Fashion & Beauty

Model Afiya Bennett Just Revealed Her Stunning Mermaid Wedding Gown — Here’s How to Get the Look for Less

Model Afiya Bennett Just Revealed Her Stunning Mermaid Wedding Gown — Here’s How to Get the Look for Less
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Photo credit: Trav C. Images


It’s model Afiya Bennett’s job to make everyday clothing look beautiful, so it’s no surprise that she — and her two gowns — made a gorgeous, lasting impression on guests at her recent wedding to model-actor Lloyd Dickerson. The extremely attractive bride and groom tied the knot back in December at The Palace at Somerset Park near their home in New Jersey and have been posting adorable photos to Instagram ever since.






You may recognize Bennett as supermodel Naomi Campbell’s protégé from “The Face,” a reality TV competition series about the modeling industry. Much like her famous mentor, the bride has exquisite taste, as displayed in both the “royal wedding vibe” of their event decor as well as her taste in wedding dresses. PEOPLE featured the reception dress, but the newlyweds are giving MyWedding a first look at her magnificent, custom-made ceremony gown, a mermaid wedding dress called the “Ms. Elle” by Galia Lahav Couture from the Le Secret Royal I collection. According to the designer, the dress is “inspired by the royal white peacock … Ms. Elle has a trumpet style silhouette, with embroidery cascading down the back skirt forming two scalloped wings.”


In addition to her regal gown, Bennett wore a Swarovski crystal hair comb, earrings and bracelets by the famed jeweler along with her breathtaking 3-carat infinity ring. Her bridal shoes were pointed mesh and satin by Badgley Mischka, with jeweled butterfly ornaments across the front.




Bennett took a creative  route when it came to her “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” lucky wedding day items. 


“My something old was the nightgown my mom wore on her wedding day; my something borrowed was the song I walked down the aisle to, which was the same song as my mom on her wedding day 30 years ago (‘Here and Now’ by Luther Vandross); my something new was the broom that we jumped during the wedding ceremony, and something blue was the party favors,” she tells MyWedding


But let’s get back to that dress: In the bride’s own words, Wearing a wedding gown is a personal experience, whereas walking a runway [in] a designer dress is a part of my job. They are two very different experiences and areas of passion in my life. Walking the runway is a symbol of the love I have for my job; my wedding dress is a symbol of the love I have for my husband … I wanted to feel like a sexy Cinderella. I wanted to have a dress that was flattering to my figure, but also gave a sense of fairytale at the bottom.” 


Fairytale achieved, clearly! If you, too, are searching for a mermaid wedding dress, we’ve selected seven affordable looks to shop online for much less than an haute couture gown costs. (Note: Mermaid and trumpet styles are similar but technically not interchangeable; the flare on the latter style starts higher on the leg.)



1 of 7 Image Credits: Nordstrom

Best Lace Mermaid Wedding Dress

TADASHI SHOJI Lace Halter Mermaid Gown


Sizes 4-10
High illusion halter neck
Sweetheart bodice
Trumpet skirt Lined
80% polyester, 20% nylon

What Reviewers Are Saying:
True dream dress. This is the most amazing dress! The fit is gorgeous, and it is super comfy. It doesn’t really wrinkle as I traveled for my big day. I got so many compliments on the dress. I truly felt the most beautiful I ever have.

2 of 7 Image Credits: David's Bridal Collection

Best Mermaid Wedding Dress with Long Train


Sizes 0-14
Stretch-crepe halter mermaid dress
Illusion lace racerback
Chapel train

What Reviewers Are Saying:
Sexy simplicity! The price is incredible for a dress with such attentive detailing. I tried on every dress in town and nothing came close to the simple, classy, sexy look of this dress. I don’t have a lot of curves, but this dress was sure to accentuate my figure perfectly without being too snug as most other silhouetted gowns are. It pairs so well with both long and short veils.

3 of 7 Image Credits: David's Bridal

Best Sweetheart Mermaid Wedding Dress

Galina Signature Beaded Mermaid Wedding Dress with Tulle Skirt


Sizes 6-10
Illusion panel over sweetheart neckline
Form-fitting beaded mermaid gown
Pleated tulle layers
Chapel train

What Reviewers Are Saying:
Beautiful dress. I have been to multiple bridal shops with no success finding anything that tops this dress! Such a great fit, very flattering. The best part is it photographs just as nice as it looks in person.

4 of 7 Image Credits: David's Bridal

Best Plus Size Mermaid Wedding Dress

David's Bridal Collection Strapless Mermaid Tulle Plus Size Wedding Dress


The moment I put this dress on, I felt beautiful. And on my day I felt very beautiful and sexy. My husband loves it. The fit was amazing.

Sizes 18W - 26W
Sweetheart neckline
Tulle skirt
Ruching from bodice to hips
Lace-up back
Colors: soft white or whisper pink

5 of 7 Image Credits: Lulu's

Best Strapless Mermaid Wedding Dress


Sizes XS-M
White sequins
Art-Deco-inspired design
Sweetheart bodice
97% Polyester, 3% Spandex. Plastic Sequin, Lining: 100% Polyester

What Reviewers Are Saying:
GREAT FIT! Don't think twice. Pretty, stretchy and photographs beautifully. I didn't want to spend money on a dress I'll wear for a few hours, and this was definitely a deal. Quick hem and I didn't have to worry about various fittings.

6 of 7 Image Credits: Nordstrom

Best Sexy Mermaid Wedding Dress


Sizes: XS=0-2, S=4-6, M=8-10, L=12-14, XL=16-18
Sweetheart neckline
Low back cutout
18" chapel train (size small)
Skirt can be bustled
97% polyester, 3% spandex

What Reviewers Are Saying:
Absolute perfection. I am obsessed with this dress! Fit is absolutely beautiful and the quality is incredible. I found my dream beach wedding dress, and I’m so happy with this purchase. It actually looks better on than the picture here.

7 of 7 Image Credits: Etsy

Best Long Sleeve Mermaid Wedding Dress


Sizes 0-22
Neckline can be: boat, round, V
Sleeves can be: long, 3/4, 1/2, short or sleeveless
Back can be: full close or open (low)
With or without train
Color warm white with gold threads
Floral lace, 100% cotton lining

What Reviewers Are Saying:
This dress is absolutely stunning and wonderfully crafted. I couldn't have found such a unique and beautiful dress anywhere else. Thank you!