Sabrina Bryan can thank Olympian Aly Raisman for her wedding dress. The star of Disney Channel’s ’00s movie The Cheetah Girls married Jordan Lundberg in October 2018, at Wayne Newton’s mansion in Las Vegas, opting to wear an ethereal custom Hayley Paige gown in line with her glamorous theme.
Bryan had long been a fan of Paige, but it wasn’t until a run-in with Raisman at an event that the bride-to-be finally had a direct line to the bridal designer. “I’ve been watching Hayley through Instagram for so long,” Bryan tells The Knot in an exclusive interview. “I just started following her and her hashtags and one point I liked one of her dresses and I reposted it and she commented me back.”
“I ran into Aly at the Women’s Choice Awards—we both had Mark Ballas on Dancing With the Stars as a partner—and I was so excited to tell her that I loved a dress she had worn to the CMAs,” recalls Bryan. “I was like, ‘I’m obsessed with that designer.’”
Raisman then pulled out her phone and texted Paige to introduce the pair. “It shows the power of Instagram and social connectivity these days,” Paige tells us. “There was a mutual admiration.”
Two weeks later, Bryan nervously sent Paige a text with hopes that the designer would work with her on a custom vision. “We really hit it off, bonded quickly, and she invited me to that next Bridal Fashion Week show of hers in October 2017. At that point it was a done deal. I knew I wanted a Hayley dress. It was right up my alley.”
Bryan’s wedding dress journey was documented for TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress airing Saturday, February 16. Much of the episode will feature Bryan and Paige working through the customization process and the differences between wanting the idea of something against ultimately selecting what makes sense.
“Even if you’re looking for a custom look, it’s important to see what you’re loving and what’s resonating with your personal taste,” Paige explains. “Sabrina was very transparent. She loved the Lorelai, which is one of our iconic pieces which has been around for a few seasons now.”
“I wanted her to feel like she could extend beyond the range of the collection,” Paige explains. Bryan tried on the Sloane gown—which includes iridescent beadwork with an overskirt (a “two-in-one” says Paige, “and she loved that.”)
However, Bryan liked both. “She was torn between the idea of going with one, and I said, ‘Why don’t we take your favorite elements of what you want and give you two completely different looks,” Paige explains. “So we took the iridescent alabaster beadwork from Sloane and reincorporated the embroidery and named it the ‘Sabrina.’ We also trickled it into the skirt so she had a little more continuity so it was upping the ante on the sparkle game.”
“My wedding decor was fairytale glamour with chandeliers and crystals,” Bryan explains. Going into the process, she acknowledges, “I’m short and I’m 5 foot. As much as you see dresses, I knew that the slimmer tighter mermaid look [would be good for me]—and I liked that—but I really loved the ballgown.”
The bride adds, “I was hoping, but I knew any Hayley Paige dress would be amazing.”
The reason why such heavy emphasis was placed on Bryan’s gown all came down to one of her favorite wedding moments. “Jordan and I both decided we wanted to see each other at the aisle for the first time. We didn’t want to do pictures before or even that first look. We didn’t want to do that,” she explains. “For me, I always dreamt of seeing my husband for the first time and seeing his face of me in my dress and all ready to go.”
Paige admits the customization is offered under exceptional circumstances due to the level of work that goes into the process. “We like to do it in a way that we get inspired and excited,” the designer muses. “And eventually, we put that dress on the collection and name it after the bride. We did that with Sabrina and we did that with Lauren Burnham… It’s not like that gown is lost forever and we get to offer it to brides around the world.”
Bryan also says it was important that she was able to dance at her reception; Hence, why, the actress went with an outfit swap. “Obviously I love to dance, and that’s a big part of the night, and I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do,” she says. “I liked the idea of the sleeves—my mom had the same with her wedding dress—and I loved having a dress created.”
However, Paige was practical yet gentle about providing alternative suggestions. “[In the episode, you’ll us] kind of go back and forth,” says Bryan. “She was showing me all the ways of how you can get your perfect dress come together. At the end, she was like, ‘How about two dresses?’”
Ultimately, they also were able to settle on a dress swap. “It prolongs the day in a way,” says Paige. “You get twice as many pictures in two completely different looks.”
“And, who doesn’t love an outfit change?” Bryan laughs.
Watch the clip above for a preview of the episode and tune in to Say Yes to the Dress on TLC at 8 p.m. ET.
Secure your ideal wedding vision by starting with The Knot’s Style Quiz, here.