Thrift store hunters are always looking for an amazing deal. But it’s not every day you find a designer wedding dress for over 99% off.
Twenty-one-year-old student Emmali Osterhoudt got just that when she and a friend went looking for picture frames at their local Goodwill in Birmingham, Alabama, in early September. Osterhoudt had already been checked out when they spotted a section of the store they hadn’t browsed. The two friends went over and found themselves looking at purses and wedding dresses (they’d always wanted to re-create that scene in “Friends” with the wedding gowns, Osterhoudt told Insider).
One wedding dress in particular caught their eye — a sparkly, semi-sheer, embellished mermaid silhouette gown that was just Osterhoudt’s size. And it was selling for $25! Although she isn’t engaged (though she does have a boyfriend), Osterhoudt couldn’t let the gorgeous gown go and bought it.
Later, she looked up the label. The dress is from the Gala collection of Israeli couture bridal and fashion brand Galia Lahav House of Couture and was originally priced at around $6,200, she said. Celebrities including Paris Hilton, Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé have worn the label’s dresses. Prices for Galia Lahav gowns start in the $5,000 range and go up to $20,000. The wedding dresses are rare enough that one commenter even noted that they had never laid eyes on one after nine years in the bridal industry.
Here’s a video of Osterhoudt sharing her find on TikTok at @emallifaith, which has gone viral.
Im so freaking excited about this find, i may not even use it when it comes to the day because im not getting engaged or married for awhile but maybe its fate lol also jlo has worn this brand as well #galialahav #galialahavbride #goodwill #weddingdress @Galia Lahav
“Emmali is the definition of LUCKY GIRL — congratulations!” Yael Friedman, Galia Lahav’s global public relations manager, told Insider.
Osterhoudt also said in a follow-up TikTok that she doesn’t plan to resell the dress but will save it for her own wedding day, “whenever that time comes.” She’s also not superstitious about the dress having “bad juju” attached to it because it was given by its original owner to Goodwill.
“I think that … beautiful things can come from bad situations. And I do think that this dress might have actually been like, God’s plan or like, pretty much fate,” Osterhoudt said.
Wish you could find a designer wedding dress for a steal? After Galia Lahav heard about Osterhoudt’s find, the company told People that it plans to send more of its dresses out to Goodwills in the U.S. for other lucky shoppers to find. By doing so, it hopes to create more “Cinderella moments,” as Friedman called them.
And, well, if your store browsing still comes up short and you’re set on a Galia Lahav for your big day, you can find used and sample dresses of the same G-207 gown for sale online. They’re a few thousand dollars more than Osterhoudt’s amazing price, though.
What’s the best shopping deal you’ve ever scored?