The Inside Scoop: 30+ Rules and Revelations From Say Yes To The Dress Brides
Okay, we all know that Reality TV is kind of trashy. However, it is incredibly entertaining. Sometimes, you need to forget about your daily troubles and immerse yourself in the crazy world of Reality TV. And the best provider for this type of content is probably TLC. One of these shows that’s a gift that keeps on giving is Say Yes To The Dress. It has everything you would want from Reality TV, aka THE DRAMA. When you put together the task of choosing the perfect dress with the stressed bride surrounded by her family, you know something will always go down. We are here to deliver some more drama and reveal some of the show’s secrets! Buckle up and get ready to be shocked by 30 things you didn’t know about Say Yes To The Dress.
First things first, how do you get on the show? Many brides think they can just walk into the store, Kleinfeld, and just land an episode on the spot. Points for effort, but it does not work that. There is…
… an application process you have to go through. The application is online and contains a lot of questions. Some of these are how you would describe yourself, who you would bring in, who might pay for the dress, and so on.
Even if you don’t go through the lengthy online application process, you might end up on the show! However, you would not end up as the bride. You would be there as an extra. Apparently, if you decide to visit…
… Kleinfeld, on the day they are shooting a new episode, you have to opt in or out of being in the episode. You have to consent to your voice and likeness being videotaped, and if you don’t, you have to inform people.
The show is top-rated, and if you are reading this, you probably already know that! So, just imagine the applicant pool. You can probably compare the odds of making it to applying to an Ivy League college! Luckily, you don’t…
… need to work on your extracurriculars to make it on TLC! But you do need to work on standing out because the competition is out there. But if you did apply, you will probably know within two to four weeks if it’s a yes.
So, you must be wondering, how long does it take to record one of these episodes? Well, a regular appointment at Kleinfeld will be around an hour and a half. However, an episode needs much more footage. Like, five times more.
It’s not just the bride who has to sit at the shop for a long time. It’s the entourage, too. Those following the bride have to do pre-interviews so the producers can learn more about dress preferences and family dynamics.
How big do you think the store is? You probably thought it was massive. Well, it’s much smaller than you think. Apparently, it’s all thanks to lighting and clever camera angles. Also, having a lot of light surfaces helps immensely.
Given that the whole store is covered in white color, it gives the illusion of a much bigger space. While the show makes it seem like at least a dozen brides with their entourages can fit, this is not the case.
It’s not just about you when you are applying to be the bride. Sometimes, you can get on your show because of your entourage. When you are watching an episode of SYTTD, it might seem like they exclusively choose people…
… who will be the most honest or rude? This is no coincidence. The more chance you and your entourage have to cause chaos, the better for the show. A former guest said that the producers choose the cast based on the drama potential.
Let’s do some math here. If, let’s say, for every episode, a bride tries on between 6 to 15 dresses, and there are 20 seasons with 10 to 20 episodes, how many dresses does the store have?! Obviously, a whole bunch!
So, how do you manage all of these dresses? Usually, they are organized by silhouette and then arranged alphabetically by the designer in the silhouette category. Annually, around 17,000 brides visit the store! Imagine being lost in their storage space.
Speaking of storage space, let’s have a little peek. In this next picture, we can catch some of Kleinfeld’s storage space. Apparently, the employees are not too happy when they see brides, their families, and other members of the entourage…
… wandering into it. The staff of Kleinfeld works hard to make the storage as organized as possible. Imagine walking into a big room of endless white dresses. When they are packaged, they kind of look the same. Just look at the picture above.
9. Conveyor Belt
Right, so another way the store managers of Kleinfeld keep things organized is by using a conveyor belt. Yup, it’s just like the version of something from the factories or themed restaurants! So, from the massive storage room, there’s a custom…
… conveyor belt that uses a custom Raylex System. This belt is full of dresses and kind of looks like something at your local dry cleaners, but fancier and way more expensive, probably. However, these dresses are mainly purchased and ready to be picked up.
10. 1000 Dresses
We already said this; it’s no secret that there are thousands of dresses. But you probably didn’t know how these gowns are organized. You can find at least 60 different designers to choose from, and there are conveyor belts and all…
… kind of crazy stuff, too. Let’s take a moment to appreciate how popular this store probably became with the show. If you are a fan, even if you do not land an episode, it’s hard to resist the magic of just being there.
Now that you know what the storage looks like, do you want to know what happens downstairs? This part is even rare to see on TV, mostly because knowing how something is made takes away from the magic and the mystery.
However, people from downstairs do the most critical job, and most of the magic happens in the basement. Rarely does a selection from the stand fit a bride like a glove. Downstairs, Kleinfeld heroes make that magic happen.
