Eva Amurri Tries on Wedding Dresses Ahead of Nuptials to Ian Hock: See the Photos! (Exclusive)

"I feel like getting married this time around, I knew exactly what I wanted for my wedding dress," Amurri tells PEOPLE in an exclusive interview

Julia Dags
Julia Dags

Eva Amurri is on the hunt for her dream wedding dress!

The New Girl alum and blogger, 38, who is the daughter of actress Susan Sarandon, is sharing a behind-the-scenes look of her quest to find the perfect gown to marry her partner of two years, chef Ian Hock.

"I feel like getting married this time around, I knew exactly what I wanted for my wedding dress," Amurri tells PEOPLE exclusively. "One of the great things about getting married for a second time is that I feel like I know myself so much better now, and I feel really empowered to make decisions for myself in this process that are more about what I want as a bride."

Amurri was previously married to former pro soccer Kyle Martino for 8 years before they split in 2019. The pair share sons Mateo, 2, and Major, 6, and daughter Marlowe, 8.

Related:Watch Eva Amurri Shop Mom Susan Sarandon's Vintage Designer Closet: 'It's the Memories for Me'

While Amurri visited several bridal salons and found "a dress or two" at each place that she liked, it wasn't until an Instagram follower suggested one particular shop called Bridal Reflections where she struck wedding dress gold.

Julia Dags
Julia Dags

"I booked an appointment, and from the moment I walked in, I knew I would find my dress there," she says. "My Mom met me at the salon the first time I went, and it was so fun to try on the dresses and show her the ones I loved...She got to be there when I narrowed it down to my final two choices!"

Amurri is keeping the gown she chose a secret until the big day, but she gave some hints of the design: "I just loved how my body looked in it," she says. "And that the feeling it gave me was one of old-school elegance and a vintage-style bride vibe. I put it on, walked out of the dressing room, and there were tears all around."

Amurri adds: "My Mom couldn't be there [for the final decision] but I wore a vintage Richard Tyler vest and jacket that she had passed down to me, which was a fun way to include her."

In the meantime, Amurri did share snaps of several of the runners-up, including a fun, flirty mini with feathered accents by designer Kim Kassass.

Julia Dags
Julia Dags

"I'm either going to use it for a bachelorette party dress, a rehearsal dinner dress, or an after-party dress," she says.

Related:All the Details Behind Eva Amurri's Gorgeous Diamond Engagement Ring from Ian Hock

Amurri also posed in two other distinctive styles: A traditional long gown with a structured, pearl-encrusted bodice; as well as another full-length choice with billowing off-the-shoulder sleeves.

"Picking my dress has made our wedding more real in my mind, and it's been the motivation I need to get through the other stresses of wedding planning," she says. "I can't wait for my first fitting to see my actual dress in person. It'll be so magical!"

Julia Dags
Julia Dags

Amurri announced her engagement in February to Hock via an Instagram post that showed the couple celebrating in Paris.

The engagement came more than two years after she first confirmed their relationship on her Happily Eva After blog.

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"I'm beyond happy to share with you that I have a wonderful boyfriend in my life!" she wrote in January 2021. "His name is Ian, he's super loving, creative, handsome and funny, and we have a ton in common."

She also shared that she'd met Hock when she went to his restaurant for dinner with a friend who attended high school with him.

Julia Dags
Julia Dags

Related:Eva Amurri and Boyfriend Ian Hock Enjoy Date at the Place They First Met: 'I Love You'

"We ended up chatting and had an immediate connection and spark," she wrote. "I thought he was cute and easy to talk to, but I knew nothing about his life or relationship status, and neither did my friend. So I followed him on Instagram, and he followed me back."

"We started chatting, and for a month just really got to know each other well from exchanging messages and laughing together via text."

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