Vanessa Minnillo's 'Very Emotional' Wedding Dress Decision

07/26/2011 at 01:30 PM ET

Vanessa Minnillo Wedding Dress
Yitzhak Dalal/Hilton Media Group

When Vanessa Minnillo ventured out for that wedding dress shopping trip every girl dreams of, it didn’t go as expected. Minnillo, whose birth mother hasn’t been in her life for more than 20 years, struggled with not having her mom there with her on that special day. “Normally this is something you do with your mother, and my birth mother hasn’t been in my life since I was 9,” she explains emotionally to PEOPLE. “I have been okay with that up until now but for some unexplained reason, it really overtook me. I felt lost, confused and sad. It was very emotional.” With her matron of honor, friend Jennifer Birmingham-Lee, by her side, Minnillo worked with Monique Lhuillier to try and find the perfect dress. “This was the hardest decision in the whole wedding planning … probably because I didn’t have the support of Nick [Lachey],” Minnillo says. “We decided everything together, even his [Dolce & Gabbana] tux. For the first time, I felt a little bit alone.” To gain some clarity, the bride-to-be decided to ask for her groom’s opinion. “I said, ‘What do you want to see me in when you marry me and I become Mrs. Lachey?'” she recalls. And much to Minnillo’s surprise, Lachey didn’t give a generic male response and instead, was eager to say, “Something traditional with a little modern flair.” So following their chat, Minnillo headed back to Lhuillier’s Los Angeles boutique … and the rest is history. “Literally the next day I went to Monique and tried on my three dresses for the zillionth time. As soon as I put it on, I knew this was it.” –Jennifer Garcia

Vanessa Minnillo Wedding Dress
Courtesy Monique Lhuillier

SEE MORE DASHING DRESSES IN ‘LAST NIGHT’S LOOK: HIT OR MISS?’

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Lola on

Milkin’ this for all its worth.

samantha on

Boo Hoo Ho

suzannejc on

Sorry–but does anyone care about this couple? Wish them well and all but don’t understand why they are in People online everyday…

Cinder's mom on

I think the dress is lovely (and especially innovative since it’s a two-piece). I wish we could see a full photo of just Vanessa wearing it. I’m sure she’s just beautiful. Happiness wishes to the newlyweds.

Kari on

Hmmm, ok? I had to completely change my dress at the last minute but for good reasons; I had lost 50 pounds (on the myfreedomfit diet)!! That was emotional but for all good reasons. Anyhow, glad she found the right dress I guess. Doesn’t seem like it would be too hard working with a designer!

Carol on

zzzzzzzzzz They are soooooo boring!! Next…

Rachel on

I am sorry that your mom wasn’t there with you when you were dress shopping. I could only imagine how hard it was for you. I just wanted to say congratulations to the both of you. Your dress is very pretty. I wish you and Nick a life time of love and happiness! =)..ps. ignore the haters that are commenting!

Pam on

I wish them the best.

However, Nick is only famous because of 98 degrees and being married at one time to Jessica Simpson.

What is Vanessa famous for?

We do not need daily updates on this couple.

Kristie on

I think she seems so sweet and genuine I hope they last a lifetime. I love her bouquet, what kind of flowers are in it?

Teresa on

This is the same article from right after the wedding, just recycled with a different title…enough, already!

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