Brides From Opposite Sides of the World Forge Unbreakable Bond After One Lends the Other Her Wedding Dress
Simone Crouch couldn't get the dress in South Africa. So she messaged brides who owned this specific style asking to buy it from them. Emily Heath, of Los Angeles, generously let her borrow it.
In what’s become the sisterhood of the traveling wedding dress, a bride lent her wedding dress to a stranger across the world – and not only did it fit perfectly, but it helped the two women forge an unbreakable bond.
Emily Heath, of Los Angeles, California, wore designer Rue De Seine on her big day in 2019. Her mom bought the dress as her wedding gift for about $5,000. As most brides do, she shared wedding photos on Instagram.
Then in January 2022, Heath got a direct message from a bride-to-be in South Africa looking to buy her dress. Simone Crouch had been on the hunt for this exact dress for about five years after seeing it on Pinterest. She had been scouring Instagram for anyone who had tagged the designer in their posts.
“I absolutely fell in love with it,” Crouch tells Inside Edition Digital of the dress. “I came to find out it wasn't available on my continent for sale. So I did some digging to see if I could get a pre-loved gown, or if I could get someone who was selling their dress.” Several brides had already told her no.
At first, Heath was hesitant to part with her dress, too, as any bride might be. She wasn’t sure if she would ever see it again. But something in Heath’s gut made her change her mind.
“We were forming an online friendship going back and forth talking about this dress,” she tells Inside Edition Digital. “I really started thinking about how much I loved that dress. I always was like, ‘I'll wear it again someday or maybe I'll dye it,’ or all the things that you lie about with wedding dresses that you're going to do again someday. This dress is beautiful. It was so special to me and it's just been sitting in the closet for three years. Why not? It has another opportunity to get worn. Why not give it the chance?”
Then came the saga of shipping the dress to South Africa.
“We have a terrible postal service. You'll either never see it or you'll see it in three years time. And we just decided it wasn't worth the risk of not getting it,” Crouch explains.
So, Heath shipped it for about $120 to the United Kingdom, where Crouch’s mom lives. A family friend then picked it up and carried it in her luggage back to Johannesburg. Crouch was ecstatic to try it on. It was the Spring and the wedding was in December.
“I tried it on and it fit like a glove. We didn't do any alterations. There was nothing needed for the dress. It was the most overwhelming feeling, but it was just stunning,” she says. That both women are 6-feet tall also contributed to the dress fitting perfectly.
Crouch and her fiance, Daniel, decided to invite Health and her husband, Jeff, to the wedding. They even offered to pay for their hotel stay. “It was a very expensive dress and she had complete faith in me. I just thought, how special would it be to have the lady who (let me borrow) her dress at my wedding,” Crouch says.
Since their honeymoon was canceled due to the pandemic, the California couple packed their bags and made this their honeymoon adventure. They even brought an entire suitcase of American cereal for the newlyweds.
They saw penguins, lions, elephants and sunsets. But one of the most stunning parts of their trip was witnessing Crouch in all her glory wearing the dress of her dreams.
“It was so special. My husband cried when he saw her, which is very sweet,” Heath says.
“One of my fondest memories is when I was walking down the aisle,” Crouch says. “It's such an overwhelming feeling. I don't think anyone will understand that until you’re a bride.”
And getting to see the Heaths there, she says, was “one of the best feelings.”
The husbands even formed their own bond. “They look so much alike and their mannerisms are very similar and they dress the same,” Heath says. “Our husbands are long lost twins.”
It comes as no surprise to the women that they and their husbands have forged such a connection. In fact, it almost felt meant to be.
“It felt (like we were) seeing friends that we've known forever,” shared Heath.
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