Quantcast

5 Brides On What Made Their Wedding Dresses 'The One'

From classic and timeless to one-of-a-kind and unique, these brides stunned on their big days.

Life & Travel

A couple's wedding day is arguably one of the most important days of their lives which is why it can also be an extremely stressful time. There's so much to decide on: wedding party, guestlist, bridal party, colors, venue, food, etc. And then, there is the wedding dress. The dress sets the tone for the big day and all eyes will be on the bride as she makes her entrance. So many factors play a part in choosing the perfect wedding dress: budget, personal style, wedding theme, and timelines, so it's no wonder it can all seem overwhelming.

Add a pandemic to the mix and you might be ready to just march down the aisle in some sweatpants. But, before you do, I spoke to some amazing women who have been where you are and they are giving me the lowdown on why they chose the dresses they chose and how they knew it was the one. Whether you had to postpone your wedding until next year, change the venue, or downsize, we hope that these brides provide some inspiration for your upcoming special day.

Charmaine

Courtesy of Charmaine

"Everything leading me to this dress felt like it was destined to be. I left a disappointing wedding dress appointment, and as I walked to get a bite to eat, I saw a store window that was merchandised with so many elements that screamed ME! A gold mannequin (I am a gold fanatic), peacock feathers (my wedding colors), and of course, the dress...MY dress. I instantly said, 'Now that's what I wish I could wear.' It was far from white and anything typical, so it hadn't crossed my mind that I could wear something so unique.

"I went in the store, tried it on, it fit perfectly, and I just knew in that moment that I was going to wear what felt the most authentic to me. Coincidentally, my bridesmaid dresses had already been chosen at that time, and they just happened to be green, so it really felt like that dress was made for me."

Courtesy of Charmaine

"I got married in 2012, and I was on my dress hunt while living in Toronto, Canada, so the selection was quite limited at the time. This was during the blurry instagram food pics era, so I definitely didn't have many inspiration photos saved. This is to say, I didn't have a major vision as I honestly doubted the options available. I figured that accessorizing my look would be the best bet for a unique colourful moment, and I am just happy I was able to find my dream dress by a fun twist of fate after a failed dress appointment."

Courtesy of Charmaine

"My dress was created by TOME from the Tome Dress Salon in Toronto, Canada. It was really special to wear a dress while working with the actual designer, because I am a creative person with DIY tendencies. The moment I tried the dress and it fit and I teared up, I looked at Tome and said, 'Can I wear this to get married?' And he said, 'You can do whatever you like!' We laughed and I honestly felt empowered, because I knew he was 100% correct. I then said, 'Now let's make it bridal!' So we worked together to make it more of a mermaid silhouette with tulle peeking out, and added a feathered headpiece. I have Caribbean roots and my wedding was a destination wedding in Barbados, so it just felt perfectly on theme as well."

For more of Charmaine, follow her on Instagram @charmsie.

Courtney Brand Agbetola

Courtesy of Courtney Brand Agbetola

"There was no overwhelming feeling of it being the one when I put it on, if I'm being completely honest. My first go-round with dress try-ons, I found a Berta gown that I was so certain was the one and I had my heart set on it. I wanted to buy it on the spot, but knew that my now-husband wouldn't be too happy if I spent $14,000 on the first dress I tried on. He encouraged me to go to at least one more bridal shop to try on dresses just so that I'd be sure. A designer I was following on Instagram was having a trunk show at this small neighborhood bridal shop close to me called Parvani Vida that had been there since I was a little girl, so I asked my sister if she wanted to go with me to look. I ended up finding both of my dresses that day and neither one of them were a part of the trunk show that I went there for.

"When I tried on that dress, I loved that it was bright white and showed just enough back and chest, but it was the train that made me say 'yes'. The dress was simple, but the six-foot train was extravagant and all I could imagine was it trailing behind me down the aisle in all of its lace and beaded glory. It was the quiet wow that I really wanted."

