54 brides share how they knew their wedding dress was the one

54 brides share how they knew their wedding dress was the one
  • As part of Insider's wedding series, "The One," brides shared how they found their wedding outfits.

  • They told Insider about their budgets, almost-buys, and why they fell in love with their ensembles.

  • The brides proved that gowns, suits, and two-pieces can all be beautiful wedding looks.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Hattie O'Hara tried on 12 dresses before falling in love with this colorful gown.

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Hattie O'Hara's dress had a yellow skirt.Katie Jewell Co.

O'Hara knew she wanted a nontraditional wedding dress, imagining that she would wear a dress with a unique structure or fun cutout.

She didn't imagine herself in something colorful until she tried on this bright-yellow skirt, paired with a simple, shiny top.

"The color was perfect," O'Hara said. "There was just enough texture to the skirt, and it felt bridal but definitely not too sweet."

"I will look back on this dress as a highlight of my wedding forever," O'Hara said of the gown.

You can read more about O'Hara's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Mariel Swan told Insider this princess-style ball gown was her "dream dress."

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Swan had feathers added to her gown's skirt.Trinity Photography

Swan had seen the Morilee couture gown online before she went shopping, and it was exactly what she had been imagining herself in on her wedding day.

The gown's full skirt, intricate detailing, and stunning sleeves were everything Swan had been hoping for.

"It was exactly what I wanted," she said. "Everything about it was just perfect for me."

Swan added feathers to the skirt to make the dress unique, which made it slightly more expensive than it would have been otherwise. She also paired the dress with a crown to elevate the look even further.

You can read more about Swan's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Sabina Leybold wanted a dress that could blend two cultures together.

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Leybold's gown was the perfect mix for her blended wedding.Swiger Photography

Leybold hoped her wedding dress would fit well with her husband's Indian culture. She also wanted something comfortable, and she imagined herself in something more casual.

After trying on dresses she ordered online, Leybold went to a store and fell in love with this fitted Willowby By Watters gown.

The gown's delicate detailing "felt like it could toe the line" between Leybold and her fiancé's cultures, as she told Insider, and the cutout on the back was a fun addition.

Leybold removed the train, as she felt it would be too big for the small wedding she planned to have.

You can read more about Leybold's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Sarah and Victoria Shine found dresses that felt like them for their wedding day.

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Both brides found dresses that suited them.A Sweet Focus

Sarah, on the left, told Insider that this Paloma Blanca dress ticked nearly all of her boxes. The dress had a silk skirt with a high slit, a delicate lace bodice with spaghetti straps, and a plunging neckline.

"This is exactly what I was looking for," she said of the gown.

Victoria, on the other hand, surprised herself by falling in love with a strapless gown.

Her Mikaella gown by Paloma Blanca, which featured head-to-toe lace and a sweetheart neckline, had a removable skirt that allowed Victoria to have two looks on her wedding day.

Their dresses also complemented each other perfectly because they bought them at Kleinfeld Bridal in New York, and they used the same consultant who ensured their dresses would go together.

You can read more about the Shines' journeys to find their wedding dresses here.


Kiaya Demonbreun fell in love with her dress from a photo before trying it on in real life.

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The keyhole back was a fun addition.Sacia Matthews Photography

Demonbreun had loved Pronovias dresses for years, and she had seen this fitted gown with a lace bodice online months before she went shopping.

She even showed it to her now-husband in a photo, and he loved it. When she finally tried on the gown in person, Demonbreun knew it was the dress for her.

"It was just perfect," she said. "It was elegant."

She felt like it mixed her traditional roots with her chic sensibilities.

"It was just the best dress that I could wear that would be me in a wedding dress," Demonbreun told Insider.

You can read more about Demonbreun's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Carla Nasui had a removable, full skirt added to her sparkly gown.

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The skirt was removable.Ingrid Lepan

Nasui had seen this sparkly Pnina Tornai gown in a magazine ahead of actually going shopping, and she was drawn to the unique fabric and low back. But she initially disliked the dress when she tried it on in person, as the detachable skirt was only a half skirt.

Luckily, Nasui's godmother suggested she spin the skirt to see what it would look like as a full ball gown, and the bride was instantly in love.

Nasui decided to get a custom-made overskirt for the dress, which would give her two looks for her wedding day.

The custom look was perfect for her destination wedding, giving her a dress that was both classic and modern.

Plus, the fact that the skirt was removable ensured she wouldn't be uncomfortable throughout her wedding day. "My skirt was actually 16 pounds, which was really hard to walk in," Nasui told Insider. "But that's why I was thankful it was removable."

