Britney Spears was a bride for longer than I was. (Photographed by Todd Cole for Pop Magazine 2010)
In the time it takes to watch an episode of 'The Kardashians, I became a bride. To qualify that: I became a cool bride. Think Kiera Knightley in off-the-rack (ok, hers was off-the-runway), with hair down and makeup she probably did herself. Reason being, the folks from bridal boutique Rosa Clara invited us to an intimate pop-up at the Aruga Hotel in Rockwell to try on wedding gowns. Not wanting to be late for my next appointment in an hour's time, I quickly picked out a mermaid-cut frock held up with Spanish lace spaghetti straps, then braced myself for the same treatment as recent Rosa Clara brides Bea Soriano-Dee and Bianca Gonzalez-Intal had.
To start, an assistant in a collared pantsuit laid the dress on the floor and motioned for me to step in. I got in like a kid in a wading pool, then pulled up, wriggled in (serpentina is a pain if you’ve got a butt) and was promptly zipped up. (Rosa Clara makes the back of its dresses with a zipper closure under the button line. So you don’t have to keep sucking in, as if they did you up one by one.) The assistant tightened the back of the dress with the kinds of bulldog clips you get at Office Warehouse - a preview of the alterations they would have to do to the dress, a process that takes one whole month.
Allot 6 months between your first appointment and the desired date of dress delivery, as it takes 4-5 months to order the dress from Rosa Clara headquarters in Barcelona, and another month to alter.
“Amalia, pakigupit,” said bridal consultant Sam Eduque, a helpful woman in a white button down, large pearls and a blowout, when she spotted a stray thread on my skirt.
I stepped out of the makeshift dressing area and Annie Ringor of PR agency Bridges called everyone’s attention away from their wine and nibbles. “Ganda!” They said, as their eyelids twitched. I couldn't blame them.
I still hadn’t had my hair and makeup done. My face looked so bare and my hair, like a broom on top of all this gorgeousness. A tita in the room couldn't resist. She came over to hold my tresses up in a fountain on the crown of my head. “See! Softer, softer.”
And while I would have wanted to indulge them and head over to the salon set up in another room, I simply had no time. To be very honest, trying on a dress wasn't even in my plan given my skedge, but as I walked into that room of bridal snow (Rosa Clara’s dresses are the best kind of white, you guys!) - I couldn't resist. Like a modern-day runaway bride, I snapped a selfie, stripped down and was off, just as Cristalle Belo was whisked away to have her makeup done.
If you have more time than I did, call ahead for an appointment at Rosa Clara at the Ground Floor of Tower III, the Residences at Greenbelt. Tel. No. +632 2381310. Happy dress hunting!