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We Finally Know Why Selena Gomez Wore a Wedding Dress on “Only Murders in the Building”



Selena Gomez

In March 2023, photos of Selena Gomez wearing a wedding dress while filming season three of her hit Hulu series, Only Murders in the Building, went viral on social media. At the time, fans devised many theories that attempted to explain why Gomez’s character Mabel Mora donned the strapless lace gown. After episode nine of the comedy-mystery show’s third season aired on September 26, 2023, we finally have an answer.


In the episode, Mabel put on Joy Payne’s (played by Andrea Martin) mother’s wedding dress, which was left in Charles-Haden Savage’s (played by Steve Martin) apartment, before heading to the courthouse with Charles and Oliver Putnam (played by Martin Short). The trio rushed to the venue to clear Loretta Durkin’s (played by Meryl Streep) name in the murder trial of Ben Glenroy (played by Paul Rudd). Loretta was accused of the murder until Donna DeMeo (played by Linda Edmond) became the latest suspect.

John Hoffman, one of the creators of the series, told TheWrap in an interview that the wedding dress seamlessly fit the narrative of the episode. According to Hoffman, the gown allowed the group to get to the courthouse in a timely fashion while granting Mabel her 30th birthday wish: solving murders with Charles and Oliver. Hoffman also noted that the Father of the Bride reference with Martin enhanced the scene.

Hoffman indicated that the crew had planned on getting additional footage of Mabel in the dress, but it was too big of a production feat. “There was a moment we had on our schedule for a beat or two extra of her in that wedding gown, getting through crowds and upstairs of a courthouse on the exterior, that was a little more grand in our wishes and dreams,” Hoffman admitted. “But as is the nature of production, a lot of times, it’s either time or money.” Regardless, Hoffman said he was “thrilled” about how the shots of the dress turned out—and even thanked the paparazzi for leaking those images back in March.

The creator also explained that the idea to include a wedding dress in the show didn’t come about until the later stages of planning for season three. Hoffman said he suspected that filming Gomez wearing the gown would potentially leak spoilers. “It was only a few weeks before, and then it all sort of unfolded like, ‘Whoa, that’s going to be a day and the paparazzi are going to get ahead of it,’” he explained. “So we had to come to terms with [that] and thought ‘Well… here’s a big clue as to where we’re going in this season.’”

After Hoffman and the rest of the writers gave some thought to the third season, they decided having Gomez wearing a wedding dress would be a captivating moment. “That felt OK to me because one of the discussions that we have in the writers room is ‘Go home tonight. Think about what trailer moments you want to see this season,’” he recounted. “And one of the moments was Selena Gomez in a wedding dress. And I immediately thought that’s an exciting image.”