TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” is supposed to be about a show that celebrates one of the most important milestones for any bride-to-be. You have to admit, there is nothing like finding the perfect wedding dress to wear on your big day.
Initially, you may think that any bride would be lucky to get on this show. After all, TLC describes “Say Yes to the Dress” as “part bridal story, part fashion makeover and part family therapy session.” You also get to look for your wedding dress inside Manhattan-based bridal salon Kleinfeld Bridal.
Sounds fun and exciting, right? Well, before you do anything that you may regret, you should know that appearing on this bridal show does come with a number of strict rules. These include:
20 Walk-ins are not allowed
To be able to get on the show, you can’t just walk into a Kleinfeld Bridal salon and expect to be filmed automatically. Instead, you need to be willing to go through a lengthy application process. And it’s only if you pass that you get to be featured on this bridal show.
19 You are required to answer personal questions
If you are truly determined to appear on the show, then you have to be willing to answer some personal questions. According to the application form, you would be asked to tell them “something about yourself we wouldn’t know by looking at you.” The form further explains, “There is no right or wrong answer, just tell us something about you that may surprise us or make our viewers say, "Cool".”
18 You must submit to a background check
As you might expect, brides get screened quite thoroughly before they end up in front of the cameras. The terms and conditions on the application form states, “I understand and agree that Halfyard Productions, LLC ("Halfyard") is relying on the accuracy and completeness of this application form in evaluating my possible participation in the show and may use the information provided by me in this application form to conduct a background investigation and prepare a background report on me to be used solely in conjunction with assessing my suitability for the show.”
17 You don’t get to choose your consultant
On the show, brides are typically paired with a consultant. However, it turns out that the client never gets a say in who works with her. Instead, the show selects a consultant that largely contrasts the bride to make each episode more compelling. Hence, if you were blonde with a Southern accent, you might get a brunette consultant with no accent at all.
16 You have to get dressed in front of your consultant and cameraman
Perhaps, one of the most awkward things about this show is that clients would have to strip down and get dressed in front of their assigned consultant, cameraman and perhaps, some of the production crew. According to Buzz Net, the show tries to improve this awkward situation by using female camera operators as much as possible.
15 You have to tell the show who’s paying for the dress
On the application form, one question states, “Most likely, who will be paying for the dress?” Then, you are given six choices for your answer. That includes “myself, my parents, relative, fiancé, friend or other.” Moreover, it doesn’t seem like you can skip this part of the application if you are still unsure about your wedding dress payment situation.
14 You can never be late for your appointment
Several reports indicate that showing up to your appointment to Kleinfeld and the show is a big no-no. In fact, if you do end up being tardy, you may lose your spot altogether. That means the show may no longer film you and you may not be able to pick out a wedding dress from Kleinfeld that day.
13 No purses or phones allowed
Reports also indicate that purses or phones are strictly not allowed throughout the taping of the show. It seems the phone ban is to ensure that no part of the show would be leaked to audiences before it ever airs. On the other hand, we are not quite sure why you can’t bring a purse with you during your appointment.
12 No alcohol allowed
In a lot of movies and tv shows, you often see the bride and her party indulging in some champagne while shopping for wedding gowns. Well, at Kleinfeld, drink with alcohol are not allowed to be served throughout the filming of the show. According to Diply, the bride and her party get served non-alcoholic sparkling drinks instead.
11 Wearing pink is a big no
Pink may be an endearing color, but brides are strictly not allowed to wear pink clothing while filming the show. If you have noticed, the show’s confessional segment comes with a rosy-colored background. And so, if you decide to wear pink, you may end up blending with the wall a bit too much.
10 You don’t get to decide who you bring along
In the application form, there is a part that would ask you to list three people who would be shopping with you at the bridal salon. You are also asked to write about their personalities. Moreover, during an interview with 417 Magazine, bridesmaid Courtney Wright recalled, “ Before the show, Xylina had to write out descriptions of who she was bringing, what their personalities were like, if they got along with everyone else, what upsets them, what they would disagree with and things like that. Then, they chose the bridesmaids they wanted to interview from that.”
9 You must try more than enough dresses
For the show, brides are expected to try on a lot of dresses throughout filming. In fact, Buzz Feed reports that clients would try on around six to 15 dresses. Once this is done, the show’s producer would edit out the dresses that didn’t really get a big reaction. That might mean that the bride or her mom didn’t cry after seeing the dress.
8 You must be willing to tape an episode for five hours
If you are truly determined to appear on “Say Yes to the Dress,” you need to be ready to make yourself available for several hours just to film your segment. As Wright recalled in her interview with 417 Magazine, “We filmed for about eight hours total, but the show is only 30 minutes. There are always two stories on each episode, so each story really only gets about 12 minutes.”
7 You must talk to the mirror
According to several reports, brides are asked to talk to the mirror when they are being asked about their impressions of a wedding dress. Perhaps, the rationale behind this is that they would not turn away from the camera while talking to the consultant. Also, the audience would be able to see their face and facial expressions the entire time.
6 You must allow producers to stir up drama in your life
Perhaps, it’s important to remember that “Say Yes to the Dress” is a reality television show. Hence, there is bound to be some drama. In fact, Wright told 417 Magazine, “They want you to act as natural as possible, but you can tell that they want to stir up some drama. If someone says something that could potentially cause a disagreement, the director asks you questions about it.”
5 You can’t look at all the available dresses
According to Lauren’s article on Ravishly, “Another problem I had with Kleinfeld is that brides can’t look at most of the dresses. The gowns are stored in a mysterious back room amongst, I assume, voodoo dolls and $800 belts. (According to my unscientific research, that’s where 75% of the store’s merchandise is located.)”
4 Accept that your wedding dress is not going to be unique
On Ravishly, Lauren also pointed out that her consultant showed her friend the same dresses even she had “a different criteria and body type.” Furthermore, she stated that her assigned consultant is determined to “prioritize her bottom line – not how your bottom looks in a mermaid-style number.” Lauren also compared her consultant to “the proverbial evil stepmom, not fairy dressmother [sic].”
3 Accept a Pnina Tornai dress option
Israeli designer Pnina Tornai happens to be one of Kleinfeld's primary vendors. Hence, it’s only natural that the show would always feature one of her creations. Also, the bridal salon reportedly happens to have a lot of her dresses in stock. Hence, there’s a good chance that they would encourage brides to wear her creations. This may be the case even if the client specified otherwise.
2 You will be told what to say
As Wright also recalled in her interview, “When they started filming, they would ask us things, like 'What kind of dress are you looking for? Then we'd all put our two cents worth in, and they'd stop us and say, 'Say what you said again, but say it like this.” This may be to ensure that the production crew would get to film as much drama as possible from all the cast members.
1 Even if your wedding is off, you can’t stop your episode from airing
As it turns out, this was exactly what happened to American singer-songwriter Elle King. She had filmed a segment for the TLC show but ended up calling off her engagement to Andrew “Fergie” Ferguson. Nonetheless, this did not stop the show from airing King’s episode. In her episode, King had chosen a beaded wedding dress worth nearly $5,000.
Reference: Kleinfeld; TLC