Still daydreaming about Nikki Reed’s romantic gown from her April 26 wedding to Ian Somerhalder? We were too, so we took a break from pinning look-alikes to our Pinterest board and chatted up the designer behind the dress, Claire Pettibone, who shared some exclusive scoop from the fitting with PEOPLE.
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“From the moment we met, we had a great rapport, and it was so easy designing for her!” Pettibone tells PEOPLE of the star’s private fitting, where she tried on a few gowns to get inspiration for her custom design. “Once she spotted the Elizabeth gown, it was just a matter of customizing the design for her. She knew she wanted ¾-length sleeves, and we created an illusion neckline. Since she wasn’t going to wear a veil, I suggested adding a bit more drama to the train by adding a lace-edged tulle layer to the back of the skirt.”
Reed also fell in love with the “Midnight” style for her rehearsal dinner, which Pettibone modified by removing the jewels and shortening the train. “She wanted an elegant, relaxed dress for the pre-party, and saved up the ‘Wow’ for the wedding day,” Pettibone says.
Over the course of the “effortless” three fittings, Pettibone got a glimpse into Reed’s sweet relationship with her then-fiancé. “Nikki really kept Ian in mind as we chose her gown, and she knew he would love the low, sexy back of this dress,” she says. “He was so excited for his bride, and called or texted her during every fitting! She wouldn’t tell him any details, because she wanted him to be surprised on the big day.”
And the bride-to-be had no pre-wedding jitters that Pettibone could discern. “Nikki was always laughing and relaxed at her fittings. She was actually one of the easiest, most non-stressed brides I’ve designed for!” the designer says. “The couple’s wedding rings were being messengered over to our salon while she was having a fitting, and the delivery guy was a little late. That’s the only time I saw her look just a little worried — but they arrived safe and sound!”
Ultimately, the collaboration between bride and designer couldn’t have been a more natural one. “My design aesthetic was a great fit for the vibe Nikki wanted for her wedding day with Ian: a little boho, romantic and timeless, with a sexy [twist],” she says. “She was so happy with what we had originally decided on, that we really didn’t make any changes at all. I knew Nikki would be a stunning bride, and I’m just so happy for her and Ian. They are perfect together, and you can see how much they adore each other.”
What do you think of the dress?
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