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Certainly no one expected The Real Housewives of Orange County‘s Tamra Barney to wear a simple suit to a small courthouse wedding for her Saturday nuptials to third husband Eddie Judge. But the reality star exceeded expectations in a jaw-dropping custom Mark Zunino gown — one of three created just for her big day. (Get a peek at all three here!)
For the main event, Barney, 44, walked down the aisle in a dazzling full-skirted creation that was all hand-beaded with platinum metallic thread embroidery, and flowed into criss-crossed flounce panels in alternating blush and ivory hues.
“Tamra wanted it to be very dramatic, but fluid and sort of organic in design,” Zunino tells PEOPLE. “Originally she thought she would want white, but when she tried [the blush] on, she got the reaction of all her friends and that was that.”
That doesn’t mean everything was a snap, though: “We originally had the flounce dropped more towards her knees,” Zunino says. “The week before, she said ‘I want it raised,’ so we took it apart and raised it. And she was losing weight, so we kept taking it in more and more! She was really hands on, and very passionate [about the design].”
She accented the wedding look with (what else) oodles of sparkling jewelry, including a custom Diann Valentine cuff dripping with crystals and orchids. “My goal was to design a bridal bouquet for her that matched the sophistication of Mark Zunino’s masterpiece,” Valentine tells PEOPLE. “The bridal cuff is a way for a bride to have that feminine accent of flowers without looking like your ‘run of the mill bride’ clutching a nosegay. Tamra carried it off perfectly”
Despite Barney’s blissful appearance, Zunino shares that there was one hitch: Barney’s big entrance. “She came down a massive stone staircase, which I wasn’t aware of while designing the dress,” he says. “She couldn’t see the staircase because the flounce was so full, and she couldn’t hold on to anything because it was so wide. She made it, but at the top of the stairs, she was a little nervous!”
PHOTOS: See bold star wedding dresses here!
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And since the wedding is set to air on TV in September, the guest list wouldn’t have been complete without Barney’s castmates, who showed up in typically glamorous fashion.
From left, Gretchen Rossi made her appearance in a Grecian-style draped gold gown, with a plunging neckline, high slit and matching clutch. Alexis Bellino also had her décolletage on display in a ruched magenta number, offset by massive jewelry.
And Vicki Gunvalson (along with Heather Dubrow, not pictured) both stood alongside Barney at the altar, wearing floor-length gowns with different necklines — but all in the same shade of soft pink as the bride. They carried small bouquets of calla lilies, and both accented their dresses with serious statement necklaces.
Barney herself had a few major outfit changes. She wore two more custom-made Zunino pieces for the reception: one a “much sexier” hand-beaded and embroidered French chantilly lace gown with a plunging neckline in front and back, and another short dress to show off her dance routine, with a crystal-encrusted neckline and feather-appliqué flounce.
“Eddie thought she looked great and was very surprised,” Zunino shares, “But the second gown didn’t have the nipple covers in it before she went out. As she was rushing to change for the cameras, he said ‘No way you’re going out like that.’ So I cut out a nude flounce from the wedding gown to quickly sew in [the bust] and she was ready to go.”
Of course it wouldn’t be a Real Housewives wedding without some drama! Tune into
Tamra’s OC Wedding
on Sept. 2 to see all three dresses and tell us: What do you think of Barney’s look? Which wedding guest had your favorite outfit?