Five Weddings and a Dress

updated 07/25/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/25/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The brides sold insurance or practiced law. Some liked New England seasons, some western warmth. Some wanted big weddings, others small. But this they had in common: Style 4102. In Palos Verdes Estates and San Diego, Calif.; High Point, N.C.; Woodstock, Conn.; and Waco, Texas, five women said their vows in designer Janell Berté's $890 crepe gown

LISA SHOEMAKER & BILL THOMAS

One of Lisa's friends had been nagging her to meet Bill, 37, owner of a Greensboro, N.C., commercial photography studio, for months. Finally, a week before her divorce became final, Lisa, 34, the mother of two and a personnel recruiter, was ready. She and her friend knocked on Bill's door, just around the corner from Lisa's house, and dragged him out for dinner and dancing. Dining and dancing—most recently at their June 4 wedding in the courtyard of an old furniture factory in High Point—is what they've been doing ever since.

CINDY DYER JASON ANKELE

The most unorthodox thing about the May 21 nuptials in Waco's First United Methodist Church was the bridesmaids' garb—black sheaths and platform shoes. "My mom about died when I showed her," says Cindy, 26. But Mom approved of Jason, 25, Cindy's law school classmate, who proposed at the top of the Empire State Building on a trip to Manhattan. Says Cindy: "He's very romantic."

KELLY RITCHIE & CARL TAMMI

Carl, 27, a wetlands scientist, had definite ideas about what he wanted in a wedding: a boondocks locale i with bride and groom in khaki shorts. His fiancée, Kelly, 27, a service rep for NYNEX, had been dreaming of a church service and hotel reception. The June 18 compromise: the rolling meadows (okay, Kelly?) of a picturesque (okay, Carl?) Woodstock, Conn., inn.

MARIBETH DROGOSZ & KATT ELMES

What's a wedding without mishaps? Just ask Maribeth, 29, a foods marketing manager, and Matt, 30, a sporting equipment distributor. Two days before their June 10 Palos Verdes Estates wedding, a stain ruined the maid of honor's skirt, which had to be replaced. Then, after the walk down the aisle, Maribeth's dad tripped on her veil, carrying off a train of tulle. So what? A glorious time was had by all

ANÉ LISEC & JIM AGOSTINI

Ané, 39, an insurance broker, and Jim, 40, a financier, who met through the personals, spent their first date with Jim's daughter, Ashley, 9, from a previous marriage. The never-married Ane bonded with Ashley at once, but Jim was cautious. "He interviewed me as if it were a business meeting," says Ané. But at their May 7 wedding at a San Diego brewery and restaurant, Ané happily answered all questions with "I do."

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