Some women spend their entire lives planning for their wedding. From the time that they are little girls to the time that they become adults, they have spent countless hours acting out and preparing for the most important day of their lives. And when the proposal finally comes, they are ready to take on the challenge of shopping for a wedding dress. But on TLC's Say Yes to the Dress, it's obvious that finding the perfect gown for that special day is anything but easy, in spite of how prepared a bride is. And there is a lot of drama that goes into choosing the dress: after all, that's part of the fun of watching the show, right? But sometimes there is also drama that happens behind the scenes.
15 One bride called the experience bad and bought her dress elsewhere
One reason we enjoy watching Say Yes to the Dress is that we love experiencing all the highs (and lows) that come with wedding dress shopping. It is a very emotional experience, but we know that it always ends up with a happy ending when the bride tries on the perfect dress; she looks in the mirror and starts crying because all her dreams just came true. That's what the show wants us to see. But one bride who did the show actually thought the experience was "an awful, terrible, horrible experience" that she would not recommend to anyone. She mentioned forced drama, having to try on dresses she didn't want to try on, five hours without anything to eat and rude interviewers. That bride ended up saying "no" to Kleinfeld and bought one elsewhere.
14 Brides often complain that the stylists don't listen to what they want
The thing about reality television that everyone needs to know is that not all of it is reality. Those who create such shows have to keep them interesting, so that means that they do a lot of things that go against the grain of what people who appear on reality shows want. Although the show puts the bride in the dress stockroom and makes it look like she has her choice of what she wants to try on, the stylists don't actually listen when she tells them her preferences. One bride wrote about her experience on Ravishly, where she detailed the experience of specifically telling the stylist one thing and getting dresses that were completely different from what she wanted, as well as over her budget.
13 Kleinfeld is not a great place to work
You might think that working in a bridal salon is the perfect job, right? You're basically there to make women's dreams come true, so much that they find themselves overcome with happy emotions when they land the perfect dress. It sounds like the perfect job, doesn't it? But working at Kleinfeld isn't as glamorous as it seems on television. Sure, the stylists probably get treated well, but those other people behind the scenes aren't particularly happy working there. Kleinfeld only gets a 2.9 rating on Glass Door, with employees complaining about the poor health care coverage benefits, no paid holidays or sick days and long work hours. Some reviews also mentioned "cut throat competition" with one calling it the "most unprofessional work environment I have ever been exposed to."
12 Many of the reactions seen on the show aren't real
As previously mentioned, reality television just isn't all that real. Sure, sometimes the emotions people express on the series are true, but most of the time, those emotions and reactions to events get manipulated by those people running the show. One of the best parts of Say Yes to the Dress is watching the reactions of the bride's family and friends when she tries on dresses: that makes for compelling television viewing. Stylists will often ask those people the same questions over and over until they get the reaction they're fishing for. And although a bride might try on dozens of dresses, only the ones that get the biggest reactions get aired on the show. Just because the drama looks real doesn't necessarily mean that it is.
11 Kleinfeld probably lost some of its business because of the show
No one really knew much about Kleinfeld until the salon took centerstage in Say Yes to the Dress. Because of the show's popularity, though, there is usually a line outside the store to get in now. Women travel from all over the world just to buy a dress at the shop. For those customers who just want to shop there, though, they must acknowledge a sign above the store's door that informs them that they will probably end up on camera. The bridal store, which was once a more family friendly establishment, became nothing more than a tourist trap and most locals who used to shop there tend to stay away from it now. Of course, Kleinfeld makes up for that in the tourists who come in to buy dresses.
10 One bride sued the show
One bride who appeared on Say Yes to the Dress ended up suing the show because it ruined her wedding day and the big moment when she revealed her dress to her groom. Alexandra Godino was very upset when she learned that her episode of the series would actually air before her wedding day. Although that's not usually how the series works (and it often shows scenes from the wedding on its episodes), for some reason, her episode went to air a lot earlier. Her claim was that she was not originally even interested in appearing on the show, but was talked into it when they agreed to air it after her wedding. Although she tried to get an injunction to stop her piece from running, a judge ultimately ruled in the show's favor.
9 There's a reason why most of the dresses chosen come from Pnina Tornai
If you watch Say Yes to the Dress on a regular basis, it seems that one of the designers whose name comes up the most often is Pnina Tornai. In fact, many of the dresses that brides try on are from that designer and many of the dresses that brides buy also come from her. Kleinfeld has a deal with Tornai to carry her dresses, but it goes much further than that: they also push her as a preferred designer when brides come in, regardless of what they want. So almost every dress pulled from the stockroom has Tornai's name attached to it in some way or another. If you're looking for variety, brides, you probably want to shop somewhere else. And, of course, Tornai's dresses aren't cheap.
