What is a fashion label wedding dress doing at a Goodwill shop? Waiting for the perfect match to say yes to the dress, apparently.
Visiting thrift shops can turn a routine errand into a treasure hunt. Emmali Osterhoudt, a nursing student in Alabama, expected to find some inexpensive picture frames at a Goodwill store. She and her friends decided to look at dresses, and when she found a wedding dress with a $25 price tag, she had to try it on.
The dress fit Osterhoudt perfectly, and she loved the intricate lace, rhinestone, and pearl decorations. Even if she wasn’t planning to get married, the dress was too good a deal to pass up. It wasn’t until after she bought it that she looked up the name on the label. The dress is by Galia Lahav, an Israeli fashion label known for its couture bridal gowns and favored by celebrities like superstar singer Beyonce, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, and former six-time UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. Galia Lahav dresses usually cost at least $6,200, so Osterhoudt’s find was especially lucky!
Gala by Galia Lahav. Photo: Emmali Osterhoudt
Osterhoudt had to share her news, so she took to social media and posted a video on TikTok. Responses to the video inspired her to follow up. Viewers had plenty of questions about the dress, and some wondered how a gown like this would come to a thrift store.
What would make someone donate a couture wedding dress to Goodwill? Did a bride-to-be have a last-minute change of mind—or heart? Was she left at the altar? Was the donation part of the messy aftermath of a contentious divorce? Or maybe an attempt to escape a tragedy—or cover up a scandal? The real reason is nothing so dramatic. The dress was donated by Bustle, a bridal boutique in the area when it failed to sell. Staff at Bustle were pleased to hear that the dress found a buyer after all.
Emmali Osterhoudt in her Goodwill wedding dress by Galia Lahav. Photo: Emmali Osterhoudt
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