Divisoria: Haven of cheap wedding gowns

Prior to her stroke, my mom had been a rabid shopper. She wasn’t a spend-thrift, mind you. She was smart. She bought our clothes and what-have-you’s in Divisoria at really low prices. I guess that’s why I always think that if you need to get something cheap, you can get it at Divisoria.

Nothing changed when I was searching for the perfect gown. Although some of my high society relatives insisted on it, I didn’t really see the need for having a designer gown. Besides, my budget couldn’t afford it.

Being the artist that I am, you really couldn’t help but want to have your entourage’s gowns be color-coordinated—and the same. My husband-to-be and I at that time didn’t have much to spend with. I was about to accept the fact that my entourage’s gowns will probably just be similarly colored (but not uniformed), until an aunt reminded me of the gowns in Divisoria.

I totally forgot about it. You see, there’s this one-floor building (the Yangco building, to be more specific) beside Ilaya Street in Divisoria that’s so saturated with wedding and debut gowns, you’d think you’ve died and gone to gown heaven. Each booth is lined with the prettiest gowns. And read this: the gowns can go as cheap as P1,000.

The gowns in Divisoria

A very affordable wedding gown from Divisoria

You can get this RTW gown from FNB Boutique (in Pasillo V-II of the Yangco Building), at around P3,000 (not sure though, but I do recall it’s not more than Php5,000). Pretty, isn’t it? How’s that for a $60 wedding gown?

The trick in getting the best deal in Divisoria is knowing how to haggle. I’ve tried to canvass for the best price, but they’re basically the same (not surprising, since these stores probably have a standard price). But if you get lucky (like we did), you’d get a dressmaker willing to lower the price for you. However, in order to do that, you have to “buy in bulk.” Meaning, the entire entourage.

Divisoria gowns and Barongs in action at Gail's wedding

Nice, don’t you think? Even the guys’ Barong Tagalog are aqua blue. It was quite a sight seeing them go marching down the aisle.

For about P35,000 (around $700), I was able to get these custom-made: blue Barongs for my hubby’s bestman and groomsmen, a child’s blue Barong for my ring and coin bearer, gowns for all three of the women secondary sponsors, gowns for my maid-of-honor, bridesmaids, junior bridesmaids and flower girls, as well as the Barong for my dad and the motif gowns for my mom and my mother-in-law. Oh, don’t forget my husband’s Barong Tagalog made of finest piña, and my elaborate cut-work wedding gown with an intricate beadwork. Hard to believe we spent less than a thousand dollars for all these? Well, believe it. That’s Divisoria fashion for you, baby.

Oddly enough, I could have gotten it cheaper. If I opted for the ready-to-wear wedding gown (I’m too scientific to take the pamahiin of getting bad luck if you try on your bridal gown before the wedding day seriously), I probably wouldn’t have spent more than $500 for the entire thing. But I wanted it prettier. And made use of my own designs.

I printed out a photo of my dream gown (which I got from the Net), and have FNB Boutique copy it. Not exactly though, I wanted it to have a Filipiniana touch. I did the same thing for the women in my entourage, but I modified the samples a bit in Photoshop so the printout will look exactly as I pictured them. They’re not designer gowns, but hey, they’re pretty and cheap anyway.

If you want to get in touch with the couturier who made my entourage’s formal wear, you can try FNB Boutique. Look for Nita Blanco (she’s the owner). You can reach her at 309-31-82. You can also talk to one of her assistants, Rona (she’s the one who took care of my account), through mobile 0921-975-42-34. Just tell her you got their info from one of their clients (Gail Dela Cruz-Villanueva), and she might actually give you a better deal.

Posted in Budget weddings, Jewelry & Apparel, Pre-wedding, Styling Guide, Wedding Essentials

57 Comments

Tina :

Hi Gail,

Thanks for the tips. Php35K for the entire entourage?! Wow, that’s awesome. I just know people will say go to Divisoria for gowns but they don’t tell you where. For someone who is not from Manila, I wouldn’t be able to know exactly where.

@Tina: No problem! Yup, P35k. I think it’s kind of a usual thing to assume that when you say Divisoria, it’s already a “given” that you’ll be spending the whole day shopping everywhere there—eventually you’d end up seeing the gowns building. Hehe.

Thank u for the great article for sure it will be of help to all the women who wanted to become a bride and to all men who wished to become a groom too.

