Four seasons, one divorce and a broken engagement later, Deacon Claybourne and Rayna James are finally set to become husband and wife.
Country music’s star-crossed loves will tie the knot when
returns to ABC on March 16. And we got all the details on the fabulous gown Rayna (Connie Britton) wears in the episode, aptly titled “Forever and Always.”
Nashville‘s costume designer Susie DeSanto tells PEOPLE she jumped at the opportunity to work on the centerpiece of the highly anticipated scene.
“I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to design a dress for Connie, because I love that girl,” DeSanto says. “Like her character, the dress is simple, honest, not too fussy, elegant and sophisticated.”
The bodice was made from one piece of lace (DeSanto scoured through “a million pieces” of Chantilly lace to get it just right) and the skirt features silk netting with hand-sewn lace flower appliqués, and goes over a crepe, silk-backed satin. The designer calls the color “a beautiful bisque.”
Britton was not going to let her beloved Rayna walk down the aisle without giving some input, though. “Connie was involved in the process — we have a great relationship so it was fun for us,” DeSanto says. “I showed her the sketches, and we had several fittings.
“This wedding dress has a truth to it,” she adds. “It’s what you wear when you marry your true love.”
The only hitch about the two getting hitched? Some tough weather conditions.
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“In real life you wear your wedding dress for a ceremony and reception,” DeSanto says. “This is a dress she wears for 48 hours of filming. The days we shot the wedding it was pouring rain and the set was surrounded in mud — not great conditions for a white dress.”
You can watch the nuptials (and see the dress!) when Nashville returns with “Forever and Always” on March 16 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.