You can read more about Nasui's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Beatriz Iglesias was able to create her perfect wedding dress using separates.

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The blue skirt was her favorite.Rustic White Photography

Iglesias had loved Chantel Lauren's Mae dress for years, but she knew she wanted something slightly more traditional for the ceremony portion of her wedding day.

When she found Lee Ann Belter's collection of separates, she knew she could have two looks that would fit her vision.

She paired a simple white skirt and a lace top together for the ceremony, and she switched into the blue skirt for the reception.

"I felt like it was really me," Iglesias told Insider of the colorful skirt.

You can read more about Iglesias' journey to find her wedding dress here.

Helena Howard fell in love with a lace dress with a transparent bodice and tulle skirt.

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The bodice is transparent.Ayeh Khalatbari and Mischa Durrant

The sleeves sat off the shoulders on the Milla Nova Elle dress. Howard had the dress custom-altered so it was backless, and the bodice sparkled thanks to small glass beads sewn into the lace.

"The lace detailing on top was what sold me on the dress," Howard told Insider. "It's Italian lace with what they call 3D glass beading for the flowers."

Her husband is Italian, so the design of the dress was even more meaningful to her.

The dress made her feel beautiful, and she was comfortable in it, which she advises brides to prioritize as they look for a wedding dress.

Howard said the dress made her feel "like a princess."

You can read more about Howard's journey here.

Janal Montagna could picture herself in this ball gown thanks to its royal look.

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It was everything she wanted.Fabijan Drnas and Katija Živkovic

Montagna was having a destination wedding in Croatia, and she wanted her gown to make a statement.

The Ysa Makino dress stood out from the other gowns she tried on because of the sleeves and the color. The gold detailing made it look ornate, while the mesh on the sleeves ensured the dress was comfortable.

"It was so different and contemporary, but so classic all at the same time," she said of the dress.

"It was everything I didn't even know I wanted and needed in the most important dress I would wear," Montagna told Insider.

Montagna also had more crinoline added into the skirt to give it a fuller look, which made the dress weigh 35 pounds.

"It was magical," she said of wearing the dress.

You can read more about Montagna's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Sandra Kim opted for a modern wedding dress.

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Kim felt like herself in the dress.Lucy Douglas "LUCIE Weddings | @lucieweddings"

She had been hoping to find a dress that was off-the-shoulder and long-sleeved, and this unique Danielle Frankel gown fit the bill.

But it was really the unique, Baroque pearl buttons lining the center of the dress that showed Kim it was the one.

"I'm a really big pearl person," Kim told Insider. "All of my jewelry and accessories have gold and pearl. And when I saw this dress with a line of pearls going down the middle, I was immediately in awe."

She had the train lengthened to give the gown a more dramatic look, and she kept her jewelry minimal to let the dress speak for itself.

You can read more about Kim's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Aly Schneidman decided to look pretty in pink on her wedding day.

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The dress made her feel beautiful.The Edges

Schneidman had been planning on wearing something modern with clean lines to her wedding, but her vision for her dress totally changed when she found this Monique Lhuillier gown.

The ruched skirt, asymmetrical train, low back, and soft-pink color were dynamic and one-of-a-kind.

"I went for pink and poofy, but I'm not super girly and I'm not into poofy dresses normally," Schneidman said. "But my dad kept saying 7-year-old-me would have been so proud of this dress."

The gown surprised her, but it ended up being everything she wanted in a wedding dress.

"I just really felt like the best version of me instead of a magazine bride," she said. "It was super comfortable and lightweight."

You can read more about Schneidman's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Sanjana Rishi bucked tradition by wearing a suit to her Indian wedding.

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Sanjana Rishi wore a suit.Sanjana Rishi

As a result of the pandemic, Rishi and her husband decided to throw a ceremony together in just two weeks.

She had always wanted to wear a suit to her reception, but the change of plans led her to show off a pant look at her ceremony.

"I love suits on women," Rishi said. "There's something powerful about them."

A vintage, pre-owned Gianfranco Ferre suit was the perfect wedding look for her. Rishi paired it with a friend's bustier and borrowed jewelry, as well as a more traditional headpiece to nod to her culture.

By shopping vintage and borrowing accessories, she was eco-conscious with her wedding day look as well.

You can read more about Rishi's journey to find her wedding outfit here.

Molly Burchett and Blake Ballard also found bridal looks under a time crunch.

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They planned their wedding in just 10 days.Liz Osban Photography

The longtime couple decided to elope, and they had just 10 days to throw the event together.

They decided they wanted to wear wedding dresses to the event despite the short timeframe.

