Wedding bells are ringing . . . Congratulations to Sofía Vergara and Joe Manganiello, who wed today in one of the year’s most hotly anticipated ceremonies with a lavish affair at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida. Whether or not you’ve been following along with the weekend’s festivities via social media (the couple’s portmanteau hashtag: #Jofía), chances are you’re still awaiting photos of The Gown with bated breath. News broke last month that Vergara would don a custom couture number by red carpet mainstay Zuhair Murad—no shock, considering the myriad A-list events for which the bombshell has selected his glittering designs (Emmys, Globes, Oscar bashes, et al). Even last night’s rehearsal dinner found her in a confectionary white look from Murad’s most recent Pre-Fall offering. Asked what he most admired about the actress’ style chops, he offered: “She’s very much in control of her image. She knows how to dress for her figure, choosing the designs that enhance her hourglass shape and show her marvelous curves.”
Vogue.com spoke to Murad by phone from his Beirut atelier about designing the gown for Vergara’s big day. Here are five things you need to know.
1. The Dress by the Numbers
To say Vergara’s couture dress was labor-intensive would make for a colossal understatement. Here, a few facts and figures of what went into it:
Approximately 11 pounds of sequins
Approximately 6.6 pounds of pearls
32 atelier employees working on the gown
1,657 total hours of labor
3. The Dress Has Its Roots in an Earlier Murad Runway Collection
Vergara’s decidedly 21st-century dress has some ancient inspiration. The Baroque motif hearkened back to Murad’s Spring 2013 couture collection, “inspired by the frescoes of European, especially Roman, churches,” Murad said.
4. How Murad Made Magic Happen Despite the Boundary of Long-Distance
Of the collaborative process, Murad told Vogue.com: “We [didn’t] have an occasion to meet because of our busy schedules, so we worked very closely on a daily basis for the realization of the gown, from the early stages, like the sketches, to embroidery samples, the fitting—everything was done in collaboration with both my team and her team. We spoke over the phone several times, and she explained to me what she likes and what she was dreaming about. I know very well her style, and so I wanted something very special, very sexy, and at the same time very classic, because it’s a wedding gown.”
5. Designer and Bride Weren’t the Only Ones Overcoming Geographic Challenges
Because of the ornate techniques involved in creating Vergara’s dress, the dress was produced between two continents: The petits mains of Murad’s Paris and Beirut ateliers collaborated on the work for the finished fairy-tale product—“a huge effort,” the designer said, “but she deserves it.”