What sets a wedding dress apart from just a regular white dress? It’s the intricate details. Mostly, the way you can make a dress special is with beads! These things need to be sewn in by hand to give the dress…
… an elevated, dare we say, fancier feel. Now, it’s not just a white dress; it’s a customized dress! Kleinfeld’s has a whole station for beading, and some staff members specialize in the art. If you need alterations of this sort – these are your people.
13. How many
Another thing you must be wondering is how many takes and dresses it actually takes for all those dramatic shots. How many before the bride walks down that thin hall of the store and finally says “YES” to the dress?
In the show, we mostly see the bride trying around three dresses. In reality, the bride would try about 6 to 15 garments! Then, the producers will edit out those dresses that did not provoke a response from the cast.
14. Ms. Popular
So, with all these designers and thousands of dresses to choose from, who is popular among bridezillas and their entourages? One of the biggest designers on the show is the Israeli fashion designer Pnina Tornai. If you have not heard of this name…
… you have not watched enough SYTTD episodes. Do your homework! Pnina Tornai is an evening wear designer known for her handcrafted gowns with elegant crystal details. Like the one in our picture before and the picture above. Just impeccable style!
15. Top Seller
Tornai’s dresses are always on Kleinfeld’s top-seller list. When you look at the detail each dress has, it is hardly a surprise this is the case. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, Tornai knows what brides want.
Given her popularity, Tornai travels monthly to the shop to meet with future brides and host shows. If you are lucky to be on the show or be an extra, you might catch a glimpse of the renowned designer.
As we said, Tornai knows what brides want. If you are lucky to run into her while it’s your episode or your appointment, you might be blessed with the master designer’s advice! She is known to suggest pieces from her collections…
…to the buyers in the shop. One of Pnina Tornai’s dresses will cost anywhere between 2,400$ to 5000$. While that might seem pricey, wait until our next slide to hear what is the priciest dress in the store! Brace yourself.
17. How much
Tornai is a good deal. Her dresses might be pricey, but considering the cost of transportation from Israel, her manual labor, and the materials used to make the dress, it’s sort of a steal! Mostly, brides are ready to…
… spend big bucks on the wedding dress. After all, this is the most significant day of their lives. Currently, the priciest dress in Kleinfeld’s stock is, again, brace yourself, 21,200$! It is made by a fan favorite, Pnina Tornai, which may explain the cost.
18. Go Big
The dress we talked about is the one that is the most expensive one at the moment. However, this is not the most expensive gown that was ever sold in the boutique. How much more costly do you think that one is?
Well, try for a little over three times more expensive! The most expensive dress was a whopping 70,000$! In the dress’s defense, it was filled with intricate details and altered to fit like a glove on the bride. Worth it?
We talked about averages before. If you did not know – the averages for Kleinfeld are between 2000 and 4000 USD. However, this is a good bit above the nationwide standard in the United States. According to The Knot, the national average…
… is around 1300 USD! Well, just a little above but nowhere near 2000 USD! There are rare occasions when the bride on SYTTD would get a budget dress. Actually, a few consultants in the store were criticized for forcing brides to go over the budget.
20. Think Twice
Okay, there is one big con to being on Say Yes To The Dress. There are many pros – getting a glamorous dress, going through the process, and feeling like you are a part of some elite fancy group. But…
… the producers will still air the show even if the wedding is ultimately canceled. So, think twice. Every bride who is recorded will end up on air! Over the course of 20 seasons, more than 700 brides appeared. Not all got married.
We know the designer list of the boutique SYTTD is recording in is international, but what about the cast? As the show grew a fanbase, not all fans were local. Some wanted to fly in specifically just to be on the show.
So far, the show has had brides and entourages who flew in just to be on the show from Japan, New Zealand, Dubai, Angola, and more! The list will probably grow with seasons. For one episode, 15 guests showed up for the bride!
Some consultants on the show are more popular than others. It’s no secret. In total, Kleinfeld has a whopping 24 consults! 24! All are well-trained and skilled at their job but not are aired on television shows. Like, Randy, for example!
Randy appears every now and then to save the day. Other famous consultants are Camille and Diane, and they tend to get more screen time than others. Some consults are known for their ability to pick a dress, some for the drama.
So, why is Randy, out of all of these consultants, such a fan favorite? Apparently, Randy is exceptionally dedicated to his role on the show. While the show is obviously a little bit scripted, Randy likes to keep it authentic.
So, unless the cameras are rolling, Randy won’t speak much. Randy doesn’t want to risk getting any information about the bride before the appointment because he wants the moments on camera to be as authentic as possible. He says the audience knows!
24. The Name
The show’s name, Say Yes To The Dress, is undoubtedly ICONIC. But who came up with it? Your first instinct might be to say that this name was engineered in some reality TV production lab. However, that’s not the case.
The phrase has been around for a decade In Kleinfeld! A long time ago, a consultant came up with it, and they kept using it. Brides who aren’t filmed for the show get asked the exact same question! The production obviously liked it, too.