It would also be best if you prepare yourself to be relax and be more beautiful.

http://landscapingoneshome.blogspot.com>

Baloy :

Hi there. I was just curious if they have a website. I am in the US and my wedding is planned for next year with limited budget. I think it’s a good idea to order from Divi but then it will be really hard for me to coordinate this. Unless, they have a website where I can browse their gowns and barongs.

vanessa :

Wow, I too wish a cheap dress, I need to dress 35 people in Barongs and Gowns, this is the best place! Thank you for this tip!

@Baloy: I asked, but unfortunately, they don’t have websites 🙁

@vanessa: You’re welcome. I’m sure you can find great gowns at low prices in Divi. Goodluck!

Hi thanks for the info regarding the gown, church and wedding ring. Can i ask something else…? I intend to get married at St. Ignatius too, where is the most ideal and economical site where I can have my wedding reception? I already inquired at the aguinaldo country club but they dont accomodate outside caterers..hope you can help me with this..thanks!

@janet: you can try Acropolis Greens clubhouse. They have a gate right infront of Eastwood City. That’s where we had ours.

jem :

Wow. Thanks for the tips. This is realy helpful while I am searching and canvassing for our budget.

Gail :

@jem: you’re welcome 🙂

kimmy :

hi gail! thanks for the tip. it’s such indeed a big help for us – brides to be. hehe.. m planning to get married next year. i had my groom to be for 11years now. m really looking for a low budgeted weddings like this.

rni :

hi! this is really helpful for people who wants to get married that has a tight budget.how much was your whole expenses for the wedding?just to give us some idea on what budget to set.

steve mcaleney :

want to know where ur shop is and how much do wedding dress start from thx

gaga :

mga gaga pang debut wala!

janet :

Hi Gail! Thanks for the tip. We went to Divisoria today to canvass th cost of gowns for the whole entourage. We got quotations ranging from 18K to 30K for 30 pax. 4 grooms men, 1 maid of honor, 3 secondary sponsor, 2 gowns for moms, 2 set of pants and barong for dads, 3 dress for flower girls, 3 set ofbarong and pants for the ring, coin and bible bearer, pina jusi barong for the groom, duchess ssatin. bridal satin and organza for me.We havent decided yet which one are we going to avail..but for sure we need to decide before October 28. I’ll check the venue you suggested. Thanks a lot!

Gail :

@Janet: no problem! 🙂

alex :

Hi Gail! tnx for the VERY helpful tips here. really?! even barongs could follow the motif color?! wow.. BUT the prob is… how can they (people in entourage) be measured accdg to their sizes? especially women & children? is it a personal visit of couturier ??? thanks

Gail :

@alex: Yup. What we did was hold a “fitting” session in our home with our entourage. Those who couldn’t make it would just have to go to the Divisoria stall themselves. Everyone was able to make it anyway 🙂 But there’s a fee I think (I think it was around P300, depending on how far your house is from their shop).

Aya :

Hello Gail! You’re an angel!! My husband and I are planning to have a church wedding (since we only got married in a local court here in Alaska). And we are actually planning to do it on April of next year since we are going on vacation in our hometown. We honestly dont want to spend too much, that’s why I was really glad when I found your site. Anyway, we are actually living in US and our hometown is in Olongapo city. Do you think I can give Nita or Rona a call to work something out while we are here or we need to be there to start? And also since we’re from Olongapo, do we need to bring our whole entourage in there boutique for the fitting? And how long will it take for them to finish all the gowns and barongs? And lastly =) , that 35k is that for rental or you keep the gown???? Maraming Salamat…

hi gail, thanks for the tip! i was just planning on buying my gown and not the whole entourage because of limited budget. Thanks!

Jennifer :

Hi, I was just searching on the web for barongs for my wedding and came across yours. The wedding party look great and the price was great to. Now, I’m from california, how can I can get a hold of them, are the numbers you left complete to call from the US? If I call, would they be able to speak English? Please let me know. Thanks!

Little Miss Laitera :

YUCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!

Little Miss Laitera :

Im sorry i cant help myself, but Divi gowns are so… ehew. Its not pretty at all, & it all looked cheap!!!! Oh yeah, i forgot. It is cheap. I wont let any of my entourage wear such dresses! YUCK!!!

