Kicking It Off

By Jennifer Wilson

If you're like actress Tiffani Thiessen, you'll make sure your best friend is on hand when you start looking for a wedding gown.

Tiffani Thiessen and Jennie Garth have already shared so much. As stars of Beverly Hills, 90210, they enjoyed four heady seasons as Hollywood's homegrown ingenues. After Jennie, 30, gave birth to daughter Luca, now 4, Tiffani was her first visitor, and when she married actor Peter Facinellie (Luca's father) in 2001, Tiffani was her bridesmaid.

Now it's Tiffani's turn. Planning a summer wedding to actor Richard Rucculo, 30, she'll have Jennie as her only attendant. "I love her like a sister," says Tiffani, 28 (who grew up in Long Beach, Calif., with two brothers). "I tell her everything." So it was only natural that Tiffani started searching for her wedding dress, Jennie was by her side.

The shopping odyssey begins at a suite at L.A.'s Four Seasons Hotel, where racks of designer gowns, including dresses by Vera Wang and Carolina Herrera, have been assembled. As a woman who has walked down the aisle herself (in Reem Acra), Garth has definite ideas about Thiessen should choose: "No lace," she says. "Maybe a little beading... and I'm rooting for a neckless style -- Tiffani has such a great back."

Thiessen is thinking streamlined too, but as they comb the racks she rejects several choices. Eyeing a beaded bodice, she muses, "I want something simpler on the top." And she crinkles her nose at a high neck. "I can't wear that - my face is so round that I have to have some sort of opening." Like other brides before her, Tiffani is discovering that being true to her own style is an essential part of finding the right dress.

Tiffani tries on several contenders, including a Richard Tyler chiffon gown with a draped neckline, but she's not ready to commit on this first day of looking. When the two friends sit down to share a glass of champagne, Garth offers a toast. "To the perfect dress." She adds confidently, "Tiffani will know it when she sees it. That's what happened to me."