You spent months searching for the perfect wedding dress—only to wear it for one special day. Zoe Aust had a different idea. Aust, 27, was determined, she said, to get her "money's worth" from her gown. After her wedding Dec. 31, 2017, at the Westmount Country Club in Woodland Park, N.J., she and her husband, Nick Aust, 24, quit their jobs and cashed out their savings to embark on an unconventional honeymoon. She had an epiphany while talking with a family member about wearing her wedding dress only once: "Why not bring along the dress that makes me feel so beautiful to the most beautiful places in the world?" The couple documented their travels on their blog and Instagram account, "Marry Me In Travel." Aust, who purchased a Watters Ferrera gown at a trunk show at the Bridal Garden, a bridal boutique in Evesham Township, N.J., captured the attention of many including the style team at Watters. "We loved following their journey and seeing how they styled Ferrera," said Sydney Watters Dunbar, the company's style director.
How did the idea of wearing your dress on a multiple-destination honeymoon come about?
Only a short time before we set off to travel, friends and family kept asking to see my wedding dress. One day a family friend apologized for asking and I replied, 'Don't apologize! I'll only get to wear this dress once, might as well get my money's worth!' And it all clicked. I realized we were taking this big trip, a huge leap out of our comfort zone. I bought a dress out of my comfort zone. So why not add one more thing to the list? Why not bring along the dress that makes me feel so beautiful to the most beautiful places in world?
How long was your honeymoon?
We left at the beginning of January 2018 for Thailand. We came back home in May for three weeks to catch up with family and repack for the next journey of our trip. Then we set back out at the end of May for Greece and continued from there until October.
How did you pack your wedding dress for each location?
Before we left I purchased a garment bag from Bed Bath & Beyond. We had no clue how to travel around the world with a wedding dress, but we figured that was a start! The first few flights we were very gentle with placing it inside the garment bag. As the trip went on and the dress showed its resilience, we got creative with packing it. For example, how do you carry a wedding dress on a motorbike in Bali? We had no idea so we put it in a backpack and hoped for the best! The dress continually withstood it all!
Will you be keeping your dress?
Absolutely! Not only does it carry memories of our wedding but of our trip as well. Plus, it's a constant reminder to live life our favorite way, out of our comfort zone!
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.