of those brides that needs a one-of-a-kind dress. Bridal magazines and websites always suggest room for a splurge–mine would be dedicated to the dress. If I were to purchase a gown, no matter how beautiful or expensive, it would irk me to know that someone else in the world would be wearing the same dress to her wedding [but maybe not as fabulously.] Also, I’ve never seen one gown that I could pin as the “dream dress.” Not one. Sure, I’ve seen elements here and there and Frankenstein-ed them together in my head… but nope, I have not seen a dress I would wear as is. Until Oliver created one for me.
One of my amazing bridesmaids, Kimi, accompanied me to the appointment. Before entering the boutique, we furiously went through my saved inspiration photos, hoping to cut the count down to 20. Still overkill, I know. But I’ve browsed thousands of dresses and tried on many silhouettes to see what suits me. I knew I shouldn’t come in with a hundred photos, but rather let Oliver work his magic over my vision.
After perusing the boutique and getting to know Carissa, his kind store manager, Oliver finally made his way over for my appointment. He sat down with a pencil and sketch paper and simply asked me what I wanted. Nervous as ever, I experienced a huge case of verbal diarrhea for about three minutes. I’m not even really sure what I said about this dress that he was supposed to be drawing! I showed him about five photos on my phone, two of which were me in gowns I had tried on the previous weekend. Looking back, I was not helpful at all!
Somehow, Oliver climbed into the crevices of my brain and extracted everything I’ve been dreaming of in a dress. In 10 minutes. For 10 minutes he sketched away, asking some questions, zooming in on some photos, and somehow I magically had a wedding dress design. I don’t know if I’m more wowed by his talent at picking my brain or the actual dress design. Either way, I now know what my wedding dress is going to look like! Yes, I did tear up looking at it.
Also, a note for those working with non-American designers: understand how meters roughly convert into feet. Then you won’t be lost with length suggestions given in meters.
I am beyond excited to wear the beautiful work of a Pilipino designer who strives to stay connected to his roots and tell the story of his signature Philippine fabrics. To be able to integrate this into the wedding is a huge blessing.
Click through for an article about Oliver Tolentino’s story!