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Light, comfortable, versatile bridal gowns—yes, they’re possible

Bridal designer Veluz Puno Reyes says marrying couples are more hands-on now, with both prospective brides and grooms discussing gowns with her
/ 07:30 AM April 27, 2018

Cap-sleeved wedding dress with tiered skirt by Veluz Brides —PHOTOS BY EARVIN PERIAS

Tracee Ellis Ross, star of the American television series “Black-ish,” told talk show host Ellen DeGeneres she had to ask her limousine driver to unzip the gown she wore to a Hollywood awards ceremony before entering her house, because she couldn’t do it by herself.

The metallic gown, designed by a top international couturier, was stunning but unwieldy. She could hardly bend her elbows for dinner at the post-award gala, she told DeGeneres.


Brides who get Veluz Puno Reyes to do their gowns for a milestone event are not likely to suffer this kind of wardrobe malfunction.

The pieces presented by Veluz Brides at the bridal fashion show at Conrad Manila’s two-day fair “Inspired Beginnings: A Bespoke Wedding Experience,” were elegant, even exquisite, making the most of the delicate and lustrous local piña fabric. Some of the pieces do not even have to be mothballed at the end of the wedding ceremony. They are versatile enough to be worn to elegant dinners or fancy cocktail parties.


“Piña is a beautiful fabric even without embellishments,” Reyes said.

The clothing technology graduate from the University of the Philippines believes “dresses should always be light and comfortable,” even if it’s worn only once in a woman’s life. For the intricate embroidery on her gowns, she had members of her staff train with experts in Lumban, Laguna.

She wants her gowns to be versatile and practical. Custom-made pieces average P200,000, while ready-to-wear items range in price from P80,000 to P160,000.

For the widowed mother of four, every custom-made gown is a labor of love because “love ko na sila (the brides)” the moment she is asked to make the dresses. “I always feel privileged to be chosen to do a wedding gown,” Reyes said.

Designer Veluz Puno Reyes with models wearing her bridal collection


She spends at least an hour getting to know her client for the custom-made gowns. “I really want to know what the bride wants,” she said. She offers suggestions to make the design more reflective of the client’s personality. “The design of the gown can never be compromised,” she added.

Her diplomatic way of dealing with brides had averted major disagreements and confrontations.


Reyes said marrying couples are more hands-on now, with both prospective brides and grooms discussing gowns with her. One person she wants present during meetings about gowns is the mother of the bride.

While she still does brisk business with custom-made gowns, Reyes had also ventured into RTW because more and more women are too busy for planning and fitting sessions. Most of the pieces, however, are destined for foreign markets.

Reyes’ busiest months for Philippine weddings are from October to January. December, rather than June, is actually the “wedding-est” month in the Philippines, followed by January. For the US market, demand is optimum in June, when spring is transitioning to summer.

The two-day bridal fair at Conrad Manila featured wedding cakes, photography and videography services, styling, floral arrangements and other essentials.

Cocktail-length bridal dress with lace skirt

Room packages

It also showcased the hotel’s wedding packages, focusing on available venues like the ballrooms, function and guest rooms. The presidential suite offers an unparalleled panoramic view of Manila’s renowned sunset.

Celebrity master chef Jereme Leung of China Blue has traditional wedding banquets, particularly the curated Opulence of the Orient menu.

Leung, who said he can prepare a distinctive menu for several hundred guests, treated the media to an abbreviated version of his Opulence menu, which included oven-baked scallops with white creamy cheese sauce, goose liver mousse, cherries and squid ink crumble; eight-hour golden broth with 10-head abalone and dry fish lip, mushroom; deep-fried sautéed crab claw with mango salsa and seasonal greens; and braised US beef cheek with beancurd sheet and shimeji mushroom. —CONTRIBUTED

Classically elegant dress with conservative three-quarter-length sleeves

Unstructured strapless dress with lace accent

Dress of stretch tulle with embroidery and beadwork

Laurent Boisdron, general manager of Conrad Manila

Veluz Puno Reyes

Call 8339999 or visit to know more about weddings at Conrad Manila. Visit to view wedding packages.

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TAGS: bridal fashion show, Conrad Manila, Veluz Brides, Veluz Puno Reyes
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