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    EXCLUSIVE: Metro.Style Followed Coleen Garcia To Hong Kong For Her Final Bridal Gown Fitting

    Another day, another wedding! But this is not just any wedding—it’s one of the year’s most-awaited weddings, the one where Billy Crawford and Coleen Garcia finally become one. We’re on the edge of our seats waiting for all the precious details to be seen at their wedding, but one crucial detail we’re sure you’re all waiting for is the bride’s chosen wedding gown! 

    Luckily, you get a first-hand account of what went down at her final fitting at Trinity Bridal Boutique in Hong Kong, as Metro Weddings Magazine followed Coleen to get insider info on the process of picking her wedding gown! Check out how she chose the most important dress she will ever wear in her life, with exclusive behind-the-scenes photos of the final fitting by none other than her wedding photographer, the Metrophoto man himself, Oly Ruiz!

     

    READ: Billy Crawford and Coleen Garcia’s Pre-Wedding Shoot In Ethiopia: The Controversy, The Couple’s Responses, And The Real Story Behind The Photos

     

     

    Metro Weddings: Can you tell us about the process of picking this dress? How did you arrive at this one?

    Coleen: Before anything, or thinking of a design, since I really had nothing in mind, I first thought of which designers I could choose from. You know how everything’s accessible now through the internet, the same way that I searched for all my suppliers, my wedding planner, my stylist; I really searched, I did my homework, I looked at reviews, I looked at portfolios. For this entire wedding, I tried to focus less on names, less on fame or recognition, more on the portfolio or body of work. That’s how I came to choose my wedding planner, florist, and everyone involved in this wedding.

     


    Coleen with her hairstylist Renz Pangilinan and and fashion stylist Adrianne Concepcion at the Trinity Bridal boutique in Central, Hong Kong
    Photo: Oly Ruiz of Metrophoto

     

    For the gown, it was very similar, except that it was a decision I really had to make on my own. I was really thinking, there are so many brides with so many different personalities, so I just wanted the gown to be me, I wanted it to be very me. Looking at all the designers I was recommended, the gowns were really nice but they really weren’t me, and I didn’t want anything that I would be uncomfortable in. I didn’t want anything that would be pretentious for myself. I just wanted to keep it simple but with a little twist, a little something special going on.

     


    A sneak peek at the custom-made gown
    Photo: Oly Ruiz of Metrophoto

     

    What I like about this dress is, it has that factor of being simple, but the twist probably would be that it’s sparkly, and the incredible beadwork on top of the lace is just so intricate, it’s what I wanted from the start. When I was looking for something like this, I found designer Galia Lahav, an Israel-based bridal fashion designer. Her name kept popping up on my ads online, so I was like “Maybe God’s telling me to check this out”, and so I did. Her designs were so nice, they were very modern, very glamorous, but I felt like there was a way to make it a bit simpler.

     


    Photos: Oly Ruiz of Metrophoto

     

    It’s great because I actually got to meet Galia herself, and I got to meet her in New York. Actually, it was the launch of her new collection in New York, so I attended her fashion show and it was nice because it was my first time to attend a bridal fashion show in New York. It was really an experience on its own. I went to their headquarters a day before the show, and got to see them measuring the models and the rehearsals with the gowns on—it was such a magical experience for me! I was with my friends at that time, so I had people to share it with. This was last October.

     


    Photo: Oly Ruiz of Metrophoto

     

    They sent me to one of the big bridal stores in New York, I tried on all the different types of gowns I shortlisted from the styles that I liked from her collections, and I got to try each of them on to get a personal feel if it was for me or not, because it’s different when you just see it in pictures, you really have to fit it, it has to be for your body type. For me, no matter how skinny I get, my body type is still my body type, and I have to complement my body type. So I tried different pieces on, and we went on to discussing how I wanted the fit and the fabric, because this is a custom creation. We went through a few designs, probably 3 or 4, before we got to this one.

     


    Photo: Oly Ruiz of Metrophoto

     

    The first one was too serpentina­, something I would wear to Star Magic Ball. The reason why I love this dress so much is because it’s a dress I haven’t worn anywhere else: The style, and the simplicity of the cut. Normally, when I dress up in gowns, it’s always in the context of showbiz. This is the first gown, for the longest time in my life, that I’m wearing it just for me, because it’s a personal event. It’s always dress to impress, to keep up with the trends, but the person I am in real life is really not that type of person as I like to keep it simple, I like to be comfortable more than anything.

     


    Photo: Oly Ruiz of Metrophoto

    I love how the dress fits perfectly. we had it altered here in Hong Kong, because they say that the seamstress here is the best. The first fitting was just a few days ago, (Ed’s note: The final fitting happened on March 16) and this is the second and final one. At first actually, some of the samples of the lace were floral, but what I like about Galia is, she really has nice geometric lace. This is something they haven’t used before, and I think it’s absolutely perfect because it gives off a boho vibe.

     


    Geometric lace and beading by Galia Lahav
    Photo: Oly Ruiz of Metrophoto

     


    Impeccable beading by Galia Lahav
    Photo: Oly Ruiz of Metrophoto

     

    We’re pairing it with a headpiece we tried earlier—it’s metal but it looks like a flower crown, so it’s kind of going for that vibe without actually putting flowers on my head or underdressing. The gown is glamourized and going for that vibe, because we are getting married on the beach, so I have to be able to move. I just realized now that it’s actually perfect that the gown is so heavy, because it is very windy in Balesin.

     


    Coleen tried on a metal flower crown headpiece in lieu of real flowers to capture that Bohemian vibe
    Photo: Oly Ruiz of Metrophoto

     


    Photo: Oly Ruiz of Metrophoto


    Photos: Oly Ruiz of Metrophoto

     

    MW: What kind of bride are you?  

    C: The thing is, I’ve been so chill with this whole wedding, and I never thought it was going to be like this because I’m so meticulous, and I stress over the smallest details. I like to plan stuff for other people, I like to make plans for myself. But here, I’m just really relaxed because I’m trying to avoid stress as much as possible. So, the way I thought about it was, I’ll just let the people who know us well help us execute it. Besides, we’re both so busy—we’ve just been attending meetings to say yes or no, and we’ve been giving our feedback and our honest opinions and our preferences, and for certain things we really added our personal touch. But really for execution, it has been our wedding planner, my fashion stylist, my mom, and my maid of honor. And they’ve been so great at it.

     


    Photo: Oly Ruiz of Metrophoto

     

    It’s good because I’ve never really considered it before, but to entrust your wedding to people who know you and love you, and who want to see the event succeed, and make you feel your best on that day has been a great idea. It’s really a labor of love for them, and at the end of the day, the wedding won’t just highlight our love but the love of the people in our lives. Like even our pre-wedding shoot in Ethiopia, our glam team did everything for the love. They were so invested. And my fashion stylist Adrianne (Concepcion) especially, because styling is so hard, you have to be prepared even before you go there, so she really poured out her heart in that. For them, it’s not a job, it was a gift from them to us. This is kind of what this wedding feels like!

     

     


    Photo: Oly Ruiz of Metrophoto

     

    With that, congratulations and best wishes to the newlyweds, Mr. and Mrs. Billy Crawford from your Metro.Style and Metro Weddings family! #ColeenGottheBill