We were honored to receive this blog post written by a Maid Of Honour about her sister Elissa’s Valencienne experience and her wedding day. We thank you Daniela for your candid, humorous words. You captured Elissa’s day perfectly!
The Bride’s Tale….
Once I had the task of finding the perfect dress for the perfect day, I took to the streets going to many appointments, with my mom and sister in toe. I would try on many different styles and dresses, which were all beautiful, but I had my mind set on one dress in particular. The one Kate Hudson wore in Bride Wars. This stunning ballroom gown was everything I had pictured a wedding dress to be; the full skirt, the pristine bodice, the perfect tailored fit. In other words, I knew what I wanted. I knew what I liked, and I searched every single store there was in the Niagara region to find it. No matter what I tried nothing lived up to the dress I had my heart set on. I expanded my search north to Toronto. Still nothing. During a repeat performance appointment at a bridal boutique in St. Catharines, I was told that I would not find what I was looking for off the rack and was immediately referred to Kim Ironmonger at Valencienne.
I took the information, and looked up everything I could find on Kims’ work. I was impressed and made my appointment. From the first consultation, to the very last fitting, my experience with Kim was everything a bride could ask for. Hearing words like French Lace and her expert knowledge on how to fit my body, and every girls body it seemed, put my nerves at ease, and I actually got excited for my wedding dress. I enjoyed the process and knew I was in good hands. I had the dress covered. One more thing checked off my list.
Kim not only knew exactly what I wanted, but simply looked at the photo and with utter confidence and clarity stated she could make this dress without question. Her custom craftsman ship and quality is unsurpassed in the bridal world. My experience was truly a dream come true. I took home with me and wore on my wedding day a dress with copious layers of French Mirage Tulle, and a bodice wrapped in French Corded Alençon Lace. She even sewed some sentimental touches, such as a small bit of lace from my mothers and aunts wedding dresses, into the piece, that made my dress truly one of a kind.
During my last appointment I glanced at the jewels she had to offer and decided to purchase my wedding jewelry then and there. I chose the most stunning Elsa Cori bracelet and earrings to complete my look.
The Maid of Honour (the view from here)….
I had the pleasure to sit and chat with Kim at Valencienne recently and she said something that struck me, “It has to be right.” I know firsthand that she applies this belief to her craft. She will not stop until the dress is right. Actually to be more direct, perfect! Until it fits, falls, holds, tucks, and exudes perfection. My experience with Kim at Valencienne was through the making of my sisters wedding dress. I loved visiting her boutique and looking at all her beautiful creations. I soaked in the moments when she was talking about the fit, look and the movement of the gown. It was every girls dream to be a part of something so perfect and of such high quality. Having an undergraduate degree in Fashion my ears were particularly perked at every word she said. Needless to say I am counting the days until I can run to Kim to make my dress!
I would like to speak to the quality of the gown, as I spent the day by my sisters side making sure it looked just right for the camera. During our outdoor photos, in a beautiful wooded area, it began to rain. As the wedding party finished our photos, we hurried; muddy and wet to back to the limo bus leaving the newlyweds in the woods with the photographers. While waiting for them to return, it poured, and poured, and poured. We waited with baited breath, all I could think about was, “THE DRESS!!!”
They returned 20 minutes later, and the downpour continued. My sisters dress was literally a dark muddy brown from about the waist line down. I grabbed it and we stuffed it into the stair well of the bus, as we were driven to the reception venue. Her hair was ruined and all we could do was dry them off as much as we could with paper towels and serviettes that we had on the bus. When we got to the venue, we hustled her up to the bridal suite as fast as well could and got to work. Thank God, the dress was tulle from the waist down and not a fabric like satin. The girls and I circled her and started to peel back every layer of tool, then, with paper towels, regular towels, and a prayer we started to wipe down each layer. It worked! With a good wipe, we got all the muddy water, twigs and leaves out of this beautiful tulle. It actually returned to it its’ pristine white! I was amazed! So we went to work lifting a layer and wiping it clean, then passing to the wearer of the dress, then wiping the next layer clean, and passing it up. Layer, after layer, after layer, after layer, after…. How many layers were there!?! Our arms were sore and we weren’t even half way!! The only saving grace was how white and clean the layers looked after wiping them. Our circle around the bride continued to work and we got that sucker clean! I couldn’t believe how many layers of tulle Kim had painstaking put in this dress. Once the dress was white again, and dry, we had to pick up all the twigs, and leaves and rocks that were now all over the bridal suite. There were a lot. Trust me. When our mom came up and saw what had come out of the dress, she said thank God she hadn’t seen it before we cleaned it!
During the reception line, no one was the wiser. It wasn’t until during the party we told our story and had a good laugh. We could laugh about it by then.
All in all, our experience with Kim was an absolute dream and I can’t wait until the day I get to work with her on a dress of my own! Kim brings visions to life, through talent and hard work. Thank you so much Kim!
Photographer: Wendy Alana Photography
Venue: Carmen’s Banquet Center