When Olympic champion Michael Phelps and sweetheart Nicole tied the knot in October in Cabo San Lucas, the bride walked down the aisle in an ornate Julie Vino gown. And the stylish bride did not dial down the glamour for her bridal party, either — all five of her bridesmaids surrounded her in Monique Lhuillier gowns they rented for $99 each at vowtobechic.com.
“Nicole had come to us relatively last minute,” Kelsey Doorey, founder and CEO of Vow to Be Chic, tells PEOPLE exclusively. “ She was looking for dresses and wasn’t able to find exactly what she wanted. She was put in touch with us, and her maid of honor [Ellice Boone, who also photographed the wedding] came to our showroom in L.A. and looked at and tried on a bunch of dresses. From there, the decisions were made.”
Ellice helped choose four different Monique Lhuillier designs all in a matching champagne hue, including the Amelia style (V-neck with a lace back), the Rebecca style (V-neck with a flowy skirt), the Madeline style (strapless Grecian look) and the Jordan style (a halter look). The gowns usually retail for $298 to $328, but the bridesmaids dress rental service offers them for $99 each.
“Ellice came in with a vision and discussed it with Nicole in advance and they knew they wanted pale colors,” says Doorey. “Ellice was also thinking about each bridesmaids’ body type. There were a lot of different body types. One is an Olympian, one is really petite. Each bridesmaid picked the style that spoke to their personality and body type the best.”
And the rentals didn’t stop there: Nicole Phelps’s mother also chose an aubergine dress from the service — the Aidan gown by Jenny Yoo. “The mother of the bride caught word and came in she was really focused on something beach appropriate that was light and flowy,” says Doorey. “She wanted something that would look good on the beach.”
“This proves you can actually have the celebrity look without breaking the bank,” Doorey adds. “They rented the dresses. They weren’t custom made. Any girl can have the exact same look in their wedding for $99 a girl — or less!”