Courtesy of Courtney Brand Agbetola

"I was really wanting to choose something classic, that I'd be proud to look back on in five, ten or fifteen years and still be happy with my choice. I also wanted a dress that was reflective of who I am as a woman. This particular dress felt like it embodied me. A little daring, but simple. A little sexy, but timeless and sophisticated with just enough detail. Gorgeous enough to make a statement without being too loud. I also had to consider what kind of bride my husband wanted to see walking down the aisle. I didn't want to look like a princess, but I did want to look like an angelic version of myself as I walked towards him. This dress hit all of those points.

"I could have gone on and on with dresses, but I chose that one and had to be done with it, because unless you're designing a dress from the ground up, it's so easy to feel like your dress is missing something. Both of my dresses were Enzoani wedding gowns. Prior to getting engaged I'd never really imagined myself in a wedding dress, so I can't say that I envisioned myself any particular way. I did know that I didn't want a strapless gown, or a ball gown. I knew I wanted something form-fitting with no overwhelming ruching or any fabric that was noisy. Looking back, I looked exactly how I wanted to look on my wedding day and wouldn't have changed a thing about my dress, hair, makeup or even jewelry. It all truly worked out perfectly."

For more of Courtney, follow her on Instagram @greeneyesgoldsoul.

Courtney Danielle Bryant

Courtesy of Courtney Bryant

"The day I found my dress, the location we visited was the 3rd or 4th place we had been to. I still hadn't found anything I absolutely loved, so by the time we arrived to this particular location I was excited but pretty certain I would have to get my dress made. When my bridal stylist Leandra McCall pulled the dress, I was reluctant to try it because it didn't look anything like I envisioned but she convinced me. It was the 2nd to last dress I tried on and every single dress that I tried that day and prior to had to be shimmied and jumped into but my dress, it slipped on with so much ease. It fit like a glove and it actually took my breath away. I didn't want to be the cliche and cry but as I looked in the mirror I felt the tears well up. And I was shocked because I really almost didn't try it on.

I fell in love with it the moment I slipped it on. I felt classy, sexy and comfortable in it and the drama and glam was exactly what I wanted. It complimented me in all the right places and I felt like I could dance in it all night."

Courtesy of Courtney Bryant

"Also, this one dress could be 'customized' into three different dresses. My skirt and sleeves detached so I walked down the aisle with my skirt and long sleeves. For dinner, I wore off the shoulder sleeves and the skirt. And for dancing, I removed the skirt before changing into my second dress."

Courtesy of Courtney Bryant

"I purchased the dress at Bridal Reflections on 5th Ave and it was created by Galia Lahav. We customized the both sets of sleeves, the train on skirt, the sheer panels on the back and the beaded design in the front to really customize it to my liking. Fun fact: I was so nervous to really love the dress that I had to visit it three times before committing to it."

For more of Courtney, follow her on Instagram @curlsandcouture.

JaLisa E. Jefferson

Courtesy of JaLisa E. Jefferson

"With my husband and I knowing and planning that whenever we got engaged, we'd want to get married right away, I ordered a dress on ASOS the day after he proposed. If you are a frequent online shopper like myself, you know they don't play about their two-day shipping. Long story short, it came Monday evening and did not fit. My manager then reached out to Grace Loves Lace right away hoping we could pull something off. They were clearly sent by God. They opened the store on a 'closed' day and had someone come in on their off day, all to move mountains and get me in this amazing dress and veil—the morning of the wedding! In 20 minutes, I tried on this dress and was out the door! I am so grateful for them, their incredible service and for accommodating me on such short notice.

"In a sense, I kind of feel like this dress chose me. Like I previously stated, this dress was truly a saving grace moment. Upon visiting Grace Loves Lace and trying on my wedding dress, I knew this was the one. It fit like a glove and was exactly what I envisioned it to be!"

Courtesy of JaLisa E. Jefferson

"Although I initially had a totally different vision for my wedding dress, I quickly realized this was what I needed and didn't even know it until it sort of just happened. My initial disaster of a wedding dress quickly turned into the most beautiful gown I'd ever seen."

For more of JaLisa, follow her on Instagram @jalisaevaughn.

Kristen Desiree

Dress Details: Bridal Boutique: Adorn Bridal located in Nashville, TN.

