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Get the Story Behind — and a Better Look at — Leslie Knope’s Wedding Dress

Photo: Kirston Mann

Just talking about Leslie’s homemade wedding dress from last night’s Parks and Recreation nuptials gets its designer, costume supervisor Kirston Mann, all emotional. “I’m so sorry, I’m getting choked up,” she laughed. But it’s no wonder: The skirt is literally a collage of Leslie Knope’s greatest hits. It might have been tough to see in the flurry of insta-wedding planning in Thursday’s episode, but Mann had sewn together newspaper clippings about Leslie’s Harvest Festival victory and City Council win, her campaign flyers, and even portraits of her role models Madeleine Albright, Hillary Clinton, and Michelle Obama. (Quick! Find Sandra Day O’Connor in the photo below!) The origami flower on her waist? Made out of the Pawnee city logo. “It wasn’t just a bunch of newspapers I had lying around,” Mann said. “Every single piece was pulled from a Parks episode — even though no one in a million years will be able to see all the details.” 

Photo: Kirston Mann

Mann estimated that between figuring out the best way to fold and sew the documents, and a few prototypes, the dress took a week to put together. Like a real bride, Amy Poehler had to come in for several fittings. “She really, really loved it,” Mann said. (As proof, she sent us the above shot of Poehler enjoying her wedding ensemble.) “We tried all sorts of different ways to design the skirt. At one point we did a version with color documents but it was too crazy and patchworky,” Mann said. “The black-and-white version turned out best, just really elegant.” The red heels and flowers also tell a story: They’re a part of Ben and Leslie’s love motif. “If you look back at their relationship, we’ve always put a little red on Leslie when she and Ben have a romantic scene,” Mann said. “So of course we had to have a big splash of red for their wedding.” Awwwwww!

A Closer Look at Leslie Knope’s Wedding Dress