/A bride tried on 6 dresses before finding the one, but then she had to postpone her wedding

A bride tried on 6 dresses before finding the one, but then she had to postpone her wedding

Sabina Leybold and Harsh Bhargav didn’t expect to like each other.

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The couple met on a dating app.

Leybold, 23, and Bhargav, 24, met on a dating app in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, early in 2019.

“Neither of us was super excited about the first date,” Leybold told Insider. But they decided to meet up anyway, and they were surprised to find themselves quickly enamored with one another.

They ended up seeing each other three more times that week.

“We’ve basically been inseparable ever since,” Leybold said.

The couple got engaged in January 2020.

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They planned to get married in March 2020.

The proposal didn’t come as a surprise, as Leybold and Bhargav had already talked about getting married in March 2020.

“We picked our venue the day before he proposed,” Leybold said.

“We’re both pretty low-maintenance,” she added. “Neither of us wanted a big, huge wedding.”

The couple planned a small wedding of around thirty guests for March, with Bhargavr’s family, who are based in India, planning to fly to the US for the nuptials.

Leybold started looking for a wedding dress a week after she got engaged.

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Leybold didn’t want a fancy wedding dress.

Since the wedding would take place only two months after the proposal, she didn’t have much time to shop.

Leybold planned on wearing a white cocktail dress rather than a wedding gown, as she thought it would go better with her laid-back vibe.

“I wanted something that was comfortable,” she said of her vision for a dress. “That was my number one priority while shopping. One that felt comfortable and let me move around.”

That immediately ruled out a strapless dress for Leybold, as the style didn’t sound comfortable to her.

Leybold also knew she wanted her dress to coordinate with the sherwani Bhargav would wear.

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Leybold wanted her dress to go with Bhargav’s outfit.

Swiger Photography

Bhargav wanted to honor his Indian culture with his wedding ensemble, so he planned to wear a traditional sherwani to the wedding.

“I chose not to also wear something Indian,” Leybold said. “It’s not my background, and it wasn’t necessarily something that I saw myself in.”

“I still wanted to have more of an American-style wedding dress, but I wanted to have something that would look good with what he was wearing.”

With that in mind, Leybold started shopping for dresses online with a loose budget of $500.

The second gown was supposed to be a white midi dress, but Leybold’s height made it shorter than she anticipated.

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This gown was too short.

Sabina Leybold

The $198 Dress The Population gown had a cinched waist and sweetheart neckline, and when Leybold saw it online, she loved the mid-calf length it was supposed to have.

Leybold said she thought it was “the dress” when she first saw it on the website. 

“But on the model in the picture, it was midi-length, and I’m so tall that it’s a knee-length dress.”

“I liked it. It just wasn’t what I was expecting,” she said.

The search continued.

Leybold thought this gown was pretty, but it wasn’t as comfortable as she was hoping it would be.

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The gown’s straps weren’t comfortable.

Sabina Leybold

The $271 Dessy Collection gown was the most formal of the dresses she ordered.

While Leybold liked the straight silhouette it created, the off-the-shoulder straps prevented her from lifting her arms, which wouldn’t work for her wedding.

“I couldn’t move my arms, so that wasn’t going to happen,” she said.

After trying on the more casual dresses at home, Leybold realized she did want a more formal wedding gown.

“You can wear a white dress any old day, but something as formal as a bridal gown is meant to at least be a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” she told Insider.

So Leybold headed to a bridal shop with one friend to try on dresses.

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This dress didn’t feel right.

Sabina Leybold

She went to The Sample Rack in Philadelphia, which only has sample dresses. The gowns can’t be custom ordered, and there’s often only one of each gown in a size in the store, so it’s important to buy a dress you like quickly.

“They are on the lower end price-wise, but are still a higher-end type dress,” Leybold said of the dresses in the store.

Leybold tried on this A-line gown first, drawn to the tiered lace design on the skirt. Although it was pretty, she didn’t love the dress.

“I don’t know what it was about it,” she said. “It just didn’t really feel right. I think I was uncomfortable in it.”

Leybold was surprised to find herself drawn to this princess-style ball gown.

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The princess gown surprised Leybold.

Sabina Leybold

“I was surprised that I liked it,” Leybold said of the ball gown, which had beaded detailing on the bodice and a tulle skirt.

“It does feel very American princess wedding, not this ‘mishmash of cultures’ vibe” that she was hoping to find in a gown, Leybold explained.

“And it was going to need a lot more alterations,” she added. “It was too small, so the back would need to be entirely redone.”

Leybold said that sounded risky and like it would cost a lot of money.

“It didn’t have the right feeling, and I also wasn’t emotionally attached to it. I wasn’t going to be emotionally upset if that dress was gone,” Leybold said.

But when she tried on this fitted gown, Leybold knew she found something special.

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The fitted gown was special.

Sabina Leybold

The fitted Willowby By Watters dress had a V-shaped neckline and geometric crochet detailing throughout the gown. 

Leybold loved the pattern detailing on the gown in particular. It “felt like it could toe the line” between Leybold and Bhargav’s cultures, as she put it.

The dress was approximately $1,200, which was more than double Leybold’s original $500 budget.

“Besides our photographer, my dress is the most expensive thing happening at our wedding,” Leybold said.

The gown also had a dynamic shape on the back that Leybold was drawn to.

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The back had a unique design.

Sabina Leybold

She was torn between this gown and the princess-style dress, so she wanted to sleep on her decision.

But then Leybold’s shopping companion asked her how she would feel if someone else bought the gown, preventing her from getting it since there was only one version of the dress in her size at the store.

She realized she’d be devastated if the dress was gone, so she decided to buy it that day.

The gown needed a few alterations after Leybold bought it.

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Leybold removed the gown’s train.

Swiger Photography

Because the dress was a sample, it didn’t fit Leybold exactly right when she bought it.

First, it needed to be taken in and the straps needed to be shortened. “It probably would’ve been better if it was down a size, but luckily that’s a pretty easy alteration to make,” Leybold said.

But the biggest alteration was removing the gown’s train, which pained Leybold to do.

“Our venue is very small, we’re only having thirty people, and comfort is so important to me, so I don’t want to have a train,” she said.

“I’m going to be tripping over it all night or I’d have to carry it around, or someone else is going to step on it because our venue is so small.”

“It was too bad because I really thought it was beautiful. I was distraught,” she added.

As the March wedding date approached, Leybold and Bhargav realized they wouldn’t be able to have their event as planned because of the coronavirus.

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The couple had to postpone their wedding.

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They realized it was time to postpone on March 15.

Both of their companies implemented work-from-home policies, and travel restrictions were starting to be put in place, which was a problem because Bhargav’s family planned on flying to Pennsylvania from India.

They postponed the wedding to October, though they planned to get married at home in the spring of 2020 anyway, thanks to Pennsylvania’s self-uniting wedding option, which allowed the couple to get married without an officiant.

“It’s nice that we had the power to do whatever felt right for our relationship,” Leybold said. 

A few days after they postponed the wedding, Bhargav got the idea to have a photo shoot in their wedding attire before the couple had to self-isolate.

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The couple had a photoshoot in their wedding attire.

Swiger Photography

“I think we were both mourning the loss of the celebration,” Leybold said. “We knew it was the right decision, but it was a sad decision.”

Bhargav suggested they see if their photographer could spend an hour or two with them from a distance before they had to totally self-isolate. They hoped it would make the postponement a little less upsetting.

“I would have never thought to do that,” Leybold said of the photo shoot.

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The shoot made the day feel special.

Swiger Photography

“I’m really glad he suggested it because it was an extra special day,” Leybold said of her now-husband’s idea.

The day was also fun because Leybold had a pre-existing relationship with their photographer, Amanda Swiger, as she had previously done a boudoir shoot with her.

“She’s hilarious,” Leybold said of her photographer.

The couple had a blast taking pictures together.

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The photo shoot gave them a reason to be happy.

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“Amanda was just like, ‘Sometimes I have couples who don’t really want to be affectionate on camera or grooms who aren’t really into it,'” Leybold said.

But Bhargav was just as excited to be there as his soon-to-be wife, and he had no trouble showing his love for Leybold.

Leybold said the shoot was more fun because it felt a bit like the last hurrah.

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The shoot brought the couple joy.

Swiger Photography

“Knowing that we were going to be isolated for a few weeks, you know?” she added.

“It was a beautiful day in Philly, and there was just this resounding feeling of we’re all doing our best right now.”

“It was just like the embodiment of that for sure,” she said.

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