We help brides create an event brimming with unusually beautiful garments and objects reflective of their unique personalities. This is our blog.

shop our site

Real Weddings

BHLDN Love Note | Estee

When #BHLDNbride Estee was diagnosed with breast cancer just a few months after her fiancé proposed, she wasn’t sure that she would make it to their wedding day. Fully recovered and eager to finally marry Brett, she discovered that her original wedding dress couldn’t be altered according to plan. Luckily, her seamstress knew that BHLDN would be able to help and sent Estee our way. Read on for how Estee found the perfect dress to celebrate both her recovery and her love story.

“Brett and I met in high school, but we didn’t start dating until after college. We reconnected when I was starting my first high school teaching job in California, and he was working for a company based in Minnesota. Our relationship began as long distance, which was challenging! Brett moved back to California for graduate school, and we dated for 5 years before he proposed in August 2016.

Two months later, in November 2016, I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. As 28-year-olds, our focus shifted from planning a wedding to surviving cancer. I’ll never forget when Brett looked me steadfastly in the eyes and said, “Nothing between us is going to change.” Knowing he was on this journey with me gave me hope that we would have our special day to celebrate our love and my defeat of cancer. I knew we could get through this together – he’s always been there for me. Even when I was panicking one evening and looking up things like how are most individual critical illness insurance policies issued? He was there for me, through all the bad and the good, he’s been there by my side, supporting me through everything.

I started chemotherapy, which lasted for six months, and I had a bilateral mastectomy in May 2017. I completed the reconstruction phase in January 2018. Our wedding was planned for May 2018, and I went in for a final dress fitting one week before. Unfortunately, my seamstress told me that our plans to customize my original dress to my body weren’t going to work. She referred me to BHLDN, so I quickly made an appointment at the Newport Beach shop.

The Ludlow was the first dress I tried on. I thought I had found my dream dress before, but Ludlow was the one. A frantic moment became fueled with energy and excitement as the BHLDN stylist team overnight-shipped the dress and connected me with a local tailor who altered the dress in one day!

What I love about the dress is its low-cut back, train, and beautiful lace design. It also fit perfectly with our wedding venue. But, most importantly, the dress fit the new me. Although I arrived at BHLDN unexpectedly, I am forever grateful for the serendipitous encounter that added the final touches on my wedding journey.

Our wedding was at Casitas Estate in Arroyo Grande. There was a taco and margarita bar, plus an evening full of dancing, laughing, and celebrating. Every moment was personal and meaningful for Brett and me. My brother’s band helped get the party started, my best friend from elementary school designed our cake, and the same friend who had helped me shave my head when I was diagnosed did my hair. After all we had been through, we wanted nothing more than a day to just live, eat, drink, and be merry. Too often we take people and time for granted, and we knew firsthand what it meant to have all our loved ones together in the same place. I was so present at my wedding and cherished every moment with Brett and our family and friends.”

Shop the Ludlow Gown
#BHLDNbride | @esteefratzke
Photographer | Anya McInroy

You May Also Like: