The gown, designed by father-in-law Ralph, was hand-embroidered with ivory silk and metallic thread, Swarovski Elements crystals and off-white pearl beads

By Kate Hogan
Updated November 17, 2011 11:00 PM

Courtesy Norman Jean Roy for Vogue

When your future father-in-law is Ralph Lauren, you know your wedding dress is going to be pretty spectacular. But to newlywed Lauren Bush Lauren, getting to watch the design process unfold was almost as great as the gown itself.

“Any experience of a girl picking out her wedding dress is amazing,” she says in the December issue of Vogue. “But I have to say it was really special to work with [husband David Lauren’s] dad, to see him in action with his team.” (Ralph also designed daughter Dylan’s dress for her June nuptials; she shared her photos in Vogue, as well.)

FEED founder Lauren exchanged ideas with Ralph casually before their first official design meeting at his studio in June. “I walked in, and there were these beautiful illustrations of the looks we’d discussed with my face on them,” she recalls. “It was like a dream come true.”

The result? A dress Lauren says “isn’t Victorian exactly. I wanted something modern as well, so there is the high-necked collar and puffed shoulders with the large open back.” The top layer of the dress was made of tulle in antique ivory; nearly 100 craftspeople spent more than 3,000 hours hand-embroidering the tulle with motifs of flowers and Renaissance-era scroll designs in ivory silk and metallic thread, Swarovski Elements crystals and off-white pearl beads.

Since the wedding took place in a 200-year-old barn on Ralph’s Double RL Ranch in Colorado, Lauren paired her gown with cowboy boots, and dressed her bridesmaids in white linen blouses, vests, vintage prairie skirts and cowboy boots, too. “They looked like Little House on the Prairie,” she says.

Lauren’s boots and dress served as her something new, her headpiece something old and a friend’s Victorian earrings something borrowed. As for her something blue? The bride says, laughing, “I wore blue socks.” Read more about the couple’s rustic nuptials on