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Anyone who's ever been a bridesmaid could truly relate to Katherine Heigl's character in 27 Dresses.  Every one has that taffeta number you keep stored in the closet gathering dust since, well, you don't really know where else you could use it, right?

Well, in preparation for our wedding, I didn't want our bridesmaids to view their dresses as such.  So huge was my worry that I was already fishing for ready-to-wear cocktail pieces in Landmark and SM!

It was in one of my trips in Landmark that I came across this very cute children's dress from Iha, a fashion design company specializing in couture for girls.

Source: Iha website

I didn't know exactly what hit me, but I realized that the dress matched our color motif perfectly!  The saleslady at Landmark, perhaps noticing my wide-eyed stare, was kind enough to supply me with the owner's calling card and informed me that they did customized pieces.

So off I went and called them up immediately once I got home.  My main goal was just to inquire about a possible flower girl dress and ask whether they could refer me to someone who could do an adult version of the same outfit.

Surprisingly, the person in-charge of their marketing, Suzette, mentioned that they could do customized dresses in adult sizes as well.  Perfect!  She then referred me to her tita (aunt), who handles Iha's design and operations.  A meeting was set right away.

Results were beyond my expectations.  Pictures seen below:

Flower girl #1: my cute inaanak (godchild)

Flower girl #2: the Husband's niece

Bridesmaid #1: the cousin with the brother-in-law as escort

Bridesmaid #2: the other cousin with the Bro as escort

My experience with them, however, was bittersweet. 

I liked them because they made good high-quality apparel and they were willing to alter the design for us.   I had a few ideas incorporated into the dress, which they readily agreed on. 

We, unfortunately, had a hard time adjusting to their schedules.  My dress pick-up schedule changed about 3 times for some reason or another.  Due to the numerous changes in deadlines, we were finally able to pick up the dresses a good 2 weeks before the wedding. 

Tita was also hard to contact at times.  Although their marketing person, Suzette, was such a gem.  She readily answered my questions and provided me with feedback.

Since this is not their bread and butter, Iha doesn't usually offer customized adult dresses to the public.  They agreed to make my bridesmaids dresses under the condition that there would be no more follow-up fittings, which we readily accepted since we were a little pressed for time.

They did assure me that no more fittings were necessary since tita would be on hand to personally measure my bridesmaids and flower girls, hence reduce the possibility that the clothes would not fit.  Unfortunately, when we got the dresses, one of my bridesmaids couldn't fit into hers!  And not just a few centimeters, there was a good 2 inch gap! 

So we had to call Iha up again and schedule another fitting to alter the dress.  This time around though they informed us that we could only drop by their factory on a weekday afternoon since they were finishing up a major job order.  Since my bridesmaid still had classes, I tried to request a more friendly schedule, however, my talk with tita was to no avail. 

In my frustration, mom had to step up and agreed to set a weekday appointment.  She even had to take a leave from work and pick up my cousin immediately from school just to rush over the factory.  Since it was only a few days before the wedding, they had to wait for the dress to be altered.  We just didn't have any more time.  If only the dress was released on the original schedule then this would have given us plenty of time for alterations.

I guess at some point, I was also to blame.  I was adamant to enforce the original deadlines since I felt that they did the job for me as a "favor" of sorts.

Were the dresses worth it?  I guess so since my bridesmaids, flowers girls and their parents loved their gowns.  Although I'd still would have wished for a better planning experience.



For a detailed list of our wedding expenses and some handy tips, please visit my Wedding Expenses: Our own Personalized Summary of Wedding Needsand Wants post at this link.


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