Ballard picked a long-sleeved, lace gown with a transparent back at David's Bridal. Burchett, on the other hand, ordered her high-neck dress from Anthropologie that featured a keyhole cutout.

"I felt really confident in it because even though I ordered it really quickly, it's still very much exactly what I wanted," Burchett said of her gown.

They both wore heels to the ceremony, but they switched into boots to be more comfortable later in the celebrations. They found gowns that reflected who they were as people.

You can read more about Burchett and Ballard's journey to find their wedding dresses here.

Alyssa Higgins found a dress that was comfortable to wear in her wheelchair.

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She bought the first dress she tried on.The Ramsdens

Higgins' spine was broken during her birth, so she's used a wheelchair her entire life.

When she was shopping for her wedding dress, she needed to find a dress that would be comfortable to wear while sitting and would accommodate the trach tube that connects her to her ventilator.

Higgins fell in love with the first dress she tried on: a form-fitting Martina Liana. The dress was covered in delicate lace, and it dipped low in the bodice, accentuating Higgins' cleavage without calling too much attention to her trach tube.

She was also able to use leftover fabric from the dress to cover her ventilator.

First and foremost, Higgins felt like a beautiful bride in her dress. But the dress was also good for her physically.

"It kept me warm, to be honest," she said of her gown, which was made from a heavy material. "I'm very cold with my spinal cord injury all the time, so it was actually really nice to have something thick."

You can read more about Higgins' journey to find her wedding dress here.

A removable skirt won Alexa Persico over.

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She felt like herself in the gown.Felix Feygin/Fred Marcus Studio

Persico was hoping to find a dress that offered two looks for her wedding day, and a 2018 Love by Pnina Tornai dress with a detachable skirt was a perfect fit.

The dress is covered in head-to-toe sparkles, and the neckline dips low and has a transparent layer of fabric to keep the straps together.

Persico told Insider she knew it was the one for her as soon as she saw it.

Persico shined in the gown, and a coordinating Pnina Tornai veil added to the look.

"I felt like a princess, but I also felt like myself," Persico told Insider of how the dress made her feel.

You can read more about Persico's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Lizzie Boudreau favored a pant look for her wedding.

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Boudreau loved the outfit.Morgan Hydinger

Boudreau told Insider she hoped her wedding look would feel like a modern iteration of an ensemble Grace Kelly would wear.

She tried on a few wedding gowns, but none of them felt like her.

When she stumbled upon a matching Gabriela Hearst set made up of an off-the-shoulder top and coordinating pants, Boudreau fell in love. The pants had a built-in train that gave the modern look a bridal edge.

She bought the set without even trying it on.

"I felt great," Boudreau told Insider. "I was thrilled at how everything looked. I was super comfortable."

"It's totally just the aesthetic and the energy that I wanted to portray on my wedding day," she added.

You can read more about Boudreau's journey to find her wedding outfit here.

Georgianna Hagl had her heart set on wearing a gown with a bow on it.

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She wore the bow in multiple places.Alice Shoots People

Hagl married her high-school sweetheart, who had a crush on her since she wore bows in her hair during their youth. Wearing a wedding dress with a bow on it felt like the perfect way to nod to their shared history.

Hagl decided a Sareh Nouri gown with a removable bow was perfect for her wedding day.

The V neckline and trumpet skirt were sleek and simple, while the bow, which could be worn in multiple places on the gown, gave Hagl flexibility with her look.

"It was perfect," Hagl told Insider of her gown, which offered multiple looks for her wedding day.

She wore the bow on her shoulder during the ceremony, and she moved it to her hip to make dancing easier during the reception.

"I had never thought about putting it on my shoulder, but once it was, it was everything I wanted," she said.

You can read more about Hagl's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Samantha Viola created a one-of-a-kind wedding dress by combining two gowns.

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She felt beautiful in both dresses.Robert Carlo

Viola wanted a sexy, beachy look for her rooftop wedding in New York, but she also wanted to make a statement when she walked into her ceremony.

Combining two Pnina Tornai gowns was the perfect solution for Viola. A lace, sheer dress that was form-fitting was the base of her outfit.

To add some drama to the outfit, Viola wore a full, tulle skirt over the gown for her ceremony.

The big skirt made her feel like a "princess," she said, while the sheer gown was exactly what she dreamed of when she pictured her wedding dress.

"I felt beautiful," Viola said of how she felt in her dress. "I felt like it flattered my body type. It felt very bridal, but also not like the classic bride that everybody looks like."

"It was my dream dress," she added.

You can read more about Viola's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Katya May selected a short, chic dress for her intimate wedding.

