weddings

"I only tried on one": 21 women share their wedding dress and the story behind it.

With COVID-19 bringing a halt to many weddings for the foreseeable future, we've been reminiscing on happier times. 

The good old days, when couples could focus on flower arrangements and menus, rather than finding a venue that would allow for four square metres between guests. 

When finding the perfect dress was the biggest challenge leading up to the day.

Things people never say at weddings. Post continues below. 


Video via Mamamia

If you're a bride-to-be with a wedding in the works in 2020 or beyond, you might have been left with a little extra time to land on one.

So, in the name of inspiration, we spoke to 20 women to find out what outfit they fell in love with, and why.

Justine

Image: Niki M Photography / Supplied. 

"The absolute best thing about my wedding dress was that I hired it. I went to a dressmaker who buys back some of the dresses she’s made and then rents them out. I fell in love with my dress this first time I tried it on, and I absolutely loved it on our wedding day. The following morning it was filthy dirty at the bottom from all the dancing and I just rolled it up into a bag and sent it back to the dressmaker.

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It was a beautiful dress, but I now live in a different country from where I got married, and it would have just sat in the top of a cupboard at my parents' house gathering dust and taking up space. I got to wear the most beautiful dress at probably a fifth of the price of a new one. I see brides spending gazillions on their dresses and you really don’t have to. You can have a beautiful dress without going bankrupt!"

Sana

Image: Supplied.

"I always wanted a traditional Indian wedding dress, being Indian myself and when I found this dress, I just fell in love with it. I had always envisioned a deep red lehenga with gold work on it."

Melanie

Image: Supplied. 

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"This was the first dress I tried on - and knew I had to say ‘I do’ in it! I loved the beautiful lace detail and it was so comfortable! The slit at the front was something different, and made dancing the night away so easy. I loved it so much, and am so glad I chose it!"

Kelsey

"I got married two weeks ago. Due to COVID-19, we had to change our plans multiple times, so at one point I had three wedding dresses and no wedding actually confirmed. I had originally bought a wedding skirt through Etsy from Lithuania and I got the top part made to fit. That was when we were having a 150 person wedding. 

Image: Supplied. 

"I then got a white version of the dress my bridesmaids were going to wear for me to change into or wear if I got too panicked and couldn’t wear the big dress. 

When the plan changed to a backyard style wedding, I didn’t think the big dress was really right for the occasion so I bought a simpler style dress off The Iconic. 

Everybody was urging me to still wear the big one, but I wasn’t sure. On the day I took all three dresses with me and decided an hour before the ceremony which one to wear."

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Image: Supplied. 

Sam

Image: Supplied. 

"My dress was a Sophia Tolli gown. I chose it because I loved the beaded detail and the fitted corset style bodice. The fact it was a dropped waist made me look a little taller than I am (I am really short) but with the full skirt I still felt like a princess. Also, it was an ivory colour rather than bright white. This gave my fair skin a little more colour than what a stark white would have. 

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I remember the day I tried this dress on for the first time and I just couldn't stop smiling. The weeks that followed I tried on so many different dresses and while some were absolutely stunning, I realised I was comparing all of them to this one, and that's when I knew it was the one."

Kelly

Image: Supplied. 

"I looked for a wedding dress for MONTHS. I had hundreds saved on my phone and a secret Pinterest board dedicated to styles I loved. I went to about five stores in Sydney and 10 in New York, trying on so many dresses from different designers at different price points, but I hated them all. Well, I hated them on me. 

One night I was scrolling through Instagram and just fell in love with a dress. There was nowhere in Australia to try it on and I wasn't going back to the US for a while, so I ordered it. I dropped thousands on a dress I'd never seen in real life or tried on. I just had a gut feeling. And my gut was right (although I had to shrink my literal gut a few centimetres to fit into it), because I was absolutely in love with it. I hate the blasted thing now but on the day, felt like a dang princess."

Alicia

Image: Supplied. 

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"I went to a local boutique/designer to try on dresses, and my mum ended up finding the one I was looking at brand new with tags at the Salvos! It was only $200. I paired it with my mum's veil that she wore for her wedding in the eighties."

Patricia

Image: Supplied. 

