Who amongst us hasn’t binged Say Yes to the Dress, right? It’s that guilty pleasure show. Many of us have spent hours binging TLC’s show just to all of a sudden emerge as armchair bridal consultants. It’s just so hard to not watch. The stories are compelling and the dresses are beautiful. And, of course, there tends to be just the right amount of drama between the brides and bridesmaids. There also tends to be a fair amount of drama behind the scenes as well, though! Unfortunately for us, we don’t usually get to see the bulk of that drama. We decided that we had enough of not knowing. TLC might want to keep these secret, but we just had to put these surprising facts about Say Yes to the Dress out there.
20 It’s No Coincidence We See A Lot Of One Designer
Wedding dresses might look the same to those with untrained eyes. Poofy and white, many of them do blend together. Say Yes to the Dress offers some variety, but Pnina Tornai’s designs are seen again and again. Ever wondered why? Ranker states that it’s because she has a deal with the show and the boutique, which means her designs are often shown first.
19 One Bride Was So Upset She Sued
Any SYTTD follower knows about this piece of gossip. One bride told NY Post that she was asked to step in to film an episode, and she “agreed to do it on the condition that her episode wouldn’t air until after the wedding.” Sure enough, they aired the episode well before the wedding. She took them to court, but unfortunately didn’t win.
18 The Boutique is RIDICULOUSLY Small
And not like, “there are so many dresses I can’t see the walls” kind of small. It’s the kind of small where you look around and say, “how did they ever fit anything in here in the first place”. A review from Ravishly actually said it was uncomfortably small, especially considering how many other brides are shopping for dresses at the same time.
17 They Mix And Match Consultants Carefully
Like the reality TV artisans they are, every aspect of the show has been crafted with stimulation in mind; even the consultants! While there are the favorite consultants, The List also tells us that they keep a roster available so they can choose a consultant that contrasts (and might even clash with) the featured bride.
16 Yes, They Dig For Drama
This might not be a surprise for those seasoned reality TV watchers, but we were a little surprised. Shopping for a wedding dress should be a happy occasion, but sometimes that’s not the way the veil unfurls. The List reminds us that they will ask prying questions and follow up on anything that could be spun as “drama”.
15 And The Wild Characters Will Get Picked First
The show is not for the loosey-goosey planners, and the application process isn’t a thing that can be half done. Ranker says that brides should “be ready to describe yourself and your wedding in depth...And producers make no secret of the fact that they're aiming for an angle.” The more wild the story you can tell, the better chance you have of getting picked!
14 Brides Can Only Try A Limited Number Of Dresses
Weddings would be so much easier if we could pluck the first dress we see off the rack and have it fit perfectly. Often it requires a ton of try-ons before we find the right one. Ranker mentions that, because TLC is filming, they have to cap the number of gowns the bride can try on, and aim for the ones that will get the biggest reactions!
13 They ‘Movie Magic’ The Cleanliness Of The Dresses
Nicki Swift’s article on the fakeness of SYTTD offered some great insight into the behind the scenes secrets of the show. Swift quotes one bride that went shopping there who described the dresses as, “there were actual armpit sweat stains. And on the hem, it looked like it had been out in the street," which definitely doesn’t match up with what we see on the show.
12 TLC Loves Non-Traditional Brides
Remember when we talked about the intense application process? Apparently wanting something a little more non-traditional is a good way to get a spot on the show. The List reminds us that unique makes for good TV, and non-traditional brides offer some contrast and struggle to the otherwise pretty traditional boutique of Kleinfeld.
11 They Actually Use A Lot Of Female Camera Ops
Before we start cheering about representation behind the camera, understand that there’s a practical reason for this too. The List says that the dressing rooms are manned (or rather, womanned) by a camera operator. They try to use females for this position to “cut down on the awkwardness” of changing in front of a TV camera.
10 TLC Is Picky About The Bridesmaids Brides Bring
Nicki Swift quotes one bride who was on the show. She said, “[the bride] 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 so on. Producers would interview them and sign off on a group, likely the ones that had the highest chance of drama.
9 ‘Say It Again, But Like This’ Can Lead To Inauthentic Answers
It’s not like reality TV is a bastion of honesty and authenticity. We know that, but we still like to think that the opinions are honest. Unfortunately, Nicki Swift confirms that the producers would get brides and bridesmaids to reword their answers to questions, and spin things in contextually different ways to change the meaning.
8 There Aren’t A Lot Of Unique Dresses, Despite The Desire For Unique Brides
Putting the whole Pnina Tornai thing aside, there actually is a decent amount of variety in the Kleinfeld boutique; there’s just not a lot of non-traditional options. Colors, patterns, and unique lengths or cuts don’t necessarily appear when the brides are searching for them, although the consultants certainly try their best.
7 The Narrator Knows Nothing About Dresses
The List states that, after 10 years of narrating this show, the voice actor doing it has inadvertently learned a thing or two. However, he doesn’t call himself an expert. In fact, he says that he wouldn’t advise anyone coming to him for wedding dress advice, as he doesn’t even see the scenes of the show (or the dresses) that he’s narrating.
6 Brides Can’t Look At Most Of The Dresses
The walls look packed full of dresses, but those are primarily sample dresses. According to The List the majority of Kleinfeld’s dresses are kept in the stockroom, which they don’t allow customers to go in; yes, even Say Yes to the Dress customers! Who knows what other styles and designs they’ve got piled down there.
5 Budgets Are Not Always Taken Into Consideration
Wedding dresses are honestly super expensive, and we already imagine it being a struggle to afford one. Consultants are supposed to stick to the budget the bride lists out, however, “they almost always show the brides dresses far out of that price range — it helps cement the show's "fairy tale" feel,” according to The List.
4 Sometimes The ‘Yes’ Is A Maybe (But We Wouldn’t Know)
Isn’t it surprising just how many brides actually say yes to those dresses? We might have some creative editors to thank for that. Nicki Swift reminds us of the time that one bride spoke up about they way they edited her decision to make it seem like she said yes, when really she wasn’t sure! Talk about dress pressure.
3 Brides Are Pulled If They Don’t Agree To The Air Date
It’s not only the bride we discussed before who had issues with her episode’s airing date. According to the Say Yes to the Dress attorney, “if brides ask for their episode to be held back, they aren't filmed.” Presumably this is to avoid another situation like that one, where they ended up going to court.
2 Some Of The Spin-Offs Have Been Quietly Discarded
Does anyone remember Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss? If you don’t, don’t worry; you’re not missing much, as it was quietly discarded fairly quickly after launching. The premise was focusing on plus brides, which garnered a lot of backlash. Why not just include more in the regular season, right?
1 Filming One Episode Takes 8+ Hours
The film world is tough when it comes to the amount of hours that are needed. Brides on SYTTD sign up to go shopping, but sometimes they don’t realize all the extra hours. According to The List every dress takes about an hour to film and get the reactions from; and that doesn’t include time for changes and rephrases!
Sources: thelist.com, ranker.com, nickiswift.com, ravishly.com, nypost.com