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She wore black shoes.Chloe May

May knew she wanted a nontraditional look, and the short gown fit the vibe she was going for.

She was drawn to the long sleeves and high neckline on this Harriette Gordon dress. It also had button detailing on the cuffs and a ruffled hemline.

"It was fun, different, and not ridiculously expensive," May told Insider of why she chose the gown.

She paired the short dress with a long veil, which made the outfit even more striking, as did black shoes.

"I couldn't have been happier with the overall look," May said. "I loved my dress with the veil together."

You can read more about May's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Karen Lima wore a sheer, sparkly gown at her wedding ceremony.

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Lima wore a sheer dress to her ceremony.Juliana Kneipp

Lima didn't try on any wedding dresses when she was engaged. Instead, she saw this gold Kyha Studios dress on Pinterest, and she ordered it as soon as she was able to track down the designer.

"The moment I saw it, I was like, 'Oh my gosh, I want to get married in this dress,'" Lima told Insider.

The sparkly dress had a low neckline, and it was completely see-through and backless. Lima wore a nude slip underneath the dress.

"The moment I saw it was just magical," Lima told Insider of seeing herself in the dress on her wedding day.

You can read more about Lima's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Ally McGown wore two custom Pnina Tornai dresses to her wedding.

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Ally McGown wore two dresses.In Focus Pro Photography, Inc.

McGown is the boutique manager for Pnina Tornai at Kleinfeld in New York City.

When it was time for McGown to get married, Tornai designed two custom dresses for her.

The off-the-shoulder ceremony gown had a cat-eye neckline, a tight bodice, and a full, lace skirt. A tulle, cross strap in the back completed the look, and the sleeves could be removed.

The satin, mermaid-style gown that served as her reception dress was covered in crystal embellishments and had a keyhole back. The low neckline and open back gave the dress a sexy feel.

The outfit change was a surprise to her husband, which made the dress even more special to McGown.

You can read more about McGown's journey to find her wedding dresses here.

Madison Taylor found a wedding dress that looked just like a gown she sketched before shopping.

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The dress was covered in flowers.J. Brynnae Photography

Before she even started trying on dresses, Taylor, who works in fashion, drew her ideal wedding gown, which had a full skirt and was covered in flowers.

Taylor ended up buying a Kleinfeld-exclusive Pnina Tornai dress at a sample sale that looked almost exactly like her sketch.

The A-line dress had a corset bodice, a long train, and delicate floral details. The off-the-shoulder sleeves were made of flowers too.

Taylor said she was "elated" that she found something that fit her vision so well.

"It was perfect," Taylor told Insider of the gown.

You can read more about Taylor's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Bijon Vaughn chose the same dress Beyoncé wore to her vow renewal for her wedding.

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She felt beautiful in the dress.Gareth Davies Photography

Vaughn chose a form-fitting Galia Lahav gown after recognizing it from photos of Beyoncé.

The dress had sheer cutouts on the thighs, as well as a see-through back panel.

Detailed embroidery covered the bodice, and Vaughn had romantic, sheer sleeves added to the gown for her ceremony. She removed the sleeves for more flexibility at her reception.

"I love the fact that it was a little sexy with the illusion," Vaughn told Insider.

The gown, which gave her two looks in one, was the perfect combination of sexy and elegant, as Vaughn told Insider.

"I felt beautiful," she said. "I felt like a woman. I felt classy. I felt timeless, but I still felt young and vibrant."

You can read more about Vaughn's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Alex and Paige Throckmorton both wore outfits with floral details.

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The outfits worked together.Feather and Twine Photography

As Alex and Paige planned their Parisian-themed wedding, Alex wanted two things out of her dress: a nontraditional look and a floral element.

A nude Watters dress covered in flowers was exactly what Alex was looking for. The full trumpet skirt contrasted with a daring cutout on the bodice.

And instead of a dress, Paige decided to get Bykowski Tailor and Garb to make her a custom tuxedo for the wedding.

Paige had always wanted a custom suit, and she had been admiring the brand's work for some time before the wedding. It was the perfect occasion to make her dream a reality.

The Throckmortons didn't show each other their outfits ahead of the wedding, so they were happily surprised their outfits worked so well together.

You can read more about the Throckmortons' journey to find their wedding outfits here.

Devon Stewart Bacher opted for a chic jumpsuit for her minimony.

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Devon Bacher wore a jumpsuit.Sasithon Photography

Bacher was originally supposed to have a big wedding in August of 2020, but she and her husband had to postpone the celebration.

They still decided to get married on their original wedding date, tying the knot with just their immediate families in attendance on the Brooklyn Bridge.

