Monique Lhuillier Sample Sale!

I am already married, but I thought I must share the exciting news that Monique Lhuillier is once again having their famed Sample Sale in Los Angeles this Sunday!  *EEE*!  Brides everywhere rejoice!  This is probably one of the most highly-anticipated events… I mean celebrity brides adore Monique Lhuillier wedding dresses.

Here’s the skinny:
-It starts at 10am (get in line EARLY.  You better believe brides are going to be lining up).  -Everything is on a first come, first serve basis.  It ends at 4pm but I wouldn’t count on getting there that late.
-Cash, Visa, MasterCard and AmEx are all accepted (no Discover Card).
-Everything is sold as is and all sales are final
-NOT at the flagship store on Melrose; it’s going to be held at 1201 S. Grand Avenue, 2nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90015 

A girlfriend of mine waited this past July and walked away with a fabulous wedding gown.  She paid just 10% of the retail price!  This is such a great deal I really wish I had gone to this sample sale last year for my own wedding dress.

Good luck all you brides.  I want to hear details about brides who snagged a gown at this event, leave me a comment after December 4.  🙂

Here’s the flyer:


Pakistani and American Wedding Dress Inspiration

I dream of bridal couture.  The same way a Western bride lusts after Monique Lhullier and Vera Wang gowns,  I lust after Nomi Ansari, Mehdi, & Karma.  They are just amazing designers and I think you can do a lot with their colors and have really detail-oriented wedding with bright bold colors.

A Mehdi Bridal gown

One would think that because Pakistani designer gowns are made overseas that they would cost significantly less than American bridal gowns–not so!  The reason I did not get a designer original was two-fold.  One, of course, it was just too costly. The designer’s whose dress I was inspired by starts at $5,000 for a dress; similar to the prices of dresses you see at Kleinfeld Bridal and other top boutiques here.  So, what I did was I had my cousin take my design to a designer we work with in Karachi and they replicated the style but added elements that were more me.   That’s the beauty of Pakistan.  My wedding dress was entirely hand embroidered, used top of the line bridal fabric (silk banarsi I think, or jamavar, I can’t think of the name) and it was precisely what I wanted.  It cost half of what most designers charge; still a pretty penny, BUT for the intricate handiwork and lush embroidery, I was in love.

My dress was a farshi gharara which is really two wide-legged pants that have pleats towards the bottom.  This enables a more draped effect when the bride is seated.  My skirt must have weighed close to 20 pounds and I had purchased suspenders to keep the skirt up, but I forgot them at home at the last minute.  Luckily, I had no accidents since I had it taken in to a tailor a few days before the wedding to take in the waist!  However, I highly recommend suspenders for too-heavy ghararas.

My wedding

Oh the lengths women go to for their dream wedding gowns!  A list of the top 25 most expensive stores in the US lists not one but two bridal stores.  The Vera Wang Bridal House, and the Kleinfeld Bridal were ranked 22nd and 19th respectively on this list of the 25 most expensive shops in the US.  And why not, when TLC’s popular show Say Yes to the Dress takes place at Kleinfeld and Vera Wang had dressed celebrity brides like Jessica Simpson, Ivanka Trump and most recently Kim Kardashian.

A Vera Wang Bridal Creation

Some may skimp on $5,000 and up dresses by heading to more economical locations like David’s Bridal, which carries the Vera Wang White line, but I have another suggestion for you!  One of my friends went to the Monique Lhullier sample sale in Los Angeles on July 10 and walked out with a $3,000 gown…. she paid just a little under $400 for the dress!  To her, it was well worth lining up bright and early at 6am for.

If I could do it any other way, I would not have gone to David’s Bridal for my white wedding dress.  It’s one of the decisions I regret the most since the customer service was extremely poor and the store was horrible to navigate through. Yes, I had my dream Pakistani gown, but, feeling like a princess two different days isn’t too much to ask for, is it? By the end of my trip, I felt compelled to get my dress only because I felt like I wouldn’t have time to go back and get another one.  The dress was lovely, but not my style.

The Two Weddings Mashup

I’m probably the only person in the world who can say she had TWO weddings to the SAME guy in the same year (actually, just 6 weeks apart!).  I have soo many stories and soo many tips about my beautiful Pakistani wedding (June!) and my fantastically fun Macedonian wedding (July!).

I have learned SO much about weddings now it’s crazy.  I have soo many tips on vendors (had some bad experiences and some excellent ones) and incredible tips on bridal beauty, wedding styling (the little details…I used Style Me Pretty, Hostess with the Mostess & Green Wedding Shoes for inspiration) just overall planning!  Here are some sneak peaks of photos of me from each weddings:

Me and my husband at my wedding, photo by Harvard Photography

My Pakistani bridal dress was inspired by a Bunto Kazmi dress I saw.  Do I wish I had more embroidery? Yes.  Even still, the thing weighed like 30 pounds and I loved the different colors.  Nick was SHOCKED when he had to carry it for me the next day! I hesitate posting pictures on here because I fear someone is going to post it on a Pakistani bridal thread and then replicate my gharara.   Here is a photo for my 2nd wedding in July wearing my white dress and cute bolero (to be modest):

Me at my 2nd Wedding

I did a purple, white & gold theme for wedding #1 and wedding #2 was totally different with a springy & modern yellow & white theme.

I’ll show all the little DIY elements for each, and I have a TON of Pakistani bridal tips for brides who opt to wear white dresses but wish to have that touch of modesty, and just for Pakistani brides in their own Pakistani lenghas and ghararas.  Keep posted, I have lots to share!!