Nikki Bella reveals she kept dresses from her engagement to John Cena: ‘I bought the dresses for me’

Nikki Bella chose her dress just 30 minutes before she was set to walk down the aisle with Artem Chigvintsev in Paris in August.

That dress was just one of four she wore on her big day, she told Brides. Two of the gowns have a history: she had purchased them years before when she was set to walk down the aisle with another man – her ex John Cena.

A look at her bridal dress choices can be seen next year in a four-part E! special called Nikki Bella Says I Do.

Admission: Nikki Bella is the cover star of Brides magazine, and in the interview she made a surprising revelation, admitting she kept dresses she bought for her engagement to John Cena

On the Seine: She already shared a look at her wedding dress on social media in August when she married Artem Chigvintsev

On the Seine: She already shared a look at her wedding dress on social media in August when she married Artem Chigvintsev

Ring it in: She showed off her engagement ring while she wore a gold wedding band

Ring it in: She showed off her engagement ring while she wore a gold wedding band

But fans were treated to a peek at one of the looks when she shared a photo on Instagram in late summer from her nuptials to Artem.

Nikki, 38, told Brides that she kept the wedding dresses she bought for her called-off engagement to Cena, 45, because they were special to her.

‘I bought those dresses for me,’ she said about her decision to hold onto gowns she purchased before ending her relationship in 2018.

The Total Bellas alum noted that she chose a dress to wear for her walk down the aisle just half an hour beforehand.

I didn’t choose my ceremony dress until 30 minutes before I walked down the aisle. My poor mother!’ she said as she looked back on the event.

And about her choice to hold on to her previously purchased dresses she said, ‘People will try to make you think differently and say, “Oh, but it was for that person and that wedding.”‘

Not sorry: 'I bought those dresses for me,' she said about her decision to hold onto gowns purchased for her previous engagement;  pictured with John in 2017

Not sorry: ‘I bought those dresses for me,’ she said about her decision to hold onto gowns purchased for her previous engagement; pictured with John in 2017

The athlete continued, ‘But after being on this journey, what I realized was no, I didn’t buy those dresses for that person. Yes, it was going to be for that event, but that event didn’t happen.’

‘People are going to think I’m crazy,’ she said, anticipating the reaction from fans when her four-part E! wedding special airs next year.

And, in the magazine dedicated to all things weddings, she gave other brides a token of wisdom.

‘My advice to anyone who already has theirs [wedding] dress and is in the same situation: If that dress is something you love, wear it,’ she encouraged.

Stunning: The star, who built a career with twin sister Brie, tied the knot with Artem Chigvintsev earlier this year in a Parisian wedding

Stunning: The star, who built a career with twin sister Brie, tied the knot with Artem Chigvintsev earlier this year in a Parisian wedding

Nikki – full name Stephanie Nicole Chigvintsev – warned, ‘If you don’t, you’re always going to think of it. It’s kind of like your first love, right? You have an attachment to it. Do what makes you happy.’

As she was preparing for her nuptials she said, ‘I had two beautiful dresses that I loved, and they were going to be for a different marriage.

“But they were my dream and I love them,” she emphasized. ‘So, I brought them out to see if I could make them work.’

During her wedding planning journey she learned about the nuances of shopping for the perfect look.

Nikki - full name Stephanie Nicole Chigvintsev - warned: 'If you don't [wear the wedding dress you want] you're always going to think of it.  It's kind of like your first love, right?  You have an attachment to it.  Do what makes you happy'

Nikki – full name Stephanie Nicole Chigvintsev – warned: ‘If you don’t [wear the wedding dress you want] you’re always going to think of it. It’s kind of like your first love, right? You have an attachment to it. Do what makes you happy’

Striking: Nikki looked gorgeous in a billowing wedding dress as she graced the cover of Brides

Striking: Nikki looked gorgeous in a billowing wedding dress as she graced the cover of Brides

‘What brides will realize when they start searching for the dress is that what you wear is about you as a woman,’ she explained.

The San Diego-bred personality also noted that the look on the special day is less about one’s partner and more about oneself.

‘It has nothing to do with the person that you’re marrying or the people that are attending. It has everything to do with what you’ve envisioned for yourself and how you feel,’ the mother-of-one advised.

Nikki first met her now-husband while she was competing on season 25 of Dancing With The Stars in 2017.

The following year she ended her engagement to Cena, and in 2019 she embarked on a romance with Artem.

Reflective: 'It's crazy for me to look back on the journey that brought me here,' she said

Reflective: ‘It’s crazy for me to look back on the journey that brought me here,’ she said

In 2020 the couple welcomed a son, Matteo Artemovich Chigvintsev, now two-years-old.

It’s crazy for me to look back on the journey that brought me here. I never knew if I would make it down the aisle,’ the new Mrs. Chigvintsev reflected.

She continued, ‘But what I realized was that I just needed to be at this point in my life. That is what makes me a wife, and a good wife. I’m finally ready for that.’

Nikki credited her great-grandmothers with inspiring the looks she chose for her wedding day.

Inspiration: Nikki credited her great-grandmothers with inspiring the looks she chose for her wedding day

Inspiration: Nikki credited her great-grandmothers with inspiring the looks she chose for her wedding day

“My Nana has a wall of family wedding photos in her house, and I would always go and look at my great-grandmothers’ wedding dresses,” she recalled.

‘There was just something so iconic and timeless about their gowns,’ Nikki remembered fondly.

‘I always knew that, on my wedding day, I wanted to wear something that would leave my grandkids staring at pictures of me thinking that they’d want to wear it at any age, too.’

Next year her three-week wedding celebration will be documented in a four-part series on E! called Nikki Bella Says I Do.

Coming soon: Next year her three-week wedding celebration will be documented in a four-part series on E!  called Nikki Bella Says I Do

Cheers!  Nikki celebrated being a 'fearless' bride

Coming soon: Next year her three-week wedding celebration will be documented in a four-part series on E! called Nikki Bella Says I Do

Family: The star tied the knot with professional dancer Artem Chigvintsev earlier this year in a Parisian wedding;  pictured with son Matteo, two

Family: The star tied the knot with professional dancer Artem Chigvintsev earlier this year in a Parisian wedding; pictured with son Matteo, two

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