The gown Bacher selected for her big wedding wouldn't work for the smaller ceremony, so she decided to wear a white Jonathan Simkhai jumpsuit from Intermix instead. She originally planned to wear the jumpsuit to her rehearsal dinner.

The jumpsuit had a scoop neck, a chunky belt, and wide legs with cutouts that gave it a modern touch. It scooped low in the back.

Bacher told Insider she felt like the ensemble balanced retro and modern aesthetics.

You can read more about Bachers' journey to find her wedding outfit here.

Casey Buckley's wedding gown had mosaic detailing.

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Casey Buckley wore a colorful dress.Jose Villa

Buckley originally bought a more traditional Carolina Herrera wedding dress, but when she had the opportunity to try on a more avant-garde dress from the designer, she knew the second dress was for her.

The strapless, A-line dress had an architectural bodice that featured crisscross paneling that Buckley said was as comfortable as it was beautiful.

But she truly fell in love with the tulle skirt, which was layered with a foam-like mosaic fabric. Spray-paint covered pieces of the foam, creating a flower on the front and back of the dress.

Buckley said she felt "amazing" in the gown, adding, "It was definitely my favorite part of my wedding."

You can read more about Buckley's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Hannah Barr's dress had a statement bow.

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Hannah Barr's dress had a custom bow.Katie Jean Photos

Barr chose a Markarian gown for her intimate wedding, which just had 10 guests.

The gown had a scooped neckline and column-style, midi-length skirt.

The dress dipped low in the back, and Barr had an oversized, removable bow added to the back, serving as her train.

A custom headband completed the look.

You can read more about Barr's journey to find her wedding dress here.

The back of Emily Everett-Nelson's gown was adorned with jewels.

A front and back shot of Emily Everett Nelson's wedding dress
Emily Everett-Nelson wore Galia Lahav to her wedding.Jordan Voth

Everett-Nelson told Insider she knew she wanted a Galia Lahav gown, though she originally pictured herself in an Old Hollywood-style dress from the brand.

But she fell in love with the Rayne gown, which had a sweetheart neckline and was covered in sheer lace.

It had crystal straps, and they flowed into crystal strands hanging in layers atop a keyhole back.

The contrast of the modern silhouette and the vintage crystals created the perfect balance for Everett-Nelson.

You can read more about Everett-Nelson's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Vishnell Consiglio's gown had sheer detailing and a corset bodice.

A side by side of Vishnell on her wedding day
Vishnell Consiglio wore Berta to her wedding.Rafal Ostrowski

Consiglio planned to wear a form-fitting, sparkly dress to her wedding.

When she found this dress from Berta, she knew it was perfect thanks to its exposed-corset bodice, sweetheart neckline, sheer back, and floral appliqué.

"It had all the little things that I was looking for," Consiglio told Insider of the gown. "A little sexy, little classy, still not too much. It had the sparkle."

Consiglio also had short sleeves added to the gown, making it truly one of a kind.

You can read more about Consiglio's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Adrienne Michelle and Brittany Glover's wedding outfits complemented each other.

A side-by-side of two brides looking at each other.
Adrienne Michelle and Brittany Glover wore sheer, lace looks to their wedding.Ellie McKinney

Glover and Michelle had different thoughts on what they wanted their wedding outfits to look like, but their looks ended up coordinating perfectly.

Michelle found the long-sleeve, semi-sheer Leanne Marshall top that served as the base of Glover's look. She paired the bridal top with white Claire La Faye pants and white loafers.

Michelle's strapless Pronovias gown also had see-through, lace detailing on the bodice, perfectly complementing Glover's top. It flowed into a mermaid skirt, just as Michelle had pictured for herself.

"We definitely didn't plan to both be in lace," Michelle said. "It just worked out that way."

You can read more about Glover and Michelle's journey to find their wedding outfits here.

Loren Hall added a sheer sleeve to her one-shoulder gown.

A side-by-side of a bride and groom walking in their wedding attire from front and back.
Loren Hall wore Ella Moda to her wedding.Ivy Road Photography

Hall told Insider she imagined herself in a sparkly dress, so she was surprised when she fell in love with a form-fitting lace gown.

An intricate floral pattern covered the dress, and the skirt had a subtle slit in the front, giving it a modern dress.

The gown was made with one shoulder strap, and Hall decided to add a full sleeve with her husband in mind.

"My husband said he would love me in a long-sleeve, tight dress," Hall said. "As marriage is all about compromises, I added one sleeve."

You can read more about Hall's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Both Kia and Annie Watson's wedding dresses had sheer detailing.

