- Katya May and Sam Blum were married in an intimate ceremony with just 10 guests in May 2020.
- May knew she wanted a dress with sleeves that didn't look like something every bride wore.
- She chose a short Harriette Gordon dress with unique long sleeves that she paired with a floor-length veil from the same designer.
- "I couldn't have been happier with the overall look," May said of her unconventional wedding outfit.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
Katya May and Sam Blum met when they were teenagers.
The Australia-based couple met at a mutual friend's party when they were just 16, May, who is now 27, told Insider.
But they didn't become a couple until they were both 19. They've been together ever since.
They got engaged in October 2018 and married in May 2020.
"Sam proposed to me at a beautiful winery outside of Melbourne in Red Hill," May told Insider.
The couple originally planned to get married in April 2020, but they had to change their plans as a result of the coronavirus.
May started looking for her wedding dress about a year before her wedding date. She wasn't sure if she wanted to buy a straight-from-the-rack dress or get a custom-made gown, so she gave herself plenty of time to explore her options.
"I wanted a dress with sleeves, but I had a very open mind when I started looking," May said. "I was looking for something a little different than your ordinary wedding dress."
She didn't have a set budget for her dress, but she knew she didn't want to spend too much.
May wasn't in love with this strapless, layered gown.
The dress had a layered look, flowing into a high-low skirt.
May liked the fabric and layers, but the strapless neckline wasn't for her.
The skirt on this dress didn't win her over, either.
May thought the layered skirt was beautiful, and she liked the fun fabric.
But again, the dress was strapless, which wasn't what May wanted for her wedding dress.
This dress felt too traditional for May.
May liked how the combination of the sweetheart neckline and full skirt looked on her, but the effect was pretty traditional.
She imagined herself in something more unique for her wedding day.
The sleeves and neckline on this dress were pretty, but it still wasn't right.
This dress had unique touches, such as the transparent fabric covering May's arms and back. But it still wasn't what she was looking for.
After shopping around, none of the expensive, long dresses May tried on felt like her, as she told Insider.
"After trying on some dresses, I quickly realized I was happy to just buy an off-the-rack dress," May said. "I didn't want to spend thousands of dollars on a dress that I would only be wearing for one day."
When May tried on this short gown, she knew it was the one.
The Harriette Gordon dress had long sleeves, a high neckline, and button detailing on the wrists.
A ruffled hemline elevated the garment, and the sleeves were exactly what May had been hoping for.
May was also drawn to the high neckline.
"I love a high-neck style," she said. "It's very me."
"I just felt happy in it," May said of the dress.
"It was fun, different, and not ridiculously expensive."
May's gown cost about $1,380 ($1,900 AUD).
May paired the dress with a floor-length, statement veil.
May's veil was from Harriette Gordon, the same designer of her dress, so it pulled together the whole look.
"I love the contrast of a short dress and a long veil," May told Insider. "It just gives the outfit a beautiful depth."
The veil cost about $675 ($928 AUD).
The veil could cover May's face, but she wore it clipped back into her hair for most of the event.
The outfit had a romantic feel with the veil in front of May's face, while the clipped-back style allowed the dress to shine.
For instance, it would be harder to notice some details of the dress — like the bow at the back of the neckline — if the veil weren't swept to the side.
The details on the long sleeves elevated the look.
May's wedding dress has peasant sleeves that flow into tighter cuffs with delicate buttons.
May paired her ensemble with black shoes and a white clutch.
The black shoes were an important part of the look for May.
"I wanted to wear black shoes, as that's very me, and I think it's important to buy pieces that you will re-wear," she said. "Why spend so much money on something you will only wear once?"
For the finishing touch, May's hair and makeup artist, Cassandra Lusi, gave her a burgundy lip color and loose waves that let the veil shine.
May said she felt "amazing" in her gown.
"I couldn't have been happier with the overall look," she said. "I loved my dress with the veil together."
"I just think it was perfect," she added of the look.
May's sister, Chloe, photographed her wedding day.
Chloe May is a professional wedding photographer, so it made sense for her to document her sister's wedding day.
"It was the most special feeling — not only to be able to witness my little sister marry her love and best friend, but to be able to capture their day and create portrait magic with them," Chloe told Insider.
"I was trying very hard not to cry as I photographed Katya walking down the aisle," she said.
Luca Zarik provided videographer services.
May and Blum had to change their wedding plans because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The couple had to push their wedding date back one month, and they decreased the size of the event.
"We ended up having an intimate ceremony of just 10 guests," she said.
"Even though it wasn't what we had planned, it all turned out amazing, and I wouldn't have changed it for anything," May said.
Panache & Co. officiated the intimate occasion.
May advises other brides to have an open mind when they shop for their wedding dresses.
"A dress can look very different on the hanger versus when you try it on," she said.
"Don't stress if you don't find the right dress at the start," May added.
"It will all come together in the end," she said.
"We have a lot of fun together," May said of herself and Blum.
"We don't take ourselves too seriously," she said.
The couple also had an extra reason to celebrate on their wedding day.
"A week before Sam and I got married, we found out we were pregnant," May said.
"It was really special knowing our little baby was at our wedding," May said.
You can find more of Chloe May's photography on Instagram.
If you are in the process of shopping for your wedding dress or have photos from when you shopped and want to talk to Insider for a story, get in touch at [email protected]
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