What happens when you bring together an engaged actress, bridal professionals, and tons of gorgeous wedding dresses? The answer: utter bliss—and that's exactly what we experienced when we went dress shopping with actress, singer, producer, and former Glee star, Jenna Ushkowitz.
Jenna and her fiancé, David Stanley, announced their engagement in August 2020, and since then have been actively planning their wedding. So, when we were invited to document one of the most important parts of wedding planning (dress shopping!), we absolutely couldn't pass on the opportunity.
From the very beginning to the very end, Brides was there to capture each moment—beautifully photographed by For the Love of It. Ahead, read on for every detail of Jenna's "say yes to the dress" journey.
Jenna entered the experience searching for a special feeling, rather than a specific look. "It's funny, I never had a clear picture of what my dress was going to be, just that I [had to feel] confident, good, and a bit romantic," she admits.
When it came to finding a dress that would capture these feelings, her first and only choice was to visit Los Angeles-based bridal boutique, Kinsley James Couture Bridal. Known for their bespoke bridal experiences, Kinsley James was obviously the perfect place to help her find "the one".
The day was filled with immense joy, tulle, sparkles, and couture—and you could feel the excitement and positive energy the moment you walked through the doors!
Upon arrival, Jenna's first order of business was selecting a perfect pair of heels. With the help of her stylist, the actress browsed through an edit of gorgeous bridal shoes to wear while trying on dresses. Her favorite? Jimmy Choo's Sacaria pearl-embellished platform sandals.
For any bride, finding the right shoe is just as important as finding the perfect dress. While it's important to look your best on your big day, it's also important to feel your best! Opting for comfortable shoes will only make your wedding experience more special and fun.
I can tend to be understated, classic, and clean with my fashion choices.
First up: a gorgeous yet minimal number by Rita Vinieris (the "Roberts" dress). Though not Jenna's style of choice, given the fit and flare design element, she absolutely loved the clean lines and train in the back.
As her dress shopping journey continued, it was clear that she was getting closer to finding the gown of her dreams. "I definitely wanted a beautiful big train!" she admits. "I can tend to be understated, classic, and clean with my fashion choices, and I wanted to represent something that felt very me but an elevated version."
The next dress, designed by Eisen-Stein, definitely hit her points of big, beautiful, and elevated. Their "Love" ballgown—which Jenna looked absolutely stunning in—features a corset bodice, lace floral embroidery, and a cathedral length train. Everyone was in awe the moment she put it on.
Last, but certainly not least, was a striking full-flowing couture ballgown by Marchesa. Named, the "Everlee", this gown features three-dimensional tulle applique on the skirt and a corseted bodice.
Jenna's face immediately lit up when she stepped out of the dressing room and into the bridal salon for her final reveal. "I just love that it's Marchesa," she gushes. "Marchesa always brings a smile to your face and their dresses make you feel good."
Don't be afraid to take risks and try on a bunch of different styles. They may surprise you.
For those who may be wondering which dress is "the one," spoiler alert: it's none of the above. While you'll have to wait until Jenna officially says "I do," we'll give you a small hint as to what her real dress will look like...it's absolutely gorgeous and Jenna will turn heads as she walks down the aisle.
In the end, and what's most important, is that Jenna had an incredible experience and chose a gown that felt true to who she is. And for brides currently shopping for their dream dress, the actress has a few pieces of advice to share.
"Don't be afraid to take risks and try on a bunch of different styles. They may surprise you," she says. "I was not expecting to land quite on my dress, [but] it's just a feeling that I went with. And most importantly, there are a lot of voices and opinions during this exciting time. Be sure to listen to your gut and your excitement. Don't let others sway you." We couldn't agree more and can confirm that Jenna took her own advice, and it definitely paid off.