[…] plastic bunch of these bands. I think these hair rubber bands will cost even cheaper if bought at Divisoria, but I didn’t really have time to go there anymore. A little bunch of rubber bands just […]

[…] plastic bunch of these bands. I think these hair rubber bands will cost even cheaper if bought at Divisoria, but I didn’t really have time to go there anymore. A little bunch of rubber bands just […]

Ryan :

If you wanna the cheapest wedding, also request the highest quality, there is best website to go http://www.kanaccasbridal.com/
There are many discount wedding dresses, if you don’t have time to wait t the dress, the discount dresses is your best choice, they can ship the dress to you in 7 days
And also there are many kind of good quality wedding dress accessories that help you become the point of your wedding party.
If you can’t find your party dream dress now, just go their website and pick your dream prom dress!

mikki :

i love the colors u choose for the wedding & your wedding dress is so cutie i luv it 🙂

aihyene :

to little miss laitera.
ur 2 much…u better shut ur mouth dan 2 make a statement like dis, its doesnt matter f d gown looks cheap, actually asa nagddla lng yan, mamahalin nga ang gown mo ndi mo nmn carry useless db? better 2 wear a cheap wedding dress as long as d bride will look beautiful on it, inside out…

Yen :

hi gail,
how much kaya aabutin kung wedding gown lang bibilin ko? and mejo chubby ko meron ba silang sizes dun. thnx!

uday :

hi gail, ang mura naman ng kuha mo, tingin mo how much kung gown lang ang papagawa ko?

Gail :

@uday and @yen: I’m not sure. Depends siguro if you’re going to have it custom-made. The ones na ready-made na meron within 1k-3k na range.

Yen :

hi gail naka hanap ko sa cluster bldg. sa may divisoria ng gown ko at sa anim na abay plus yung barong at pants ng partner ko. 19,600 ang total lahat. try nio po sa raquel nicolas.

kookx :

hi ms. gail! my budget is almost same as yours but i’m still trying to cut down expenses because we wanna splurge really on the honeymoon trip… would it be alright kaya if i let my entourage pay for their dresses because i paid mine last year for only 850php and it was fine for me… and do you know a place in divi where we can just rent their gowns? it’s gonna be only use once so might as well rent it…. thanks…. 😉

Gail :

Thank you for the info, Yen 🙂

@kookx: Yah, I think it’s ok. If they’re your relatives and friends naman I think they’ll understand… Unless prima donna talaga. Some kasi think it’s a huge utang na loob to be part of your entourage. Had one like that in mine. All of my other secondary sponsors helped pay for their gowns, yung isa lang talaga ayaw. Pinagbigyan nalang namin, but syempre, it’s something that’s not easy to forget 😛

broken :

hi..
meron dn poh bang debut gowns don? mgkano po kaya?

ms.chinita :

hi gail! i and my future hubby already went to divi to check on the bridal gowns and for the entourage also. there was a stall there (actually it looks like they have a few, not a single one) which offered a package for the whole entourage,they said it will cost us PHP37k.they also said that i can provide them with my own design or i can just choose from their rtw. we are planning to have our wedding june next year. do you think i can still haggle down for the price? i was actually eyeing an Edward Teng design i saw in the net but im not sure if the divi botique can actually copy it. i’m kinda afraid to try and then regret the result, but im also budget-conscious.
hope you’ll find time to reply.what site should i visit to see more of your wedding pix, so atleast i can look at the design that they were able to make for you?thanx for your help.

jane :

the website $69 to$99 manufacture in china i want to know if the prices are true? include tax and shipment. how much would you spend? im just curious. baka maout of budget. mahirap na!

mary an :

hi there! your story really inspires me.
because i really wanted to get married but
i’m also on the very tight budget & also i don’t want to splurge too much since its also crisis
ang i don’t want to have plenty utangs also.

beckybeckbeck :

hi.. this site is very interesting.. my fiance and i have already been thinking about really holding a church wedding and i dont want us to spend too much on it, because we would rather save the money for the rainy days, however, i would also like to give in to what my future mom in law wants, since i love her too…

reading ur article gives soooo much in depth info about planning a wedding on a budget… i wished i could use divi as major source, but i maynot be around here and might end up having a wedding planner..and just be here physically for the wedding… ill see and think whatever is the best option, but this is a good tip..

god bless

beth :

thank you for this wonderful article or should i say idea.. it has been a great help for those people who wanted to have a dream wedding but at the same time simple and inexpensive.

jeff :

i can’t express the happiness i have now 😀 ^_^,whole entourage for only 35K, what a great offer and deal,our coming wedding will be on sept,so maybe we could deal with it the few days upon my arrival from abroad(working here at KSA,tight budget FYI,hehe) salamat ng marami gail…for all these…

Hi Gail! I found your story very interesting. Actually I’m planning to have most of the raw materials purchased in Divisoria … and also have my wedding gown made there. The church wedding will still be in April next year, however at the moment I can’t decide on getting a specific tailor since my bridesmaids and groomsmen will be coming from abroad and i have yet to get their measurements. It’s super cool to tell people that my gown will be tailored in Divi 🙂
Your blog really enlightened me. Thanks!

