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Thrifter who found $6,200 wedding dress for $25 just got engaged

Emmali Osterhoudt had no idea her $25 wedding dress from Goodwill was worth thousands when she bought it.
Image from designer Galia Lahav's website shows the $6,200 wedding dress a woman found at Goodwill for $25.
Posted at 9:20 AM, Jan 05, 2024

A thrift store shopper who went viral for finding a designer wedding dress for $25 now has a reason to wear it.

Emmali Osterhoudt stumbled across a $6,200 Galia Lahav mermaid gown at a Goodwill near her Alabama home in September. At the time, she was dating someone but not engaged. She also had no idea what that $25 find was actually worth when she bought it.

Luckily for her and the dress, her boyfriend didn’t wait much longer to propose.

He popped the question while the two were visiting England, getting down on one knee in front of Buckingham Palace on Dec. 18.

Osterhoudt shared the moment, caught on video, on her TikTok channel the next day, captioning it, “I can finally wear my $25 Galia Lahav dress!!!!”

“I knew Nick was going to propose in London, I just didn’t think he would that soon,” Osterhoudt told Business Insider. “Not only was I surprised, but I got my own little royal engagement at Buckingham Palace.”

The pair plans to wed in June 2025 with her wearing her Goodwill find.

The backstory on Osterhoudt finding her future wedding gown before even needing one is that she and a friend went looking for picture frames at their local Goodwill in Birmingham, Alabama, in early September. Osterhoudt had already checked out when they spotted a section of the store they hadn’t browsed. The two friends went over and found themselves looking at purses and wedding dresses (they’d always wanted to re-create the scene in “Friends” where Monica, Rachel and Phoebe lounge on the couch in wedding dresses to cheer themselves up, Osterhoudt told Insider).

One wedding dress in particular caught their eye — a sparkly, semi-sheer, embellished mermaid silhouette gown that was just Osterhoudt’s size. And it was selling for $25!

Later, she looked up the label. The G-207 dress is from the Gala collection of Israeli couture bridal and fashion brand Galia Lahav House of Couture and was originally priced at around $6,200. Celebrities including Paris Hilton, Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé have worn the label’s dresses. Prices for Galia Lahav gowns start in the $5,000 range and go up to $20,000.

Osterhoudt’s original video of her sharing her find went viral in September.

This story was originally published by Simplemost.