Thrifter who found $6,200 wedding dress at Goodwill for $25 just got engaged

Emmali Osterhoudt wears Galia Lahav gown she found at Goodwill

A thrift store shopper who recently found a designer wedding dress for $25 now has a reason to wear it.

Emmali Osterhoudt stumbled across a $6,200 Galia Lahav mermaid gown at a Goodwill near her Alabama home in September. At the time, she was dating someone but not engaged.

MORE: Woman buys $2 thrift store necklace that turns out to be a $3,000 work of art

Luckily for her and the dress, her boyfriend didn’t wait much longer to propose.

He popped the question while the two were visiting England, getting down on one knee in front of Buckingham Palace on Dec. 18.

Osterhoudt shared the moment, caught on video, on her TikTok channel the next day, captioning it, “I can finally wear my $25 @Galia Lahav dress!!!!”


I can finally wear my $25 @Galia Lahav dres!!!! #goodwill #weddingdress #goodwillweddingdress #galialahav #engaged

♬ Clocks – Coldplay


“I knew Nick was going to propose in London, I just didn’t think he would that soon,” Osterhoudt told Business Insider. “Not only was I surprised, but I got my own little royal engagement at Buckingham Palace.”

The pair plans to wed in June 2025  with her wearing her Goodwill find.

The 21-year-old also posted a video a few days later where she shared a “fit check” of her outfit including a Coach purse her now-fiance, Nick, gifted her for Christmas and her brand new engagement ring. “Not over it,” she wrote of being newly engaged.


not over it

♬ original sound – Emmali

The backstory on Osterhoudt’s finding her future wedding gown before even needing one is that she and a friend went looking for picture frames at their local Goodwill in Birmingham, Alabama, in early September. Osterhoudt had already 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 the scene in “Friends” where Monica, Rachel and Phoebe lounge on the couch in wedding dresses to cheer themselves up, 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!

Galia Lahav G-207 wedding dress
Galia Lahav

Later, she looked up the label. The G-207 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. 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.

Here’s Osterhoudt’s original video, which went viral, of her sharing her find on TikTok at @emmalifaith.


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

♬ original sound – Emmali

MORE: Is Goodwill getting more expensive? 

“Emmali is the definition of LUCKY GIRL — congratulations!” Yael Friedman, Galia Lahav’s global public relations manager, told Insider.

At the time, Osterhoudt had said in a follow-up TikTok that she didn’t plan to resell the dress but would save it for her own wedding day, “whenever that time comes.” She also wasn’t 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.


Answer some of the Galia Lahav dress questions with me!!! 🫶🏼🫶🏼 #goodwill #goodwillfinds #galialahav #weddingdress

♬ original sound – Emmali


MORE: This bride asked friends to wear their old wedding dresses to her wedding

In this case, it seems fate wanted Osterhoudt to pick out her perfect wedding dress just a little earlier than her engagement.

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 several thousand dollars more than Osterhoudt’s amazing price, though.

What’s the best shopping deal you’ve ever scored?

MORE: Woman’s $3.99 Goodwill vase sells for $107,000

Fashion & Style, Life, News, Viral
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About the Author
Anna Weaver
Anna Weaver is a writer and multimedia journalist from Hawaii. Her two young kids keep her on her toes and hooked on online shopping. Anna’s also a fan of movies, reading, photography, and sharing far too many IG stories about cute dogs and capybaras.

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