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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

House of Etiquette

Initially we didn't want to rent the traditional Chinese Qun Kua for our wedding because it's damn old-fashioned.. Also it is very expensive! We can get it in China for very good prices but in Singapore the rates are crazy high because anything with the "wedding" tag on it is overpriced here. Madness.

I don't know what made us decided to go and try the Qun Kua because I already paid SGD400 for a custom made Qi Pao (which will be ready in mid-July) for the tea ceremony. Anyway, we went down to House of Etiquette which is located at Jalan Masjid. It is highly recommended by our bridal boutique - Silhouette The Atelier, and quite near to Le bf's place (easy to return after the wedding. Haha!).

There is only one sales assistant there and she is very nice! We called her before going down on Sunday to make sure the shop is opened and she doesn't have any other appointments. It is good to call in before you go because she is alone and may not have the time to serve you if you turn up unannounced. She has to take your measurements before she can pull out the dresses to let you try them. They can't do much alterations because they need to rent out the dresses again (unless you buy them, then you can do whatever you want) so the designs are actually limited to the sizes they carry.

One half of the shop displays bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses & ball gowns.

The other side of the shop is where all the traditional costumes are..

Cute little displays everywhere.. 
Took my bears and put them on the Chinese chairs. LOL!

We went back again yesterday cos when we tried the costumes on Sunday, we were undecided if we should rent them cos it's really expensive. So we brought Le bf's parents along today cos I wanted their input and also to let them be involved in our wedding. I mean, usually parents want to be involved in their children's wedding plans right? I would! (Not my parents though).

His parents were happy that we asked them along! Mama Chew was so excited over the traditional Chinese items that were needed for the wedding and Papa Chew was so happy when we wore the costumes, he took so many pictures of us! Different poses and different areas of the shop. LOL!

I tried on three dresses to show Mama Chew, mainly the cheap, mid-range & crazy expensive categories.

The cheapest one is already renting for SGD388 and I'm the 4th bride renting it. The more it has been rent out, the cheaper they will charge.. kinda like a 2nd hand bookstore concept. Also, it is machine sewn so the workmanship is not as good as the other two.

The mid-range one is brand new and the embroidery is hand-sewn on. More "3D" than the 1st one because it has a pop-up effect. The fit is good and it is very red. Like those old school red kinda of design with a Phoenix & Dragon design. Sounds cheena but it's really nice. The price is SGD888 to rent it. The auntie says she can alter it tighter at the waist area for me.

The most expensive design..

The crazy expensive one is renting for SGD1088. RENT ONLY! OMG! It is hand-sewn and has lots and lots of detailing on the top and skirt. The fit is better than the 2nd one cos it's tighter at the waist area so I look slimmer. Le bf doesn't really like this design because he said it looks more like a Peranakan Kebaya dress than a Qun Kua cos there's a lot of silver & gold embroidery on it.
So we took the 2nd design!

The actual price is SGD888 but the Auntie quoted us SGD688 yesterday by mistake so she said she will honour that price. But honestly, SGD688 is already kill people set fire. That excludes the deposit and Le bf's costume!

Since we had some time, we tried on the head piece for fun! LOL!

Back view of the head piece! 

It's quite complicated to put on.. I kept squeezing the red balls and went "boing boing" and the Aunty kept laughing. Wahahahaha!

Only girls with long hair can wear this head piece as they need to use our hair to loop and lock it in place. If you have short hair, you can only wear it to take pictures but not move around with it. However, it is quite cumbersome lah.. and imagine me having to bow to give tea to the elders during the tea ceremony and it drops off!! OMG! So we decided to skip and not rent the headpiece. I will put a red flower in my hair instead on the actual day! :)

My cute husband-to-be! *pinch cheek*
(One of the many pictures that Papa Chew took. LOL!)

I thought the red flower ball was weird but Mama Chew loves it! She said Le bf must wear it to look more like a groom. =_= But he was quite sporting about it.. Hahahaha!! Anyway it's just for one hour during tea ceremony which will only be attended by a small group of people.. moreover he can change out of it into his suit for the banquet dinner which will be after the tea ceremony.

Even with 8cm heels he is still taller than me! Whee! :) So happy that Le bf is taller so I don't have to slouch or wear flats for the wedding. I wanted to wear flats initially cos they are more comfortable but everyone told me that it's "weird" if a bride wears flats.. Ehh.. what about the shorty husbands who are same height as their wives? They must wear hidden heels in their shoes too?

Yesterday was actually a very productive day! After House of Etiquette, we went to pick up Nat from his place and went to Orchard for lunch, met up with my sisters & Le bf's sisters and headed to Silhouette to confirm dress cos previously I tried a few and was undecided.. then in the evening all of us went ring shopping together and Le bf bought our wedding bands!! Will blog about the rest of the day soon! :)

If you are looking for a Qun Kua for your wedding, try House of Etiquette! :)

16 Jalan Masjid #01-01 
Singapore 418941
11am - 6pm daily 
Closed on Tuesdays & Public Holidays
Tel: 62268139

They also carry other product range such as the traditional comb, pillow, etc. The nice lady will also give you a list of dos & don'ts according to your dialect! The list is so long (all in Mandarin), we nearly fainted when we saw it. But we're not gonna follow exactly cos it'll just be too much work.

Update (10 September 2013):
We forfeited our $100 deposit that we paid to House of Etiquette because I bought my Vera Wang gown online for the 2nd march in (gorgeous gorgeous dress) and wanted to save on the rental cost on the Kua since we will only be wearing it for 30mins during tea ceremony. The total price for our two costumes is almost $900 and we decided that it was not worth it after all, moreover our parents were ok with us not wearing traditional costumes as long as we are happy.. So we take the $100 as a fee for trying on the costumes.. Well, at least we got some pictures for memories! :)

The custom made Qi Pao did not work out because the material and workmanship was below par.. the seamstress who did my dress promised a lot but did not deliver.. too bad I had to pay for it when I am not wearing it.. a valuable lesson learnt is to not commit easily and also choose the material first before making the Qi Pao (something I did not do because I trusted the seamstress too easily).

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