How Elizabeth Smart Found the Perfect Wedding Gown

02/22/2012 at 01:30 PM ET

Elizabeth Smart Wedding Dress
Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc/Sipa Press

With just one month to plan her secret Hawaiian wedding, Elizabeth Smart had mere days to finalize details like flowers, a guest list … and her dress.

“I tried on just about every dress in Utah,” Smart tells PEOPLE. Frustrated, she hoped a quick cross-country trip would prove fruitful. “I was going to New York with my friend for the weekend and we thought, ‘Why don’t we just see if we can get into Kleinfeld’s and look around?'”

Miraculously, she scored an open appointment slot at the famed Manhattan bridal shop (featured on TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress) — and found her dress, too. The Alita Graham gown — with lace sleeves, a sweetheart neckline and satin-covered buttons down the back — was an ideal fit for her nuptials.

“It was traditional, but still was different,” she explains. “I felt like it was just perfect.”

And while she did plan her dream wedding in record time, she also had to gloss over a few traditions. When asked if she chose “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” for her big day, the newlywed laughs. “Are you kidding?” she says. “There’s been no time!”

For more details and exclusive photos of Smart’s wedding — and to see what the groom wore, too! — pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

–Reporting by Alicia Dennis and Cathy Free

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , Wedding Dresses
Add A Comment

Got something to add to this post? Fill out the fields below to make a comment, ask a question or share a tip. We'd love to hear from you.

Note: If this is your first time commenting on Style News Now, your comment will need to be approved by our moderator before it will appear. Thanks for your patience, and check back again soon.

Showing 90 comments

Sarafina on

I love her dress and veil just as much as I liked the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress–absolute perfection! Congrats and Best Wishes to the bride and groom!!

Janey on

She is such a beautiful example of strength and resiliency. She took control of her life and the media exposure. They were going to be involved one way or the other. I love hearing a happy news story for once. Best of wishes for an eternity of happiness for Elizabeth and her husband! Lets just be happy for her!

Wimpy on

Beautiful gril and a beautiful wedding. I love the kilt he had on. You go girl!

Courtney on

Millions of women have searched for the perfect wedding dress and eventually found something…how is this news?
PEOPLE has become such a joke. If it’s not posts like this, it’s the Kardashians, the Duggars, Jennifer Aniston, “baby bumps”. Give it up already.

Karen on

Obviously a lot of you people out there don’t enjoy seeing a beautiful young woman happy in her perfect wedding dress on the cover of People magazine. Who cares if she got paid for the photos or not. Celebrities get paid all the time for photos of their babies or we have to see the Kardashians on the cover for weeks on end. Let her be haappy and who cares how she got her dress appointment. This young woman deserves all the happiness life puts her way as does Jaycee Duggard, who by the way was also on the cover of People. I didn’t notice anyone fussing about her getting paid. Maybe Elizabeth figured if she gave People exclusive rights she could at least control what was put out there. Just be happy for her and yes I wish every abducted child could come home too.

Samantha on

The jealousy running rampant through these posts is amazing. To all you people faulting Elizabeth Smart for giving People an exclusive of her beautiful wedding, go look in your mirrors and thank whatever God you believe in that you haven’t had to endure the ordeal Elizabeth went through. She deserves happiness. What’s wrong with wishing it for her?

Thomasin on


I believe all of us wish you well and a happy life after your ordeal. But I don’t think your “finding the perfect wedding dress” needed to make front page headlines.

guest on

The dress is not my cup of tea for a beach wedding, but the bouquet is gorgeous. I hope she and her husband have many years of happiness.

Lauren on

I love her. I love the story. I love People Magazine. But for some reason, to me, it looks like a cover of Seventeen Magazine or Teen People. Maybe it is the bright pink font. I don’t know. It looks… young.

JD on

Sounds like a shotgun wedding to me.

Next | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | Next | Show All

From Our Partners


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,515 other followers

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters