Hours to go and advice from an eight-year-old: the mad-dash story behind Lily Allen’s wedding dress

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Anna Brech
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Who needs months of planning? Lily Allen reveals that the iconic Dior dress she wore for her Las Vegas wedding to David Harbour last month was chosen on a whim with hours to go.

Like all the best-laid plans, weddings don’t always go to schedule.

And so it was for Lily Allen recently, as she picked out a dress just hours before tying the knot with Stranger Things star David Harbour in Las Vegas. 

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In true Vegas style, Allen and Harbour pretty much rolled with the moment on the run-up to their September nuptials – including Allen having a last-minute change of heart  on what to wear.

In a new interview with The Sunday Times, Allen reveals that she already had a hired dress enroute to her hotel on her wedding day last month when – prompted by her eight-year-old daughter, Ethel – she decided to search some more.

“Literally, there was an hour in it,” Allen recalls. “I had rented a dress, which was on its way to the hotel, then Ethel said, ‘Let’s keep looking.’ So we went to a few other shops.”

The belted Dior mini-dress that the Smile singer eventually chose (above), and that was an instant hit in the fashion world, was a spur-of-the-moment decision – not least because it didn’t even appear on the shop floor.

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“That dress wasn’t even on the rail, it was in a back room,” says Allen. “The girl in the shop said, ‘What’s the occasion?’ I was, like, ‘I’m getting married!’ She said, ‘Well, I’ve got this dress, it’s not really a wedding dress …’ I tried it on.”

It was Allen’s daughter, Ethel, who then gave her mum the nod of approval she needed. “Ethel was playing this game called Roblox on my phone,” she says. “I said, ‘What do you think?’ She looked at me, looked back at the phone, and said, ‘I really don’t think you’re leaving this shop without it.’ Aged eight.”

A last-minute choice it may have been, but Allen was able to pull off the look like a pro, teaming the 60s-style number with a beehive hairdo and veil.

Elvis, of course, officiated (who else?).      

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The Stylist guest editor also posted snaps of herself tucking into a burger after the ceremony, in a wedding reception attended by her new husband, Ethel and her other daughter, Marnie.

So for anyone grappling with wedding plans right now (especially with all the headaches of a global pandemic), take heed.

You don’t really need a gown that costs $380,000 to make, or that features a nine-foot train, in order to stand out.

As Allen shows, the dress you pick out on a whim two ticks before might be just as good, plus – for bonus points – you’ll probably be able to eat burgers in it with ease. Win.

Image: Getty

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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for stylist.co.uk. Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.