One episode of SYTTD was more intense than the others. One time, SYTTD chose a bride from each state in the US for special treatment at Kleinfeld. This included Washington and Puerto Rico! So, 52 brides gathered in New York City…
… for a grand wedding ceremony! If you haven’t seen that episode, it was as chaotic as it sounds. Some brides could only choose from a curated collection, and some made appointments. It was no easy day for professionals at Kleinfeld.
Look, everyone makes mistakes. Even professionals! One could argue that you would even have to make mistakes to get to the professional level! So, even the most dedicated permanent cast members slip up sometimes. Just like Randy did on the…
… “52 States” episode that we talked about before. He made two hilarious mistakes. He wanted each bride to know they were chosen, so he wanted to inform them himself! However, in two states, Georgia and Colorado, he ended up at the incorrect home.
Just like any Reality TV show, SYTTD has its fair share of controversies. One of the biggest scandals was the Godino case. A woman, nicknamed Ali, sued the show in 2016 for airing the episode she was featured in before…
…drumrolls… her wedding! According to Godino, she entered the show at the last minute to replace a bride who couldn’t attend her meeting. The producers promised not to air her episode before the wedding, but did it.
The court ruled in favor of the show, not Godino, but this wasn’t the only legal controversy. This one did not involve the show in the court proceeding, but a couple featured in the episode. Emily, the bride, featured…
… spoke very highly of her then-fiancé, David Gotterup. David and Emily used to work together in the mortgage industry, where they met. However, David ended up in jail for scamming clients out of over 2.5 million USD. 135 months in prison!
The controversies and lawsuits do not end there. In 2016, again, another bride sued SYTTD. Randi Siegel-Friedman claimed SYTTD sent her the wrong dress! And the dress was worth well over $12,000. However, it appears it arrived in the wrong size.
Adding salt to the wound, Randi said that some of the material was wrong. Kleinfeld denied any wrongdoing and refused a refund, so the bride sued the boutique. Randi says she was forced to wear a different dress on her wedding day.
With the show growing in popularity, some celebrities wanted a bit of that spotlight, too. On the 15th season of SYTTD featured Rob Schneider’s daughter, who came in to choose the dress. But the whole situation got crazy pretty fast.
The renowned actor’s daughter, Elle King, discovered her ideal dress and shed a few tears when she said yes to the dress. However, it seems like the couple actually got married in secret, and the big ceremony they bought the dress for never happened!
Needless to say, if you have a bland life story, your chances of being featured on the show are low. The crazier your life is, the higher the chances you’ll be chosen. After plenty of seasons of wealthy white ladies, TLC was…
… ready to push the envelope. Now, they are on the lookout for one-of-a-kind brides. TLC is now casting women with big personalities and bold life choices. There were even polygamist partners on one of the seasons!
32. Saddest Episodes
Okay, coming towards the end of our list, we also want to share some sad note-worthy moments with you. There are plenty of emotional and challenging moments throughout the show that made both viewers and participants shed a few tears. But…
… what about the moment that made viewers sob? Margo Mallory was the sweetest bride who went through a lot of adversity with her fiancé. When she bought her dress, everyone cheered and hoped for the best. Unfortunately, she passed away not long after the wedding.
33. How Much Drama?
While some moments are genuine, honest, and raw, others might seem overly scripted and kind of fake. There’s an apparent reason for that. Every show is, to an extent, scripted. While you do not see the scripted episode, past guests…
… have indicated that the show encourages drama. Comments made by the entourage are edited and filtered in a specific way so that the episode has as much drama as possible. Sometimes, the producers ask friends and family to stir up drama.
Speaking of editing, former guests also complained about fabrics and sometimes the poor conditions of the sample dresses. Former guests state that most of the glamour sometimes is just proper lighting, editing, and screening that would make anything look good.
But the reality is that some dresses have ruined hems, and even worse, pit stains are pretty common. One of the store’s buyers, Carly Sposato, said that her dress arrived nearly destroyed, and she was forced to seek alterations elsewhere.
Speaking of alterations, you might wonder why Carly didn’t seek modifications at the same store where she bought the dress from. Well, it appears that the standard flat fee at Kleinfeld for every alteration and fitting is 695$. Add that to…
… the fact that some of these dresses cost around 20,000, and the numbers add up. So, brides, be careful and scan for possible alterations before committing to the dress! Keep those costs in mind when you are doing the math in your head.
36. Final Secrets
One last secret we will share here is that sometimes, TV producers would mix and match consultants and brides for maximum effect. So, if a consultant is available whose personality clashes with the bride’s personality, they might want…
… to pair them together on purpose! This is why the show might seem overly dramatic sometimes. It is all intentional. Anyway, that’s it for now! We hope you learned some new things about your favorite show and that you can keep a secret.