A side-by-side of two brides holding hands and them hugging and looking at each other.
The dresses were different but looked right together.Margan Photography

Kia knew she wanted to wear a black wedding dress, while Annie was more open-minded about her bridal look.

They worked with the same bridal consultant, who ensured they found dresses that fit both of their visions and still looked good together.

Annie ended up choosing the Roxanne dress, which had spaghetti straps, an A-line silhouette, and an intricate, swirling pattern embroidered onto the gown from head to toe.

Kia also found the black dress of her dreams from Maggie Sottero. The long-sleeve gown had a sheer bodice with black floral detailing, and it flowed into a full skirt with a sheer black overlay and a full train.

"We both had the same experience when knowing that these were the dresses for us," the brides told Insider. "Both dresses felt natural, suited our body shape and complexion, and, of course, had family members in tears."

You can read more about Watsons' journey to find their wedding dresses here.

TikToker Arielle Fodor wore an A-line gown and a red lehenga on her wedding day.

A side-by-side of a bride and groom standing in Western wedding attire in front of a blue wall and a bride in a red lehenga in front of greenery.
Arielle Fodor wore two outfits.Nicole Nordstrom Film and Photo

Fodor, known as Mrs. Frazzled on TikTok, had both an Indian and Western wedding ceremony, so she had outfits for each.

For her lehenga, Fodor stuck to tradition, selecting a red ensemble from Frontier Heritage. The red fabric was embroidered with gold detailing, which she said made her feel "like a princess."

And for her Western gown, Fodor fell in love with an A-line Louvienne dress.

The skirt was made of tulle, while the bodice featured floral detailing and a plunging neckline with sheer accents.

You can read more about Fodor's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Sophie Buck's sparkly, black dress was perfect for her "winter chic" wedding.

A side-by-side of a bride wearing a sparkly, black wedding dress holding hands with a groom and the same bride standing in profile.
Sophie Buck wore Jenny Packham to her wedding.Photography by Louisa Jane

Buck knew immediately she didn't want to wear a white wedding dress, and she hoped to find something that fit the feel of her intimate, winter wedding.

When she saw this sparkly Jenny Packham gown online, she knew it was perfect for her wedding.

The A-line dress had a sweetheart neckline and a tulle, tiered skirt. Fluffy tulle gave the straps volume as well.

Multicolored sparkles covered the entire black dress, glittering when Buck moved.

You can read more about Buck's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Jenna Kaufman customized a Galia Lahav gown for her wedding.

A side-by-side of a bride and groom kissing and a full shot of the bride's wedding dress.
Jenna Kaufman wore Galia Lahav to her wedding.Bows & Lavender

Kaufman had a big wedding in 2022, but she and her husband had a small ceremony in July 2021 to make the marriage official.

For the intimate event, Kaufman bought a Galia Lahav ball gown.

The sheer, corset bodice had exposed boning, and it was adorned with delicate floral lace.

Kaufman also added a thigh-high slit to the tulle skirt, as well as additional lace to the bodice.

"I made it my dream dress," Kaufman said. "It was amazing."

You can read more about Kaufman's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Chelsie Hill had her wedding dress customized with a removable skirt.

A side-by-side of a bride and groom standing together and a bride sitting in a wheelchair next to her groom.
Chelsie Hill wore Galia Lahav to her wedding.Asha Bailey

Chelsie Hill planned to walk down the aisle at her wedding using a walker, but she also needed a dress that would work for sitting in her wheelchair during the nuptials.

A Galia Lahav dress custom-made with removable sleeves and a removable skirt ended up being perfect for Hill.

The gown had a sweetheart neckline, and both its tulle, mermaid skirt and sheer sleeves were removable. It also had sheer detailing on the back, making it even more daring.

"This dress just makes me feel so beautiful," she said.

You can read more about Hill's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Erika Redding transformed her mom's wedding dress from 1985 into her dream gown.

A side-by-side of a bride and her daughter wearing the same dress 26 years apart.
Erika Redding transformed her mother's wedding dress.Yours Truly Media

Redding told Insider she "always wanted to wear" her mother's wedding dress, but it was "dated" and needed updating.

She worked with a seamstress to transform the gown, which had long sleeves and a high neckline.

After alterations, the gown had a sweetheart neckline and semi-sheer lace bodice, while the original skirt was left intact. The train was Redding's favorite part of the gown.

"The train is what was really gorgeous," she said. "They don't make dresses like that anymore. It was really cool to be able to preserve that vintagey part of it."

You can read more about Redding's journey to find her wedding dress here.

A custom black dress was perfect for Lauren Stewart's Iceland elopement.

