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

Heidi's Jenny Packham Wedding Dress

One of the benefits of being six feet tall and slim as a greyhound is that you can wear pretty much any wedding dress on the planet. One of the challenges? Finding a groom who's taller than you.

Heidi met hers while living in Florence, Italy, though she has since imported him to Chicago, where the pair will wed at the Union League Club. "I found the tallest man in Italy!" joked Heidi, whose soon-to-be in-laws will board a plane for the first time to come to the wedding. "All I care about is good cake, good food, and good alcohol," she continued. "And I want my dress to be really comfortable."

After taking her mother's wedding gown out of the running (too small), Heidi invited her mom, aunt, and best friend to Chicago's Ultimate Bride to help her find a dress. She slipped on Jenny Packham's "Elizabeth" ($3,715) first. A silk-chiffon sheath with a plunging V-neckline and crystal embellishment, the gown drew gasps from the crowd. Her aunt welled up: "Oh, Heidi. Wow."

But she was just getting started! Surely it couldn't be this easy.

Next up was Marchesa's "Gemma" ($4,950), a silk-chiffon strapless gown with crystal vines on the bodice. Heidi loved it, but it was over her budget. Her third candidate was Carolina Herrera's "Effie" ($3,990), a strapless silk-georgette creation with art deco brooches. "It's harder to dance in strapless, though," she said. Heidi decided to give "Elizabeth" another whirl. It was fitted and flowing in all the right places. Plus, her entourage was weeping at the sight of her—weeping! Still, there was one more person she had to ask. She snapped a photo and sent it to her father, waiting breathlessly for his response. When it came, her eyes lit up: "Dad says it's perfect!"

Browse more Jenny Packham wedding dresses

Photo: Kevin J. Miyazaki

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