Saturday, May 22, 2010


I have to admit.  Looking for a couturier was one of the last items I did in preparation for our wedding.  Similar to other bride-to-bes, I too was hoping to loose a little weight.  Vanity got the better of me, I guess.  Hehehe!

When I finally realized that I had lost all that I could (darn my sweet tooth!), I then decided to seriously locate a couturier 4 months before the big day.  After undergoing a lot of interviews with different designers (including one who stood me up twice!), I finally settled on Mia Barlaan.

I had my wedding gown designed by Mia for a number of reasons:

1. I wanted someone quite close to my age who I could relate to.  If I remember correctly, she is around the same age as I am. 

2. I wanted someone accessible.  One who I could talk to personally - not her secretary, errand boy, or any other person in her entourage.

3. I also wanted someone who could give me ideas as to the gown design and form itself.  Sure, I had pictures.  I had an idea of what I wanted but I was never too sure what would work for me.  I wanted to look my best on my wedding day, wearing a gown that I would be happy seeing in after 50 years of marriage.

After numerous fittings (I was such a bridezilla!), my gown finally came out looking like this:

I also had her design and create my mom's gown, a nice floor-length dark red number shown below:

My verdict: 

1. She was very accommodating.  When we first met, I really had no idea where to start.  I had the picture of a gown design I liked, of course, but after that, nothing else.  I had no idea as to clothing material, gown forms and other relevant items.  Mia was able to give me a brief introduction to fabrics, what works best in a certain body shape, what gown shapes are better for me, etc.  She even recommended the perfect shoe color to compliment my mom's gown.

There were also a lot of times when I requested a gown fitting just to check on the progress of the dress.  She readily complied.  No questions asked.

2. She is very professional.  You would be surprised at how many wedding suppliers there are out there who don't return calls or follow-ups.  In Mia's case, I never experienced waiting idly for her reply.  As long as she's free, she will respond to your inquiries.

3. She is very knowledgeable.  She had ideas as to what she thought was perfect for me.  One such example, I was dead set on having my gown made without any beadwork or sequins.  I always thought those ruined a good wedding dress. 

But, boy!  Was I happy Mia talked me out of it.  My first gown fitting, the dress was ok (didn't have any of the beadwork yet), but it was totally bland!  That time I couldn't pinpoint exactly why.  I had no other choice but to trust her instincts and waited, with bated breath, til the next fitting.  Surprisingly, with half way of the beadwork done that time, it turned out pretty good.

4. She was open to my suggestions.  There are some things we didn't agree on sometimes.  One would be my constant insistence that my train would and should not be a mile long (not exactly ala-Thalia though, but it was long enough for me).  I was never one for the dramatics and a long train would just get in my way.  She agreed to shorten it, much to her chagrin, but her motto was whatever the client is comfortable with, the client gets (within limits, of course).

I loved the finished product.  Never would have wanted it any other way.  J

The Madir and me


For inquiries, please visit her website at or contact her at (+63 917) 8617115.

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


  1. My Experience with Mia Barlaan and Tito Franco:
    I booked Mia Barlaan not because she has the most beautiful design in the expo but because she gave me the cheapest deal. I am so happy that i did not book MIA BARLAAN to create my wedding gown. (I booked Mia Barlaan to do my entourage gowns)

    When I first met Mia Barlaan and Tito Franco, they were friendly. We met Mia and Tito around maybe last week of September or first week of October.

    We first asked them if they can still accept projects for such a short time.maybe three months time to be exact. they said that they can get the entourage gowns ready before christmas.

    The first fitting did not go well. It even took her two months to do the lining of the dresses.

    Anyways, the members of my entourage are not happy with their gown. they even told me that i should have bought ready made gowns in Landmark or SM. It would have been cheaper. The design of the gown was so off and for every bead work that they have to do they have to charge additional P5,000

    Adjectives that best describes Mia Barlaan:

    1) Very very UNPROFESSIONAL - whenever we have fitting they will come in at least forty five minutes late. There was one time that they did not arrive at the venue citing overlapping of their schedule. One member of my entourage went to their office in alabang. meeting time was supposed to be around seven thirty pm. Mia did not arrive at the site instead she asked her staff to go to the site. Her staff arrived 9PM! and the shop was already close letting the member of my entourage fit her gown beside her shop, a SARI SARI STORE. the kid was even traumatized. We are the once texting them to report to us their location but we did not get any reply. we were calling them their cellphones but they refused to take our calls. We end up being angry customers.

    2)Not dependable - whenever we try to call MIA barlaan for the status of the dresses. She is not answering her call. citing that her cellphone is not working. We were even trying to call Tito Franco- but same thing happened. not returning our calls, and not replying to our texts.

    3) Not knowledgeable- One member of the entourage gave a design to Mia Barlaan - a cut out from the magazine. Mia was not able to execute the cut, even the design of the gown. This member end up spending more since she has to go to her own designer to fix her gown.

    4) Overrated - Its not worth every penny paying MIA Barlaan. she does not even know how to draw when we first met, she just showed us wedding magazines, where we can choose the design of the gowns. Unlike other designer, they have their own and create their own design for you.

    think first before booking with MIA barlaan - MY CONCLUSION - its not worth every penny doing business with her.

  2. Hi! I'm really sorry for what happened to you but I'm still sticking to my story. Hope everything worked out in the end. =)

  3. Hi! We also had a really good experience with Mia :) She made the entourage gowns for my bestfriend's wedding and now one of our other friend's entourage gown plus she is doing my wedding gown too next year :)

  4. @Anonymous: Yup. I agree. I too am quite satisfied with Mia's work and professionalism. What the first commenter went through was perhaps (and hopefully) an isolated case. =)


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