"My wedding dress was custom made by Anna Dutton Couture. I wanted a black dress. It’s a top and skirt (I had a second shorter skirt made for our dinner) and it has POCKETS! I’ve since lost 62kgs so I’m getting it remade so we can redo wedding photos! It was my absolute dream dress."

Renee

Image: Supplied. 

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"Not my original dress BUT I had a COVID-elopement, so I had to find something I could order online that was both comfortable and affordable. The stunning, $3k boho lace beauty of my dreams is hanging in the wardrobe... Fingers crossed I'll get to wear it, eventually!"

Jessica

Image: Supplied. 

"My nan who I adored and was one of the most important people to me, passed away a couple of years before my wedding. When we were cleaning her house, I discovered what remained of her wedding dress from the 1940s. She had turned it into a lovely day dress. I took the lace and trimmings from it and had it custom made into my wedding dress (I also wore her veil which is not shown in this picture)."

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Marley

Image: Supplied. 

"This is my dress. Designed by me and handmade by my very talented mother. We bought vintage lace, netting, satin and pearl buttons for the back from a haberdashery store that had been trading since the 1930s. My mum painstakingly sewed the dress but was still finishing it on the morning of the wedding. I was inspired by 1960s fashion and still love it to this day. My daughter likes to dress up in it occasionally too."

Robyn

Image: Supplied. 

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"40 years ago. It was the hippy era. Hubby had bell bottoms, and we were married in the backyard. Can you see the clothesline in the background covered by a sheet? I bought the dress in the Strand Arcade in Sydney for $100 and still have it, but there’s no way I will ever be able to fit into it again. I did half wear it in the ice bucket challenge as a dedication to my husband, who passed away with Motor Neurone Disease."

Samantha

Image: Supplied. 

"I only tried on one dress and took it home that day! I wanted something fitted and not strapless. The lady in the shop took one look at me and knew she had a dress to suit! As soon as I put it on, I knew it was the one. It was probably one of the easiest decisions I ever made."

Dee

Image: Supplied. 

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"I didn’t want to wear a wedding dress, and didn't want anything white or sleeveless. So, I bought material, picked a design I liked and had my dress made by a dressmaker. It probably cost around $800 all up! I had grand plans to wear it again, but it never happened."

Stephanie

Image: Supplied. 

"My dress is the complete opposite to what I originally thought I wanted. I tried on so so many dresses and ended up feeling so much more comfortable in this. It also seemed like a modern take on my grandmother's dress so that made it all the bit more special for me."

Petra

Image: Supplied. 

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"I tried on one dress that I’d complimented a co-worker on, and she said I was welcome to try hers as she had thought about selling it. I bought it and then passed it on again! Something felt nice about it having a few special moments."

Truan

Image: Supplied. 

"I was planning to go all boho but then I found this one... 7 layers of tulle and a gazillion beads. I absolutely loved my dress."

Simone

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"I really wanted a boho style dress, but the lady in the store insisted I try this one on. As soon as it was on, my mother-in-law cried and my mum immediately started fussing over me. I bought it that day."

Kate

Image: Supplied. 

"My dress was the complete opposite of what I thought I wanted. I didn’t want it to be strapless, fitted or have a train, and thought I would want white! I loved my dress, and felt so beautiful in it, until I tried to sit down at the reception and realised I couldn’t sit comfortably because of all the boning. I spent most of the evening standing, and sitting awkwardly on my chair. Note: try and sit in your dress before you buy it!"

Erin

Image: Supplied. 

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"I had my eye on a $5,000 dress from New York, but that was never going to be in our budget, so I had a replica made for $400! It was perfect! Showed my tiny waist but made me feel like a princess, with lovely lace detailing on the bodice. Ivory in colour to match my mum’s veil from the 80s that I also wore."

Emma

Image: Supplied. 

"I saw this while on holiday in a little vintage shop and fell in love with the red! My bridesmaids wore white."

Feature Image: Supplied.

Was there a bridal look you rocked on your wedding day? Share a photo of it in the comments below!

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Top Contributions

msmeshell 22 days ago

We had decided that we would get married by Elvis, as I have a friend who is an impersonator. I knew I wanted a 50’s style dress to go with my Elvis.

megan_fell 22 days ago

We hadn't even talked about getting married when my husband to be bought me a dress on sale from the boutique his daughter was working in. Turned out

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