A Boutique Bride: Wedding Fashion from Goodwill of Orange County


Let’s face it: Weddings cost a pretty penny. From the venue and the flowers to the DJ and the photographer, it all adds up rather quickly. And that doesn’t even factor in the cost of the dress!

If you can’t quite wrap your mind around spending thousands of dollars on a dress you’ll only wear for one day, why not go thrifting for one instead? You’d be pleasantly surprised with what you may find. In fact, one of our favorite local brides did just that and ended up walking out of the OC Goodwill Boutique with a quality dress for just a fraction of the cost.

We sat down with Christy to talk about her wedding day, the gorgeous gown she bought at the Boutique, and what she loves most about shopping at Goodwill of Orange County.

Goodwill of Orange County: Congratulations on your wedding! How did your husband propose? Did you see it coming?

Christy Pacella: He proposed on a farm in the woods at our friend’s estate in Oregon. I didn’t see it coming!

Goodwill of Orange County: Your wedding was beautiful! Where was it? What was the day like?

Christy Pacella: The wedding was last August at Aliso Creek Golf Course on the green at sunset. Our theme was a “white wedding,” so all of the guests wore white or tan. It was such a beautiful day. Our altar had vintage church doors that my mother and oldest sister fashioned into a backdrop, and my father and stepmother helped build an extra large frame to use as a live photo booth for our guests to take photos in.

bride1Goodwill of Orange County: We absolutely love your dress! And we hear that you found it at the OC Goodwill Boutique! Did it happen by chance or have you always shopped there?

Christy Pacella: I’ve shopped at Goodwill since I was a child. As an adult, I did a lot of shopping to find unique merchandise for the vintage store that I owned and operated for 10 years. We specialized in vintage clothing and accessories, as well as my couture clothing line that was designed from recycled fashions found at Goodwill.

I found my wedding dress by chance and stowed it in my office as I had been redesigning another dress that I purchased at Goodwill. That dress was amazing and took six months to design! Unfortunately, it ended up getting ruined by my seamstress because she hemmed it too short. So, on the day of my wedding I knew I had to come up with something fast otherwise I wouldn’t have anything to wear!

So I used the second dress I purchased from Goodwill (pictured above) to make a new dress. Using the fabric from the other dress, I cut out each periwinkle blue rosette and hand stitched them to the back of the dress. After hours of tailoring it myself, I rushed to my wedding venue where my girlfriend grabbed a needle and thread finished the remaining flowers while I had my hair done. I was 20 minutes late but managed to get the dress done in time to walk down the aisle!

Goodwill of Orange County: Wow! You’re resourceful! Did you add any other special touches to the dress? 

Christy Pacella: Aside from the flowers, I added a layer of lace underneath to give it more of a unique feel. I also added some beading by hand to make the simple white dress sparkle in the setting sun.

Goodwill of Orange County: We heard you also found a ton of other great items for your big day at Goodwill. 

Christy Pacella: Yes, I did! All of my bridesmaids’ dresses also came from Goodwill, each so unique and costing less than $20 each. We also bought their shoes and vintage brooches for their hair there as well. Even the props we used in the photo booth (hats, funny glasses, and umbrellas) came from Goodwill!

Goodwill of Orange County: Aside from finding a beautiful dress for your big day, what else do you like about shopping at Goodwill of Orange County?

Christy Pacella: Goodwill has always afforded me a place to find very unique items at affordable prices. Everyday is a new fresh stock to choose from!


Wedding season is upon us! If you’re planning a wedding within the next year, visit the OC Goodwill Boutique in Tustin today to find a stunning selection of one-of-a-kind bridal gowns.

Did you buy your wedding dress at the Boutique? Tweet us pictures at @OCGoodwill and we’ll share them with our fans! Maybe we’ll even include you in our #HaulOfFame, where we feature the best Goodwill finds our fans send us.


  1. I’m speechless! This dress is gorgeous! Bravo – great story!

  2. This is an awesome wedding dress. I am getting married to a girl next week at one of the wedding venues in long island. I hope my bride will also choose such a dress.

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