Denise Richards’ Wedding Dress Designer Talks Having Only 24 Hours Notice (Exclusive)

This is a dress emergency!

Denise Richards tied the knot with boyfriend Aaron Phypers on Saturday in Malibu, just days after getting engaged. That meant they needed someone to put together the perfect dress in a matter of hours! ET spoke with dress designer, Mark Zunino, who told us how he managed to help the 47-year-old actress look stunning while saying, “I do!”

It all began with Zunino getting a call on Thursday (Sept. 6) to learn that an event planner’s client had just gotten engaged and wanted to get married in two days — so she desperately needed a dress!
 
“With a 24-hour turnaround there wasn’t a moment to spare,” he explained. “Denise’s calm personality gives a wonderful vibe of confidence, which immediately rubbed off on my team. They would do anything for a client they love and respect.”

Ultimately Richards and Zunino decided on a high-low white dress featuring a lace strapless romper and a tulle skirt. However, it all began with a laidback concept from the movie star to suit the casual-yet-momentous circumstances.

“When I met with Denise and Aaron, she had several images of my gowns of interest but had one specifically in mind. It was a romper (a true romper a.k.a. shorts, not a mini-dress) of an Italian laser-cut 3D floral pattern on silk illusion, over nude with hand beadwork. The problem was it takes 3-4 weeks to get that fabric from Europe, and, at minimum, one week of labor with three seamstresses working around the clock.”

“I mentioned to Denise,” Zunino continued, “the possibility of having her try on my archived original runway sample. It was brand new, having only been worn five minutes during its catwalk debut, but was in a customized model size that was extremely small.  We slipped it on Denise. Aaron’s eyes lit up. Denise had an enormous smile, and said, ‘This is it!’”

With little time, Zunino made some of the final touches to the gown himself to ensure the newly-minted Real Housewives of Beverly Hillsstar’s look, and wedding went off without a hitch.

“Denise is so incredibly beautiful, simplicity is best for her,” he said. “We decided to add some silk floral scattering on the layered silk organza overskirt. I hand painted faint white flowers, intermingled with the silk flowers, to achieve a delicate, romantic look. Denise and Aaron are both so extremely relaxed, easy going and genuinely sweet. The relaxed aesthetic of the romper with detachable over-skirt was the perfect look of sexy sophistication, playful and ultimately romantic.”

And, according to Zunino, despite the short notice the ceremony went seamlessly! “The wedding looked magical!” he gushed. “When people are so sweet, so in love, so truly happy, nothing but joy is felt from all around.” 

After the couple announced that they had exchanged vows, Richards’ ex-husband and father of her two daughters, Charlie Sheen, even offered the newlyweds his blessing.

Sheen “wishes them both nothing but happiness!” the actor’s rep conveyed to ET.

Get more news on Richards in the clip below.

Reporting by Angelique Jackson.

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