A woman wearing a black wedding dress flings up the skirt of her dress in front of an ocean.
Lauren Stewart's black dress was completely custom.Caitlin Connell Photo

Stewart and her spouse decided to elope in Iceland just a month in advance, so Stewart didn't have long at all to find a wedding dress. She also knew she wanted a black wedding dress, which made her predicament even more difficult.

She loved a custom wedding gown Becca Finley made for herself and showed off in a TikTok, and in the video, she said she was taking orders to make dresses for others. To Stewart's delight, Finley was able to make her a dress in less than a month.

The custom gown was made entirely of black tulle, and it had a corset bodice and sheer, off-the-shoulder sleeves.

A thigh-high slit in the skirt broke up the dark fabric.

"I felt so beautiful," Stewart said. "I just loved the black dress. I loved how I looked in it."

You can read more about Stewart's journey to find her wedding dress here.

The sheer fabric on Kehinde Adekoya's wedding gown looked like it was part of her skin.

A side-by-side of a bride and groom on their wedding day.
Kehinde Adekoya wore a custom Alonuko gown.Nelson Niteh

Adekoya wore a custom dress from Alonuko, which specializes in illusion wedding gowns for Black women.

The base of the sheer bodice and long sleeves were made of a flesh-toned mesh that was adorned with intricate floral appliqué. The see-through bodice flowed into a form-fitting skirt.

Adekoya told Insider she loved how seamlessly the sheer fabric blended in with her skin.

"The mesh on top of my skin just matched my skin tone perfectly," she said. "Because I'm dark-skinned, it's not easy for designers to get that kind of mesh to match someone as dark as I am."

You can read more about Adekoya's journey to find her wedding dress here.


It was important to Cassie Moronez to wear red on her wedding day.

A side-by-side of a bride and groom holding hands and looking at each other.
Cassie Moronez wore a Rosso Corsa Gown dress.Lacey Moranville

As she told Insider, Moronez's parents danced under a red spotlight on their wedding day, which turned her mom's dress white. The story stuck with her, and she wanted to pay tribute to her parents by wearing a red dress when she tied the knot.

The Rosso Corsa Gown from Teuta Matoshi fit her vision perfectly.

The ball gown had a plunging neckline, puffy sleeves that fell off of her shoulders, and a subtle pattern embroidered into the entire gown.

You can read more about Moronez's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Chasity McGrady-Lindo's wedding dress had sheer panels and delicate details.

A front and back of a bride and groom in a desert.
Chasity McGrady-Lindo wore a Berta dress to her wedding.Zoe with The Foxes Photography

McGrady-Lindo had an intimate desert wedding, and she wanted a dress that fit the boho aesthetic.

A long-sleeve Berta dress ended up being perfect for the occasion, thanks to its semi-sheer sleeves, intricate lace, and sheer mesh on the bodice that was adorned with pearls.

"It was literally heaven-sent," McGrady-Lindo told Insider of how she felt in her dress.

You can read more about McGrady-Lindo's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Katie Hill surprised herself by falling in love with a form-fitting dress.

A side-by-side of a bride and groom holding hands and a bride looking over her shoulder.
Katie Hill wore a Galia Lahav wedding dress.Kaylee Chelsea Photography

As Hill told Insider, she always imagined herself in an A-line gown with a full skirt.

But when she tried on this trumpet-style dress from Galia Lahav, she knew it was the one.

The gown had a plunging neckline, which mirrored the low back. Oversized bows accented the sleeves, and the entire dress was covered in lace.

Hill loved the bows in particular.

"I think the bows are just something so unique. I've never really seen a dress with that," she said.

You can read more about Hill's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Daisy Boateng didn't try on her custom Alonoku wedding dress until the day she got married.

A side-by-side of a bride and groom and the same bride.
Daisy Boateng wore Alonoku to her wedding.Timi Oshin Photography

Boateng, who is based in New York, worked with Alonoku, which operates out of London, to make her dream dress for her destination wedding in Athens, Greece, come to life.

The dress had a high-low skirt with a dramatic train, while the bodice was made of Alonoku's signature semi-sheer fabric and sparkly embellishments.

For Boateng, the stunning sheer bodice was not only beautiful but meaningful.

"To have a dress that was made for Black skin and make it look so beautiful and allow you to have that moment that white girls have had for years was really important," she told Insider.

You can read more about Boateng's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Veronica Paige Young styled coordinating looks for her and her wife, Bridgette Paige Young.

A side-by-side of two brides in dresses in front of a rock and the same couple in all white outfits.
Veronica Paige Young curated their outfits.Shutterfreek

The Youngs eloped in a New Mexico desert, and Veronica wanted to curate looks for them that fit the scenery.