Roielyn :

Hej Gail,

Hej fra Danmark!

I read your blog about the Divi, and Im impressed.
Used to buyy my clothes there when I reside in Manila for 11 years ago.

I had the infos you shared and might use your source as my future mananahi. So grateful!
Thanks so much.
Don´t get sad about one bad comment, probably just jealous of your smartness in all.

Thine :

Hi Gail,
I came across your article while searching for cheap and affordable wedding gowns “made-n-DV”, hehehe…I loved the acqua barong for men.
I am planning of having our second wedding in Iloilo City, January 2010. I got married in Dubai and still wanted to have my dream wedding in my hometown together with my whole family.
My hubby is Muslim and we prefer to have a garden or by the pool wedding ceremony followed by a simple dinner; however the design of the gown that I dreamed of wearing has a long train, do you think it will fit for a garden or poolside venue? I am aware that long-trained wedding gowns are ideal for church wedding, do you agree?
Please if you have any suggestions re: wedding gowns and venue, I will be grateful. I am 5’8″ round-face and medium built.
Looking forward to your positive response.

Thank you.

Thine

mabel mendoza :

hi gail thanks for posting, but im wondering if this store till exist and if it is can i ask you a big favor ,tell me how to get there…..im from lucena city, or do you have their exact address?thanks a lot………..bel

Hazelle :

…Is there elegant filipiniana in Divisoria? I really like to know I really need it…

lia :

can u gve d exact addres nd sketch of fnb boutique.thank u

i’m the proprietress of this shop u can check and leave pm in my multiply.., jackandjengboutique.multiply.com
thank you gail for this..,

grum2b :

san ba ako pwede makhanap ng murang gown 2-3k lang ang kaya ko…gusto ko mabigyan ng magandang gown ang wife to be ko??
since talagang konti lang ang naipon namin pra sa kasal.pls help..

Merry :

I love that train on your dress! Do you know if there’s a way to get it if you’re getting married in the US? I would love if you had a link on http://www.gatheringguide.com/ec/bridal_shops_dresses.html, thank you so much!! You look beautiful.

Nicole :

my sisters wedding spend 15K for the whole entourage it was awesome and it looked elegant still just pick the style that best suit u…

i can never forget everyone commented that they thought the gowns are expensive

hazeljane :

hi! do u know any suppliers of wedding gowns in divisoria? If you have their contact numbers or email id. Please let me know. Thanks!

sahlee :

Hi! If you’re looking for a wedding gown supplier or any kind of gowns..you may contact me at 09236765407. We can give you a very reasonable package. Thanks.

nicole1627 :

Hi gail! I’m planning my wedding which is by jan 2011. My theme for the wedding is inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Do you have any recommendations for suppliers bec Im working on a really really tight budget tnx so much

weng :

@ Nicole:
where did your sister got her whole entourage @ 15k? planning a wedding here on january 2011 and on tyt budget, much better if we could pm.thanx!

I was once a visitor of this website before our wedding last December 2007 and the tips especially in buying a budget wedding attire for the entourage really gives a big help. We bought our wedding attire at FSR boutique in Divisoria also with the price of Php 20, 000. Now I am already a mommy and I still remember how fascinating the memories of the wedding so I have created an article about budget wedding. Kindly visit my website http://www.esupermommy.com … There is my wedding checklist that can be a guide.

aileen conde :

@Weng:
hi!maybe this will help you, i can refer you to one of my client in Divisoria: Wonderful Gowns & Barongs Fashion Center located at S71 Pasilio C,Asuncion Bldg., along CM Recto Ave, Tondo Manila (Divisoria). Pls look for Ms. Elizabeth Isip, (owner), she also makes designs according to your preference. you can call her at 583-4074 (just tell her you were refered by Ms. Aileen Conde)