Designer: Rita Vinieris Rivini

Courtesy of Kristen Desiree

"Before finding the perfect dress for me, my family and I had been shopping around all day long at different boutiques before stopping at our very last appointment for the evening. None of the dresses I had tried on up until this point had given me the 'WOW' factor just yet. I must admit I was beginning to get discouraged a little bit. As soon as we arrived at the last boutique, I immediately said to myself, 'I'm going to find my dress here.' I began trying on different ones and as I tried on 'my dress', I could just feel it. Keep in mind there were no mirrors in the fitting room. The stylist helping me started to say, 'Oh my goodness, Kristen' as she was helping me put it on. My heart started racing because I was so anxious to see.

"As I walked out, the looks on my mother's and sisters' faces were in awe, just speechless. Their mouths hit the floor and my sister said, 'You look absolutely breathtaking.' I walked over to the mirror, completely shaking, and the second I saw myself, emotions of joy and happiness took over. I had never felt more beautiful before in my life and that's when I said this is 'The One'."

Courtesy of Kristen Desiree

"Honestly, my dress is a slight departure from what I envisioned simply because I always saw myself walking down the aisle in a long-sleeve lace detailed dress with a dramatic train! I was set on having sleeves and had specifically said from the beginning, I did not want it to be tube top. But, little did I know, a sleeveless gown was meant for me."

Courtesy of Kristen Desiree

"I chose this dress because not only did it stun all of the most important women in my life, but I didn't have not one negative thought about this dress. I knew I wanted to feel extremely confident and beautiful walking down the aisle to my best friend, soulmate, confidant, and soon-to-be husband. This dress solidified that for me. There are a million beautiful dresses in the world, but when you find that one that instantly fills your heart and the room with emotion and love, you have to say 'yes' to the dress!"

For more of Kristen, follow her on Instagram @curlyhairedchik.

Featured image courtesy of Charmaine

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

This article is in partnership with Starz.

Listen. We all love a good rerun of Sex and the City, but the ghosts of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda can go ahead and rest. There's finally a new, formidable foursome further uptown—Harlem that is—and they've taken the fashion, sex, and sister-girlfriend drama to entertainingly engaging new levels. Trust me, Starz's new series Run the World is the ode to Black femininity, friendship, and NYC flavor we all need right now. And if you haven't been tuned in on Sunday nights at 8:30 p.m., you're truly missing out.

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

In xoNecole's Our First Year series, we take an in-depth look at love and relationships between couples with an emphasis on what their first year of marriage was like.

Do you remember the first time you fell in love? It is this indescribable feeling that takes over your body without warning. The lucky ones get to experience this feeling more than once in their lifetime. Regardless, if this feeling lasted for forever or just for a moment, we will always remember the person who made us feel this way. When you experience love, yes we are physically attracted to that person, but it's deeper than that. Love is about accepting someone for who they are on the inside and wanting to share your life with them.

Keep reading... Show less

Ladies and ladies: if you aren't familiar, let me introduce you to a being named Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. He's an Emmy award-winning actor, 35, and towering at 6 feet 3 inches tall. His name, which roughly translates from Arabic and means "Graced by God," may be unfamiliar for Black men in Hollywood, but he's carving out his lane just the same.

Keep reading... Show less

Summer is finally here and we're seeing the latest in this season's biggest trends exploding everywhere. Excitedly exiting the cold and gloomy winter months, fashion girls everywhere are taking advantage of the coolest new and re-emerging styles for the warm weather season. With there being much anticipation to finally be outside after a year and a half, I've seen so many new and refreshing styles to add to my closet in anticipation of a stylish summer like never before.

Keep reading... Show less

To say that Lori Harvey's love life has been in the driver's seat of her career is a massive understatement. She's been linked to many, claiming few, and taking a page out of Beyonce's book in the process, by simply not addressing any of the chatter at all. In fact, up until now, the usually private mogul's only job was to be the beautifully radiant famous daughter of Steve Harvey, and keep us all guessing without an ounce of clarity on who is who, and what's next for any of them. But now, sis is stepping out and speaking up on all of the above.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Michelle Williams On Depression, Healing & Why It’s Important To Check In With Yourself

"Now, the only label I've got that matters is God's: God's creation. God's work. God's child."

Latest Posts