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What brides want for their 'new normal' wedding

By THERESE JAMORA-GARCEAU, The Philippine STAR Published Aug 05, 2020 11:22 am

Online weddings have become quite the trend these last few months, especially for couples that just have to get married this year.

According to bridal designer Rosenthal Tee, a lot of couples are digitally celebrating their weddings but with a disclaimer: “They tell me that they will definitely want a redo to properly celebrate it in contact with all their loved ones.”

'The new-normal bride is more romantic-minimalist, because she’s motivated to marry at this time despite the lack of an audience, but still wants quality pieces that she can look back on fondly,’ says bridal designer Rosenthal Tee.

While we don’t know when that time will come, life goes on, weddings continue, and the new-normal bride knows exactly what she wants.

Fashion designer Rosenthal Tee: “This collection is really a celebration of a free-spirited bride.”

“I would generally describe the new-normal bride, as per my encounters this year, as more romantic-minimalist, because they’re motivated to marry at this time despite the lack of an audience, but still want quality pieces that they can look back on fondly,” Tee says. “Perhaps also because the audiences are more intimate, the detailing of their dresses is pared down to suit the size of the event.”

The young designer, who also does bespoke eveningwear even if her two outings at New York Fashion Week made her realize that she wanted to focus on bridal more than prêt-à-porter, says the predominant style of wedding gown leans towards structured, tea-length, or just-to-the-floor-length pieces with very minimal decorative accents — “perhaps in a subtle play of bows, buttons and lace trims.”

“In my case, most of the brides I’ve had during this season still want intricately detailed gowns with plays in texture, but consider holding off wearing it until such time when it becomes acceptable to celebrate their weddings on a grander scale,” notes Tee. “So as far as wedding-gown styles that are trending right now, well-executed lace and beadwork on ball-skirt styles are still very popular at my studio, and most brides I know still want bridal pieces with an impact. I’ve also noticed that most brides like to play more with color, so this collection injects a lot of warmer base shades in shades of cream to offset our bridal laces in porcelain or bone colors.”

Some more adventurous brides abandon white and off-white completely, opting for pastel tones, and Tee observed this trend even before the pandemic.

“We’ll always get one to two brides coming in wanting to incorporate color into their gowns, so this is also why I’ve presented colored options in my latest Ready To Wed collection. People forget that once upon a time, white was not the color de rigueur of weddings, and we have brides coming in knowing this and just wanting to play up their pieces in soft shades like a pale peach or powder blue to achieve a more distinguished look.”

Tee completed this bridal collection just before lockdown, but postponed releasing it due to the gravity of the times. “But I feel like now, more than ever, we all need something beautiful to look forward to and it coincides with the primary inspiration I got from my last major trip to France and Turkey.”

Tee, who prefers silk Mikado and peau-de-soie fabrics for her bridal designs, says that most of the lace that she used in this collection was hand-carried by her mother — whom she had brought along with her on a buying trip —back to Manila.

“This collection is really a celebration of a free-spirited bride, with a preference for unique textures and colors in classic silhouettes,” she says. “I envisioned this bridal collection set against rustic locations, and I think the play of a decadent gown vis-à-vis nature-filled locations would make an excellent pairing visually. In terms of the embellishment aspect, I use a lot of micro-crystal beads that give off a very reflective aspect in terms of the shine that you will see in this collection.”

Each gown in Tee’s Ready to Wed collection is one of a kind and exclusive. To reduce the number of meetings and fittings, she created a prototype of each piece in an average size that has fitted most of her brides in the past, so only minimal adjustments like length need to be made.

“The new normal for me feels mostly like how it was when I first began meeting clients,” Tee says. “We were already practicing socially distant methods of engaging with our clients prior to COVID, and that really helped us pivot during these last few months.”

(Rosenthal Tee’s Design and Fitting Studio is located at Unit 908, Parc Chateau Condominium, Onyx Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. Her head office is located at 1 Virginia Street, Barangay Sto. Nino,
 Marikina City. For custom bridal and eveningwear inquiries, contact 0917-8526923, visit, or email [email protected].)

(Follow the author @theresejamoragarceau on Instagram and Therese Jamora-Garceau on Facebook.)