From a tender age, girls have harboured and nurtured big plans of their wedding day. They dream about entering this new chapter arm-in-arm with Mr Right, set against a grand backdrop, and above all, dressed in that once-in-a-lifetime dress.

This bridal rite, sometimes frustrating but mostly sentimental,  ends when a woman puts on a dress that fits in every way, bolstering her confidence, flatters her figure and most importantly, highlights her unique beauty. 

Three new brides tell us the story behind their breathtaking wedding gowns that turned out beyond their wildest dreams. 

Clairyn Chong

With her slender figure and statuesque height, Clairyn Chong was a real-life princess on her big day, decked in a v-neck and ballgown combo, with a train in tow.

Clairyn, who wed Matthew Lim in a charming ceremony at Peppers Creek Winery, Australia, also had to choose a train that could fit into her horse-drawn carriage as well as glide smoothly as she made her wedding march down the aisle.

"Not all ballgown dresses come with a train. I had to find a silk-faced, satin one which is generally softer looking."

Initially, the bride envisioned a sheer lace, long sleeve ballgown with a straight collar but that changed when she tried on a V-neck design. “I entered more than 20 different bridal shops until I found 'the one'! I picked it off the rack, added some tailoring and amendments like lace and embroidery to make it exactly what I wanted,” shared the bride.

 Staying comfortable yet flattering was my main goal, hence the ballgown and the v-neck.

To commend her classic taste, the sensible bride wanted a dress that would stay relevant for years to come, too. “I don't want a gown that gives me second thoughts when I look back at my wedding photos 30 years from now,” was her words on picking a timeless gown. 

See also: 5 fairytale bridal gowns to inspire your dream wedding look


To’ Puan Seri Nabilah Khan

Royal weddings call for strict observation of guidelines but To’ Puan Seri Nabilah Khan took it in graceful stride and emerged in a stately but head-turning dress at her wedding to Tengku Sri Temenggung Raja Kolenel Dato' Seri Tengku Baharuddin Mahmud Shah. The bride eventually chose Jovian Mandagie to design her ethereal gown that was studded with intricate embellishment. 

“My personal style is rather unconventional but I left it all in Jovian’s good hands,” shared To’ Puan Seri Nabilah, whose one request for the reception dress was in an intricate arm detail. She also told how Jovian made her dress two inches smaller, to motivate her towards achieving her bridal body goals. “I kept my fingers crossed (at my next fitting) and when it zipped up with ease I almost cartwheeled out of his office!”

Aside from the billowing train and embroidered details throughout her collar line and sleeves, the regal bride wore her mother-in-law’s crown, an heirloom she had kept for the family's future brides. “That to me was the best part about the outfit. It meant so much and was a lovely gesture which I couldn’t be more grateful for,” she gushed. 

 Yee Tsai Siew

Over at the East, Yee Tsai Siew outdid the twinkling blue South China Sea in a dazzling array of bridal gowns. But it was the demure bride’s reception look – a dreamy, embroidered wedding gown – with a unique story of destiny.

After trying on numerous gowns from different bridal boutiques, the wife of Dexter Lau finally met her match in Guangzhou. “I remember trying one on and the attendant finished it off with a veil and tiara. I looked into the mirror and teared up because I knew I had found the one, and I wished my mum was there. (Seeing me) she would have teared up too,” she recalled that bittersweet moment.

So perfect was the fit that Siew didn’t need any alterations. Plus, it was everything she had always imagined in a dream dress: elegant, with a train that would glide along as her father walked her down the aisle, adding about her wedding shoes: "I fell in love with this pair of Jimmy Choo's, elegant pumps with clusters of crystals."

“I like to believe that dress reflects maturity and elegance which speaks my transition from being a daughter to a man's wife,” said Siew, who certainly evoked that, and more.