For their ceremony, Veronica wore a sheer gown with sparkly embellishments, while Bridgette wore a shiny jumpsuit that had an asymmetrical train.

Later in the day, they had a photo shoot with horses. Bridgette wore a white, off-the-shoulder dress with a thigh-high slit and boots. Veronica paired a white suit with a crop top.

You can read more about the Youngs' journey to find their wedding dress here.

Lily Swindell wore two thrifted dresses to her wedding.

A side-by-side of a bride and groom on their wedding day.
Lily Swindell wore two vintage wedding dresses.LittleBear Photography

Swindell is passionate about vintage clothing, so it was no surprise she updated two vintage dresses for her nuptials.

For her ceremony, she updated a dress made in the 1970s that cost $50 at Goodwill. It previously had a high neckline and long sleeves, and Swindell updated it to have a lower neckline and short sleeves.

And for her reception, Swindell turned a $100 prom dress from the 1950s into the perfect strapless, tea-length party dress.

"I was so happy with it, and I felt so confident," Swindell told Insider of her dresses. "I didn't have any regrets."

You can read more about Swindell's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Janesse Quick wore multiple showstopping dresses to her wedding, while her wife, Jayne Quick, wore one sleek suit.

Three photos of a bride in different wedding dresses.
Janesse Quick wore multiple outfits to her wedding.Natura Collective

Janesse told Insider she knew she wanted her wedding to have an "extra" feeling, which for her, came through in her fashion choices.

She wore four different looks throughout the day: a form-fitting white wedding dress for her ceremony from BHLDN Watters Hyde paired with a floral veil; a custom tulle, rainbow dress for a drag performance; a low-cut, sparkly gown from Retrofête for the reception; and a ZCrave pink jumpsuit to end the night.

Jayne wore a custom white suit from The Tailory, which consisted of a white shirt, pants, and a jacket with gold detailing.

You can read more about the Quicks' journey to find their wedding outfits here.

Nathalie Babis-Whitcomb added a removable sleeve to her wedding dress.

A side-by-side of a bride and groom on their wedding day.
Nathalie Babis-Whitcomb wore Galia Lahav to her wedding.Barbarossa Studio

For her destination wedding in Italy, Babis-Whitcomb wanted a dress that felt romantic.

A sheer Galia Lahav dress fit her vision, thanks to its head-to-toe floral detailing, daring slit, and one-shoulder neckline.

She added one removable sleeve to the gown, giving the dress more dimension.

"I loved how I was covered, but at the same time, I was sexy because it was sheer and see-through," the bride told Insider of the dress.

You can read more about Babis-Whitcomb's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Former bridal stylist Elise Walker surprised herself by choosing a fit-and-flare wedding dress.

A side-by-side of a bride and the same bride and a groom on their wedding day.
Elise Walker chose a dress from Ashley & Justin Bride for her wedding.Parisa Mae Photography

Because Walker worked at a bridal boutique when she got engaged, she thought she knew exactly the dress she wanted to wear.

When it was time to actually shop, she thought the original dress she had in mind was too plain. But a fit-and-flare gown from Ashley & Justin Bride offered the perfect balance of simplicity and detail.

The dress was covered in sparkles and lace appliqué, and the neckline dipped low. Walker added custom sheer sleeves to the gown that were adorned with lace flowers, making the gown one-of-a-kind.

Walker said the dress was everything she dreamed it would be, particularly because it took her from feeling cute to "womanly."

You can read more about Walker's journey to find her wedding dress here.

Toni Norton had a custom Alonoku dress designed for her wedding because she liked the "naked" look.

A front-and-back shot of a woman in a sheer wedding dress standing in front of balloons.
Toni Norton wore a custom Alonuko wedding dress.Stanlo Photography

Toni Norton told Insider she hadn't envisioned a wedding dress before she got engaged, but when she stumbled upon Alonuko's sheer gowns online, she knew she wanted the company's head designer Gbemi Okunlola to make her dress.

Okunlola pulled inspiration from Norton and her husband's first date at a garden for the dress, embroidering the bodice, sleeves, and skirt with floral appliqué.

The gown's sheer fabric and form-fitting structure made the dress look like it was painted onto Norton's body, which was exactly what she wanted.

Like Boateng, Norton couldn't try on her gown until the day before her wedding, but it was perfect.

"I felt incredible," Toni said. "I cried like a baby. Just lots of emotions putting on the dress, especially because of the detail from our first date."

You can read more about Norton's journey to find her wedding dress here.

If you would like to share your wedding story with Insider, get in touch at sgrindell@insider.com.

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