8 Kleinfeld filed a lawsuit against dress designer Mark Zunino
Unfortunately, Say Yes to the Dress doesn't have such a great relationship with its other designers as it has with Pnina Tornai. In 2013, Kleinfeld sued one of the designers its store carried, Mark Zunino. The shop claimed that it hired Zunino with a very specific clause in his contract that stated that he could "not engage in any design activities that would conflict or compete." Kleinfeld claimed that Zunino violated that agreement by designing gowns for Nolan Miller Inc. Zunino called the suit a minor dispute and believed that he and Kleinfeld could work out some sort of arrangement. There hasn't been word on the outcome of this since, so perhaps the suit got dropped and the two parties came to some kind of resolution.
7 A bride sued Kleinfeld for giving her the wrong size dress
When a bride walks into a bridal shop, she expects that the dress she ultimately gets will fit her perfectly. That's why the shops do all the measuring, adjustments, etc. The gown should fit the bride like a glove. But what happens when the shop screws up and the bride gets the wrong size? One bride claims that Kleinfeld did just that and she filed a lawsuit against the shop for giving her a dress in the wrong size and then refusing to refund it when she complained. She claimed that the top and bottom of the gown were not the same size as the one she agreed on. Even worse, she also claimed that the bottom was a different fabric from what she had agreed on.
6 Even if a wedding gets called off, the bride's experience still gets shown on TV
It's not something any bride wants to think about, but sometimes things just go wrong and couples break up, even just before their wedding day. It happens, and that's okay. But probably what's not okay is that if a bride goes on Say Yes to the Dress, chooses her perfect gown and agrees to appear on the TV show, she's going to appear, regardless of what happens later. So if a couple break up, but the bride already filmed an episode for the show, that episode will still air, serving as a horrible reminder of what was probably the worst day of that bride's life. Those are usually the stories that don't end with footage from the wedding, so although it seems like a happy story on TV, it is possibly not.
5 The stylists aren't as close as they seem on the show
Who doesn't love the stylists on the show? They bend over backward and work together to do what they can to make each bride as happy as possible. The way they seem to work together almost has them as close as family. But what you see on television and what is actually reality is often not the same thing. It turns out, the stylists really aren't that close at all. The store also has favorites, which is why some stylists appear in more episodes than others. So those stylists get to make the good commissions, while others just have to sit back and wait for other customers to magically appear. This also probably creates a highly competitive environment that could prove stressful for less popular stylists.
4 The series has strict requirements and some brides just don't make the cut
Say Yes to the Dress makes it seem like a bride just sets an appointment, comes in to the shop and starts trying on dresses. But there are a lot of requirements that brides who want to appear on TV must meet before ever setting foot inside the store. They must already have all of their wedding plans in place and tell the store what they and their future husbands do for a living. They must also describe their personal style, detail their budget and write about any specific family traditions. The show also wants more personal information so that it can turn up the drama. That's just the beginning, though: brides must also pass a background check, and if a bride ever got convicted of a crime, her application gets thrown in the trash.
3 Dresses that don't get a response from brides and their families get deleted from the show
Reality television doesn't work if there isn't some drama. Emotional reactions can make or break a series like Say Yes to the Dress. That's why the stylists will often manipulate the brides, as well as their family and friends, until they get the reaction they want to the dresses that the bride tries on. And it doesn't matter if that reaction is good or bad: big reactions are what the show looks for. It makes sense. If everyone is just "meh" about things on the series, no one would want to watch, right? So there are a lot of dresses that get poor reactions. Those moments never make it to the final cut of an episode. They're going to give us the drama and nothing else.
2 Brides can't just walk in and look at all the dresses
When watching Say Yes to the Dress, it seems like brides can just wander into the store and look at every single dress available there. But that really isn't the case. The shop isn't as big as it seems on TV, and most of their dresses stay locked up in the back stockroom, where stylists are only allowed to go. The floor does have samples that brides can look at, but those are just a small percentage of the gowns that the store keeps in stock. One Kleinfeld customer actually complained about this lack of access to inventory: the store only allowed her to try on four dresses, although it probably has hundreds, or even thousands, locked up in its stockroom. This makes for a shopping experience that just isn't that stellar.
1 Kleinfeld is usually a crowded mess
On the show, Kleinfeld seems so glamorous: a place where a bride, along with her family and friends, can go and relax, sipping champagne in comfy chairs while she tries on all the dresses she likes. It seems so spacious and luxurious, doesn't it? But the reality is that this is about as far from the truth as one can get: Kleinfeld is usually full of women, overcrowded and often appears as quite the mess. One bride told the New York Post about her experience, calling it "stressful, crowded and rushed" with 20 other brides all trying on dresses at the same time. She complained that she even had to stand in line to use a mirror so that she could look at herself in each dress.