Real brides share the story of how they found "the one."

Sung's Vera Wang Wedding Dress

Sung doesn't seem like the kind of bride who'd meet her future husband at New York's Rusty Knot over pickle-juice shots. Soft-spoken and pretty as a tulip, she fit right in at Bergdorf Goodman, where, three years after that chance encounter, she found herself dress-shopping. She wanted something to complement her venue, a small chapel in Austin, Texas, that she described as "white, simple, and not at all gaudy."

Dress must-haves included lace, a train, and a strapless sweetheart neckline. First up was Vera Wang's "Fawn" ($8,500). The dress was lightweight—a plus—but the layered organza bust looked bulky on her, and the form-fitting silhouette was a deal-breaker. "It was too in-your-face sexy," said Sung.

Next came Monique Lhuillier's "Waltz" ($13,460), a full-skirted organza dress with an embroidered skirt. Sung loved it and briefly considered breaking her "no ball gown" rule, but decided the dress was "too statement-y."

Then she spotted Vera Wang's "Georgina" ($8,900)—an ivory trumpet gown with a lace bodice and a bustled organza skirt that was "classic in the front and dramatic in the back. As soon as I put it on, I got that feeling everyone says you get," said Sung. "I felt like a real bride." It cinched her waist and struck the right note between the sexy "Fawn" and the poufy "Waltz." But the neckline would need to be modified into a sweetheart, and all 10 layers of the dress would have to be shortened by hand.

Ultimately, it was Sung's fiancé who cast the deciding vote. "I flashed him twenty photos of different dresses," she said. "And he picked 'Georgina'! That's when I knew it was the right one."

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Photo: Jason Frank Rothenberg