Wikipedia tells us that a wedding is a marriage ceremony typically followed by a celebration, what Wikipedia doesn’t explain is WHY the eff they are so expensive. I’m not saying that I didn’t think they were expensive; I’m saying never in my wildest dreams did I think that they were SO expensive.
After the confetti had hit the ground following the yaaays, eeeeks, omgees, cry face- cry-face-single-pulsing-red-hearts of our engagement- reality comes out of hiding with a big, fat, dollar sign infused SLAP. As the planning progressed I literally found myself wanting to ask every married person that I ran into, “Soo…How much did your wedding cost you...in total? - I’m asking for a friend….”
At the risk of shame, I googled a lot and made tonnes of calls to suppliers and vendors. The best piece of advice that I can give is this; establish a budget as soon as possible and be the most decisive version of yourself – ever. With planning comes the responsibility of making a million decisions.
For me, the wedding dress decision was one of the biggest. I can’t say it was my dream to wear a Berta dress on my wedding day (in fact I never even dreamt about my wedding dress), but I can openly say I was dying to try one on. I’m one-part brand whore one-part logic. I spent ages devouring images of Berta and Galia Lahav dresses. Eye candy-city on one hundred.
After a few months, the brand whore in me decided she wanted to wear a Berta dress. The logic in me decided that I am creative and resourceful enough to design and make my dress in Trinidad. So the battle of the parts was on. With my best friend Victoria, mother, sister and Nissa of Little Black Dress Trinidad in hand, we flew to New York to dress v.s. fabric shop.
Ding. Ding. Ding.
At L’Fay Bridal in NYC I went to heaven trying on dress after dress, attaching ‘this veil’ or ‘that cape’, ‘this belt’ or ‘that tiara’. It was real fun but I kept thinking to myself I’ve seen these dresses so many times on social media. It wasn’t as awe inspiring as I’d mentally hyped it up to be. I was desensitized. I mean, I didn’t even cry.
Anyway, we debated dress after dress. Then we asked for prices.
$10,000 USD for the dress.
$1000 USD for the cape.
$67,192.00 TTD for the dress.
$6,719.20 TTD for the cape.
So we said au revoir to L’Fay and hello to 37th St. Four months later (with lots of help from my mom and our San Fernando based seamstress) I’d this sort of vintage, sort of eclectic dress with a classic silhouette, in sweet sweet T&T- it was perfect for me.
The Fabric came up to about $800 USD and the labour was $2500.00 TTD, a total of $7,884.55 TTD.
Moral of the story- elope.
HUGE thank you to Nissa Hanooman for your unwavering consultation and for my amazing party kit!
Photos by Julie Charlett Photography + Sam Jackson Photography