It's been four years since I walked into Kleinfeld in NYC looking for the perfect wedding dress. Since I've now started this blog and I've never written about my experience I thought I'd take the time to do so. I've also listed some questions I'm commonly asked at the bottom of the post as well as a link to watch the whole episode, so keep scrolling :)
In college I traveled with The Voices of Mobile, a gospel group that was founded and directed by Roger Breland (founder of TRUTH) My last summer tour with the group we were scheduled to sing at the Brooklyn Tabernacle in Brooklyn, NY. My mom already planned to come up to see us perform and since I had just gotten engaged a month before she came up with this crazy idea to book an appointment to look at wedding dressing at Kleinfeld while we were there. I have to give my mom all the credit, she made the appointment online and filled out all the paperwork that stated we would allow our appointment to be filmed if we were chosen. A few weeks later I got a call from a strange number which ended up being a producer from the show telling me they would like to film my appointment for Say Yes To The Dress. I couldn't believe it! I honestly don't think either one of us expected anything to come from filling out those papers. We finalized the date and time and of course asked my two sisters to come along. My Dad wasn't able to be there due to work, which may have helped contribute to my emotional breakdown I had, but I'll talk more about that later...
Once you walk into Kleinfeld you immediately sign your life away. I was already nervous, but signing papers that state they can use anything, and I mean ANYTHING, I do or say while they are filming really added to my anxiety. If you have seen an episode, you know exactly why we were all on our best behavior ;) We were scared out of our minds that they were going to make us look crazy (or crazier than we already are!) Once we got everything filled out we started with a few takes of me walking into the shop, walking out of the shop, and looking through dresses that were hanging up around the show room. We were then all called separately to the back room (the room where it cuts to the bride/bridal party talking about what they like/dislike about the dress.) They asked me simple questions just about where I was from, how Rob and I met, and how long we had been dating, etc.. Then we were seated on a cute setup of couches and chairs that looked onto a pedi stool and mirror. My wonderful consultant, Christiane, came out and the 'show' began! She walked out and introduced herself, met my mom and sisters, and we began chatting about what I was looking for.
Don't ask me why I didn't show up more prepared because I don't have a good answer.. I literally had no clue what type of dress I wanted..and yes, I'm a SUPER indecisive person so that didn't help. I didn't come in with any designers I liked or really even any styles picked out. I think my mom had printed out a couple she had found online but that was it. This is likely why I got a lot of looks like the ones you see below from my sisters, Randy and Christiane, ha.. I will say that in my defense, I had only tried on 3 dresses before going to Kleinfeld and during my appointment I only tried on four. After each dress I had to stand in the mirror with the camera on me and talk about everything I didn't like about each dress. They brought Randy Fenoli in, I think after dress #2 was a no go. My reaction to him walking into my dressing room was 100% real! That was the first time I met him and had no clue he would be a part of my appointment. I remember trying on all four dresses and being like "umm... Yea I don't love any of these". They pretty much told me my time was up and they were going to put me back into the dress I liked best and they would add the "finishing touches". Once they added the belt, veil, and a headband I really did love the dress (I mean it was a Hayley Paige dress, she's not capable of making a bad dress!) But to be honest I was NOT ready to settle on this dress and really didn't think it was mine.. But with all the cameras on me and Randy Fenoli being there, for goodness sakes, I couldn't help when they delivered those famous lines "Are you saying yes to the dress?" just blurting out "YES!" We were all so excited! And Randy and Christiane really were the kindest people and were genuinely happy I found my dress!
Well if you know me, then you probably know I'm a Daddy's girl.. So with my dad unable to be there I started panicking that I just said yes to a dress without my dad's approval. Luckily (not so lucky for the show, they could have made some big bucks if they had captured my emotional break down on camera) they had just stopping filming. This is when I started to have a panic attack.. we were about to spend A LOT of money on a dress that, in my mind, I only said "yes" to because of all the cameras in my face. My poor mom and sisters tried to reassure me that they loved the dress and that I was making the best decision. After finally reaching my dad and him seeing a picture and telling me he loved the dress, we pulled the tigger and wrote the check. I wish I could say that that was it and I was confident in the decision I had made but I pretty much panicked the rest of the night. You know when you build something up in your mind and you make it a million times worse than it actually is? Yep.. That's what I did about this dress.. By the end of the night I was pretty much acting like I had bought rags. Super dramatic, I know. Looking back, I honestly am not sure what made me panic so much. I don't know if I was sad the look was over or that my indecisive mind wasn't satisfied with only trying on the four dresses or what. But once my mom showed me a picture of the bolero that came with the dress I knew it was the extra piece I needed to completely fall in love with the dress.
I want to stop here and just let you all know that I really and truly had a blast being a part of the show, but my craziness has to be told since it was part of the story.. It's actually a better story when it's told out loud rather than written because it's pretty funny.
We didn't hear from the producers for a while after we left the appointment. One day I received an email from the producers, asking if they could film the wedding. At first I wasn't so sure I wanted a huge camera crew at the wedding, but after talking to Rob and my parents we all agreed to let them come. Once again, we had a wonderful experience with the camera-woman they brought. It was just one woman with one camera, she wasn't invasive at all and super nice. Now looking back, I am super thankful for the clips I have from that episode. They put together a really beautiful collage of videos that really represented our wedding well. Poor Rob was so nervous and she actually had a mic on him the entire day. It didn't take long for him to get comfortable and actually ended up telling our camerawoman jokes throughout the day knowing wherever he was she could hear him. Our Say Yes To The Dress camerawoman actually saved the day! Rob locked himself out of the church about ten minutes before the service started. Through his mic he asked if she could send help, which she did! So luckily I had a groom to walk down the isle to ;)
Here comes the worst part...waiting... I was SO nervous about what our episode was going to look like. I had watched hundreds of episodes and most brides look crazy. I remember not wanting to tell the air date so that no one would see it in case they were secretly filming my break down ;) Surprisingly though they really didn't exaggerate on anything too much. I thought they kept us pretty true to character and for that I am thankful.
Now that it's all over and the episode is out, I have nothing but great memories! It makes me laugh looking back and remembering all the details. Even if I could have tried on a million dresses I wouldn't have wanted to marry the love of my life in any other dress. It really was perfect! Thanks Say Yes To The Dress for allowing me to have this experience!
Questions I get asked:
1. No, they did not pay for my dress or give me a discount for being on the show.
2. No, I unfortunately don't get paid every time the show airs.
3. Yes, Randy really is as sweet and funny as he seems on TV.
4. The bolero I wore on our wedding day was actually part of the dress, we just didn't find it until we saw it online a few months later.
5. No, I did not get to see the episode until it aired on Dec. 5, 2014.
Watch the whole episode with Amazon Prime HERE
Say Yes To The Dress: Season 12, Episode 14 - Style Therapy
Wedding Photos by Adam+Alli