THE JOURNAL

Joyce Li

To Kim and the Valencienne team,

Thank you so much for creating my dream – GAME OF THRONES Inspired gown!!I can’t wait to walk down the aisle in this dress and am certain nobody will forget the head turning cape. You’ve all been so easy to work with and I knew I had made the right choice to go BESPOKE!

All the best –Joyce

Professional Photography by Silverlight Photography


IN HER OWN WORDS – FROM JOYCE LI

Think back to the 84th Academy Awards. It was February 2012 and Gwyneth Paltrow had walked onto the red carpet in an immaculate Tom Ford gown. What made this dress stand out was the floor length cape which sat perfectly on the shoulders. I didn’t know it then, but I think this was the moment I fell in love with capes.

And while I wouldn’t be married for another five years, the thought of wearing a cape for my wedding kept coming up. Whether it was Solange Knowles’ custom Kenzo wedding dress or Katy Perry’s Valentino gown during her 2015 Grammy performance, the capes kept coming and didn’t go out of style.

So when it was my time to choose what I’d wear for my wedding, I went looking for inspiration by Googling “white cape dress.” And then I came across this. It was Daenerys from Game of Thrones. There it was, the dress I wanted to wear.

I proceeded to half-heartedly look through a few bridal catalogues and websites. I didn’t even bother going to any bridal shows or any of the shops as I knew full well that the dress I wanted wouldn’t be available within racks and racks of strapless sweetheart neckline lace gowns. No, my grown needed to be custom made (or “bespoke” as I later discovered the appropriate term).

So off I went to conduct another search for bespoke wedding gown designers. And lo and behold, one of the top rated designers in Toronto was Kim and her team from Valencienne Bridal. Valencienne had such great reviews and testimonials so it was a no brainer that Kim and her team would be well suited to create my dress. I emailed Kim and we quickly arranged for a time for me and my mom to meet her for an initial consultation.

Upon walking into the boutique. I was greeted with Kim’s warm smile and the gorgeous gowns she created. I always saw fashion as an art form and let me tell you, these were masterpieces. As we sat down, Kim asked if I had any ideas of what I’d like and I proceeded to show her the concepts. She then sketched out how it would look on me and provided some samples of the material she would use.  Because the essence of the dress was in its simplicity and construction, it would only require one type of material. It was a gorgeous crepe. I loved the fabric and knew at that point that I wanted to work with Valencienne. Kim took some quick measurements and I went away super excited.

A couple months later, I went in for the canvas fitting. This wasn’t the actual fabric of the dress but served as a template for when the actual material needs to be cut.

Here’s Sonia and Kim pinning together the canvas on me!

A couple months later, it’s the first fabric fitting. The material for the dress has been cut and you can see Kim and Sara pinning it together.

At this point, the dress was more or less complete and it was time to start my favourite part of the dress, the cape! Similar to how the dress was made, I tried on the canvas so that we can see how it drapes and how it’ll sit on my shoulders. I forgot to take photos during this fitting but trust me, it looked amazing!

Two months later, I’m now three weeks away from the big day and it’s my second last fitting. The dress and the cape look spectacular at this point and it’s pretty much finished! We were discussing beading options for the cape collar and Kim brilliantly suggested taking part of a bridal belt and integrating it into the collar.

 

Three weeks after that and it’s now two days before the wedding and I was here for the final fitting. The dress fit like a glove and I couldn’t be happier with how it looked! Valencienne did such an amazing job on the dress and I was ready to take it home.

  

I can’t stress enough how much I loved my experience with Valencienne. I never wanted to feel like a princess on my wedding day because why be a princess when you can slay like a queen? And let me tell you, I definitely felt like a queen. I’d like to thank Kim, Sonia, Sara and everyone else on the team who worked so tirelessly over nine months to create this gorgeous dress. The cape was outstanding and I couldn’t have imagined working with a better team. I highly recommend Valencienne and to go bespoke if it fits within your budget! There’s no other dress like it, literally!

 

 

 

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