That Dress - Joanne Ma
Joanne and Matt’s picture-perfect wedding at The Pavillion in Clearwater Bay, Hong Kong was the best way to start 2021. Not only did I have the pleasure of working closely with Joanne in the months leading up to her wedding to bring her dream dress to life, I was also on hand for the big day to dress and prep her just before she walked down the aisle.
Joanne’s dress was a timeless silk crepe bias-cut gown with laced cross-back detailing that made her ultra-chic gown truly unforgettable. To complete the look, we sourced a beautiful guipure lace edge to trim her fingertip-length tulle veil and added a charming rustic texture that complemented the real flowers in her bouquet perfectly.
After a few months of newlywed bliss, we spoke to Joanne to get a behind-the-scenes look into her dress journey and wedding day. Here’s what she had to say.
Where are you from?
I’m from Hong Kong.
What do you do?
I’m a teaching assistant at Hong Kong University.
Where and how did you meet your partner?
We met at church when we were both kids. I think I was about seven or eight, and he would’ve been nine or 10.
How did you know he was the one?
I didn’t really have an epiphany when I woke up one day and realized he was the one. It kind of happened over time. We went from being childhood friends, then best friends, and later, teenage sweethearts. We’ve been close since we were little, but when I started middle school, I remember I started having butterflies every time I saw him. When I was 13, he told me he liked me. Of course, the feeling was mutual.
Tell us about the proposal!
We’re both very outdoorsy people and we go to the beach a lot. On the day he proposed, we were just chilling at the beach and watching the sunset when we started talking about the future. This was something we did all the time so it wasn’t strange when he brought it up this time. But then, all of a sudden, Matt told me the next time he and his family were taking family photos, I’d be in them, too. That’s when he pulled out the ring and asked me to marry him. I was so shocked that I started crying—I didn’t see it coming at all! It was also special because it was the day before my 24th birthday. My favorite number is 23 and Matt managed to make the last day of my being 23 extra special.
Tell us about your wedding dress
My wedding dress was super simple, but I loved every single detail. We used an extremely silky, soft crepe fabric in white to make a full-length slip dress with a train that’s about 80cm. It hugged my figure well so that when I moved, the dress moved with me very beautifully. It felt absolutely luxurious. It also had this lightly draped neckline and thin straps on both sides that go all the way to the back and start crisscrossing when they reach just above my waist area. We tied the straps in a little bow above my hip. Thanks to Christina, the dress was exactly what I wanted. Christina was just the loveliest designer, she made sure that I loved everything about the dress and how it looked on me. We made so many changes as the wedding got closer, but she was super professional and attentive to the details, ensuring that my dress was truly perfect. I felt like I could totally trust and rely on her.
Where did you get married?
The Pavillion in Clearwater Bay, Hong Kong. It was a really special location full of greenery.
How did you feel on your wedding day?
I was nervous before the wedding, but once it started, I loved every single second of it. It’s easily one of the best days of my life, and I’m so glad all our guests enjoyed it too.
Any advice for future brides?
I had multiple breakdowns the week before the wedding because I was overwhelmed by all the little things I had to deal with in the lead-up to the wedding. My friend Charlotte gave me this piece of advice and I think all brides should hear it: “Don’t worry about anything. The only really important thing is that you’re getting to say “I do” to your best friend.” That’s so true—let other people worry about the details, as a bride, you should be enjoying your day!
Are you reworking your dress so you can wear it again?
Yes! Christina and I have talked about it and we’re in the process of turning it into something I can wear again and again. Sadly, the train will have to go because it’s just not practical. I’m also hoping that we can turn it into a mini dress and put in a slit that goes up the legs. I’m super excited about it and can’t wait to see how it turns out.
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