When it comes to dressing for the occasion, many brides cannot wait to get their hands on the latest gown design from top designers.
Rhoda and Yofesi Muhindo brought up their five children under strict Christian values and guidelines. With this direction, all the children were united but more so the girls, perhaps, because they were the last borns.
“We, the girls follow the two boys and we were almost like triplets because we are only spaced by one year. Our parents always bought for us similar clothes,” Brenda Biira Tusingwire, the second last born, intimates with a bright smile.
With this fondness, the girls did not mind sharing everything.
They soon grew up into bigger girls ready for suitor’s hands in marriage. Time to get married. Dr Mary Muhindo Kakuru, the third born but first girl, was the first to wed in February 2009. Like every bride, Kakuru hit the streets several times looking for her dream gown. Her dream gown was, “I wanted an A-line shaped gown with many sequins at the bodice, with an organza clothing covering the bridal satin at the skirt area, and medium sized trail.”
And one day while walking along Bombo Road, she spotted a bridal shop opposite Watoto Church where she found her ideal gown.
Hiring it was Shs1m, which she felt was pricey for simply borrowing a gown for one day. She then took a picture of it paying attention to all the details and took it to a seamstress they fondly call Aunt Margaret on Sir Apollo Kaggwa Road.
Dream come true
Dr Kakuru says Aunt Margaret had made a beautiful gown for one of her friends and several maids’ dresses for other friends’ weddings.
“I had seen several pieces of her excellent work and I decided to take the risk.”
After explaining her dream gown to Aunt Margaret, she came up with a list of materials needed and where to find them.
“One day, I went shopping with her to three shops whose names I don’t remember in the city centre. The materials plus tailoring cost me Shs700,000 only,” she recollects.
She fitted in twice and Aunt Margaret made slight alterations. The second fitting was done a week to the wedding just to make sure it fitted perfectly.
“I wore my dream gown at an affordable price and nobody was rushing me to hand over the gown,” says Kakuru.
She never wore a changing dress because she never found one she liked and it would be inconveniencing.
“I did not wear a changing dress because during premarital counselling, we had been told to reserve something special for our husbands to unwrap and I had not found one I liked anyway,” she says. After the wedding, the gown was taken to their parents’ home in Entebbe.
The following year was Brenda Biira Tusingwire’s wedding but since her sister’s gown was available and she was of the same size as her older sister, she says she didn’t bother looking for any other. Even if they were to adjust anything, it would be very slight.
“It felt so unique and special to wear my big sister’s gown as it washed away the worries on the costs that come with hiring or buying one. So, I had sufficient time to concentrate on other things,” she says adding, she only spent on dry cleaning it which didn’t cost more than Shs50,000.
Wondering whether she didn’t feel sceptical about what people who saw the sister in it would say, Tusingwire said, “I did not mind what others would think because I had settled for that before anyone else. And I even used the same tiara.”
In her opinion, people can look different in the same outfit. I fitted in a month before the wedding and there were no alterations to make. It fitted perfectly but to look different from my sister, I opted for my own set of jewellery and gloves.
Kakuru was her matron and after the wedding, she took the gown back to their parents’ home to preserve the sisters’ memories of their wedding day.
“It’s not for hire but we want our children to grow up and see it. Maybe they could use it and add a few alterations,” she hopes.
Kakuru says it is cheaper to have a gown of your own and pass it on to friends and family. After all, you cut costs. Hiring can be stressful especially when you have to hand over the gown because the owner wants to leave early.
She hit the miss
Phionah Muhindo Kecha (left), is the youngest of the three sisters. She had attended her sisters’ weddings and fallen in love with the gown they used. She felt it would be honourable and sentimental to use the same for her wedding day.
Not so long after Tusingwire’s wedding day did hers approach. She tried on the gown and felt not so comfortable as it was slightly bigger than her body. It is one of the items that had been ticked off the wedding budget because it was a sure deal.
“I had planned to wear my sisters’ gown but because my body is slightly smaller than theirs, I took it to a seamstress for alterations. I wanted it to be a perfect fit but alas, the job was not well done. It seemed creased and still felt loose,” Kecha expalins.
She therefore had to hire a different one. This is something she hadn’t planned for.
From this experience, Kecha says people should use every chance to cut costs but also look out for perfect seamstresses who won’t cause emergencies a few days to your big day.
Fashion guide to choosing the right wedding gown.
Brenda Maraka, a fashion designer, says different shapes suit different body types. She describes them as put below.
Consider the basic shape of your dress ball gowns, A-line, fitted dresses, empire waist line.
Pear shape A-line dress would be ideal for a formal wedding. This gown has no marked waist and the vertical seams flow from the shoulders down to a flared skirt, creating an A-shape. This gown is good for plus-size brides.
If you have a big bust, avoid shine on the bodice. She recommends that you opt for V or scoop neck.
She also aises that much as you may wear dresses that show off some skin at the neck, make sure they are not too deep to draw attention to your face and neck. Also avoid dresses that cut across the chest.
If you are a Plus size, she aises that you choose empire gown or bridal satin. She aises that people of such body types avoid flowery fabrics that are too clingy as they might enhance parts you may want to conceal. You can add an over lay of lace with taffeta.
For apple shapes, she says its best you wear a V neck with deep cut. She recommends a fitted waist preferably with a belt. Avoid trumpet dresses.
She aises tall people to go for simple cuts. Maraka says you either get the dress tailored or order for the right length otherwise it will look borrowed. She also recommends that you avoid too much detail like flowers and ruffles.
In terms of gown details, she says straight shape, bias cuts are best, tapered at the knees and a derriere will give an illusion of bigger hips. Also rushed bust is great for a flat bust
For petite brides, she says, “look for a waist line above your natural waist to make you look taller, then keep the detailing like beads to the bust area to draw attention there. Avoid ball gowns,”
If you have a small bust, Maraka says you invest in a padded bra, rushed bodice, bead embroidery lace.
What to consider to have a tailor- made gown
Brenda Maraka, a fashion designer, says there are a number of factors to consider before zeroing in on a gown. They range from reading to buying and then practising.
• Research either online or buy a magazine to see the trendy ones.
• Consider what is acceptable in your religion and culture including that of your groom.
• Ask yourself what you want to look like a queen or a princess.
• If you have never tailored a dress before, your wedding is not the best time to experiment. But if you insist on doing this, then look for a designer who has been tried and tested.
• Choose the pictures and different elements that you are attracted to, showing different angles.
• Choose the colour and fabric you want to use.
• State down clearly if you want the gown just like the picture or you want to make some changes.
• Constantly go to the tailor for fitting sessions.
• Start the tailoring at least three months to the wedding so that incase of changes, they are made early.
With the above in line, you can rock the gown on D-day.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor