After Talya Ilovitz (née Strauss) got engaged, the hunt for a dress for her Orthodox wedding felt endless. She never imagined her best option would be a sleeveless white cocktail dress a few sizes too big. But after searching widely, every other possibility was either too expensive or didn’t have sleeves.
Israeli wedding dresses typically run the gamut from over-the-top ballroom showstoppers to gracefully minimalist renditions. While these three prominent Israeli designers showcase very different trends, they all appeal to the masses with their signature styles. From Victor Bellaish’s specialty boho-centric creations to Lihi Hod’s extra-romantic sheaths and Hila Gaon’s streamlined, modern garments, Israeli wedding design is inspired by the past and the present, by the local market and European craftsmanship — but, most significantly, by the brides themselves. With that said, expect some inventive and sassy designs (truly sabra). And take note, most Israeli wedding dress designers rent their dresses out per occasion (although there is always the option to buy, as is the custom in the United States and Europe).
My wedding story begins with a dress. Not just any dress, but the kind that makes people's heads turn when the wearer walks into a room.