The story behind the dress

October last year when my cousin Hazel announced her engagement with her then boyfriend Carlo. Everybody was ecstatic since it was the first wedding in our family. She asked my dad to be part of the principal sponsors. She then asked me to be the reader which I gladly accepted. It wasn’t a surprise since I was also tasked to be the emcee on her 18th birthday. There was a part of me that was relieved because I wouldn’t be required to wear a dress and put my life in danger while walking in heels. A few weeks after, she told us that my brother would be one of the groomsmen and I would be paired with him. I gave my brain ten seconds to process the information and then I realized that I’d be one of the bridesmaids. I was excited because my cousin and I practically grew up together. But the thought of me in a dress wearing high-heeled shoes made me really nervous.

As soon as I got the cloth, I searched for possible designs for gowns. We didn’t know a lot of shops whose forte is in making dresses so we settled for the one nearest our house. We went there more than a month before the wedding. My mom asked around and everybody agreed that it wouldn’t take that long. It would also be safe because I have this weird tendency to gain and shrink back to my old weight in just a matter of days. My mom was just so cautious not to have a repeat of what happened on my 18th birthday when we needed to have a last-minute adjustment to my gown. All those masking tapes didn't work!

Anyway, she charged us Php1500 for the dress and wanted Php1000 as down payment. My mom insisted we only give Php500 which the seamstress gladly agreed. We told her that we’ll pick up the dress on May 15, two weeks before the wedding day. We intentionally did this to make sure that we still have time just in case something goes wrong. Well, something went wrong. My mom endlessly called the shop on May 15 but nobody answered. She went there to check if it was open and found out from one of the neighbors that the seamstress got sick due to fatigue. The neighbor then gave us the contact number of the seamstress’ daughter. My mom tried to call for days but the daughter turned off her cellular phone. We were all compassionate at the beginning since the seamstress was sick but we were getting pissed off each day because none from their side wanted to cooperate. We gave them our contact numbers so we were expecting for a little decency from them to let us know what was happening. We were willing to just get the cloth back and ask somebody else to finish the dress. I found out later on that another of my cousin’s bridesmaid was also supposed to get her dress on May 20. So I waited for her feedback. But there was nothing – not even a single phone call from them. We were even told by the neighbor that the daughter got mad at her for giving out her contact number to her mom’s customers. That made my mom really angry. So my dad suggested that we go to the barangay to file a formal complaint. My cousin, on the other hand, went back to Divisoria, days before her wedding just to replace the cloth.

I went to another seamstress, Aling Aida on the morning of May 22 (Saturday), six days before the wedding day. She was the original choice but she initially refused since she has a lot of dresses and school uniforms to finish. But my mom’s friend asked if she could accommodate us which she did after learning what happened. She told us that she needed to finish an Indian dress but she’ll try her best to finish mine on Monday.

On the other hand, the other bridesmaid received a call on May 23 telling her that her dress was ready for fitting. But she refused since she already asked someone else to make her dress. It cost her Php4000. Nyay! My mom was fuming with anger when she learned that the other bridesmaid received a call but we didn’t. I asked her to let it go and let the barangay officials settle the matter.

I went back on Monday and found my unfinished dress on top of Aling Aida’s sewing machine. She apologized and told me that her Indian customer went to pick up the dress and stayed by her side until she finished it. I picked up the dress on Wednesday with a sigh of relief. I was charged Php700 – the price I paid for a nice dress and the warm welcome of Aling Aida and her family. I personally adored her four-year old granddaughter. There is no doubt why customers flock her humble place.

I went to the wedding wearing the dress, which everybody told me was the simplest among the rest. That was my intention. That was my cousin’s big day, not mine. I stood by my title as the bridesmaid so I dressed like a maid hihi. And working overtime for days showed in my face and added to the “maid” look. Hehe! I didn’t have any intention to outshine her. I just wanted to be a part of her special day so imagine my frustration with all the troubles we’ve brought her, and not to mention the stress that she must have been through after learning that two of her bridesmaid might not be able to make it. So as my gift, I gave her something to take away the stress brought about by all the wedding preparations. I hope she liked it! :)

Anyway, my mom went to the shop the day before the wedding. The daughter told her to come back today. I was like, “Seriously? That’s three days after the wedding!” I was seated next to the other bridesmaid during the wedding and she asked me if I got the dress. I said that I still didn’t have it. And then I found out that she went there and the daughter could not show the dress and even the cloth. Grrrr! These are very unprofessional people. My mom told me last night that one of the daughters even had the guts to raise an argument with the other bridesmaid. She even had the courage to tell the bridesmaid to file a complaint since she refused to take back the down payment.

We heard that they already have a lot of complaints from other customers. We simply wanted the cloth back and pay us the original price of the dress. For me, it’s not about the money. It's about the fact that they did something horrible that may have ruined a once-in-a-lifetime occasion. No amount of money can amount to the memories that would have been lost and all the hassles they brought to our family. I know it’s a little cruel but I want that shop shut down. It’s inevitable for unfortunate things to happen but there are ways in which they could have handled the situation better. They could have called us earlier and let us know that the dress could not be finished. They could have referred us to another seamstress. They could have answered our calls. But none of these were done. They may not return our money. They can have it but they surely lost two customers. And I know that they will lose more.

So are you curious to see the dress?

DSC_0555With my brother

DSC_0559With my cousin (Good looks run in the genes!)
And yes, I now forgive you for getting married before me! :p
And forgive me. I didn't know that a bridesmaid is supposed to fix the bride's veil all the time. ^_^

DSC_0644My winning shot! ^_^

Aling Aida
Tel # 239-7131


  1. the dress is soooo affordable Je and for a Php700 it's already beautiful =) wish I can find a nice seamstress for my cousin's wedding too

  2. @MrsMartinez - I was actually expecting to look like a school girl because the seamstress usually works on school uniforms. Hehe! But it turned out well.

    @Mei - Aling Aida's house is in Makati, probably 10-15 ride from Ayala :)

  3. ganda naman ng dress e! and you don't look like a maid at all *wink*

    I really appreciate the dashing diva gift certificate. Sulit! sa uulitin :)

  4. hehe di na maid, mayordoma na lang :p


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