This supplier probably gave me the worst scare in my months of wedding preparation. I met Johanna Chan at a wedding fair early on. I decided to meet up with her because I liked the ball gown on her online portfolio. Our first meeting was at her residence in Quezon City since it’s more convenient for me there than at her Makati office. I gave her a photo of a wedding gown that I would like made. She gave me a very good price for it and guarantees that it would look almost the same. She also told me that the ball gown that I saw on her portfolio was an imitation from a photo that a client gave her.  Everything was set; we talked about the payment scheme, haggling for a better price for the gown and other inclusions. Due to the experience that my sister had on her wedding (her designer was a no show) I also told her that I would like to leave a certain amount of the payment on the wedding day to give assurance that she would come and assist me with the gown. She agreed on it and I gave her my down payment to start the process.

This designer is not the typical type, me and my family gave her a lot of patience and understanding with all her short comings during the course of our contract. To start off, on our first meeting, she was wearing her pajamas. We were really taken aback by this, but decided to give her the benefit of a doubt and trusted her with our dresses. The members of the entourage and their mothers have had problems with her attitude; she’s impolite and disrespectful especially with the mothers. When they complain a little that the dresses seem too tight, Johanna would comment with,

maybe you got fat, you should diet”. My mom was the most forgiving of us all, for she received the rudest comments like, “Where is it? I can’t find your chest, it’s too small” (I already informed Johanna beforehand that my mom had breast cancer surgery, but still she made this remark), “The design of the dress that you picked does not suit your body, if you still want this design, find another designer”, “Come here again for another measurement because the first one is not good” (without even apologizing)

And her tactlessness goes on and on. She would often message me or call me to complain about the “attitude” that my entourage is giving her, I would often comfort her and then talk to my family to be friendlier since we have a lot at stake. We even sugar coat our comments so as not to offend her with the dreadful design that she made for my mom. It was also uncomfortable when she makes criticisms about how inferior gay designers are. She still wears her pajamas on most fittings by the way.

Two weeks before my wedding, I received a phone call from her mobile number. I was surprised to learn that I was talking to Johanna’s mother (whom I never met) demanding that we give our full payment for the dresses before picking them up. I was confused because I only talked to Johanna a few days ago that I would be giving her the last payment of p5,000 on the wedding day. The mother threatened to hold the gown until we pay for the whole thing but I insisted that it was not what Johanna and I talked about. She kept nagging that it’s not in the contract and that they guarantee that they would come on the wedding day to give assistance and that I should trust them. I asked her to do the same thing, to trust me that I would pay, but she wouldn’t budge. It went on for an hour, I was already crying my eyes off, scared that I wouldn’t have anything to wear on my wedding. In the end, we gave in to their demands and paid for everything, got the gowns and got away as fast as we can.

This was such a horrible experience, considering that we pay on time, even if we haggle from time to time, our checks are all good. We trusted her with our down payment on our first meeting, a complete stranger, with no referral at all. We trusted her, an unknown designer, with the most important dress of my life and this is the treatment that we got. So unprofessional, tactless, rude and disrespectful. Treating us like swindlers, like we’re going to run away and not pay her, how insulting! We are very capable of paying for those gowns! Another thing is, we asked for the mannequin the day before the wedding to display the gown in our hotel room, she said she will just bring it on the day because she doesn’t want to leave it with us because it was too expensive and we might not return it. Such rudeness! To top it off, we got the 3 bridesmaids dresses in 1 worn out hanger, and my petticoat in a plastic bag and my gown in a crumbly brown box. Not an ounce of prestige at all.

Let all brides be warned, I completely discourage all of you to get Johanna Chan, and her mother, as your designer.  She is a terrible designer and an awful, insensitive person. Don’t be swayed by her discounted gowns, the anxiety, offensive comments and rudeness is not worth it.

P.S. I checked her site recently and found a picture of my wedding gown being worn by someone else! But when i closely looked at it.. its not the same one, turned out that she made another bridal gown very very similar to mine for another bride. It’s so unprofessional to do the same design for another client, and to think that, that design is not even hers, its just an imitation of a gown i found on the internet.