Life Lately

My Experience with Filming Say Yes to the Dress

I thought I would change things up a bit and share about an experience I had SIX years ago today – filming an episode of Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta!

For years, I was an avid watcher of Say Yes to the Dress – when I saw that they were looking for brides to film upcoming episodes for the Atlanta store, I thought it would be fun to apply.  I’m not the type that gets picked for ANYTHING so you can imagine my surprise when I was contacted within hours of applying.  After a very brief phone conversation with one of the producers of the show, I was selected for filming the following week!  We live about 2 hours from Atlanta so luckily I was able to easily coordinate going there to film.

My mom, grandma and I drove to Atlanta one Monday evening after I got off work.  We ended up getting there pretty late because there was an awful storm we had to drive through the whole way there.  Adam’s mom, Donna, was already at the hotel when we got there (she flew down from MI), so we picked her up and grabbed dinner at the Cheesecake Factory.  After much debate, I finally decided to wear a light purple dress with a darker purple cardigan.  There were so many colors they didn’t want you to wear it was pretty hard to pick something (no PINK, red, black).

It was up bright and early Tuesday to get ready for our (possible) TV debut.  We got to Bridals by Lori a few minutes before our appointment time (9am) and filled out a bunch of paperwork while we waited to get started (background consent, waivers, general information, etc).  I was the first one for the “pre-interview.”  They hooked a microphone to my dress and ushered me to a tiny room that’s staged for the interviews.  I answered a million questions about what I’m looking for, why I think I haven’t found my dress, how we met, how Adam proposed, who came with me, their personalities, theme of the wedding, where/when the wedding will be, and so on and on and on..!  After my interview, it was mom’s turn.  They didn’t ask her quite as much but it still took a while.
It’s funny because all week I’ve said “watch me get the consultant who’s brand new…”  That’s what happens to me with everything … car shopping.. new salesguy… house shopping.. new realtor… never fails!  Of course, I was hoping for Robin, the store manager.  Once the pre interviews were complete, they arranged us on the couch and brought out my consultant – Kelly – who was filming her first episode … ever.  Naturally.  Overall, she did a great job and was also trying to get used to the cameras being everywhere and all of the interruptions you wouldn’t have with a normal appointment.
We headed up to the bridal floor and over to the dresses that were within my “budget.”  I had a feeling right away that they weren’t going to have my dress (white, organza, ruffles, embellishments, sweetheart neckline) and that became pretty evident after a few more minutes.  Kelly kept pulling satin dresses which I really don’t want because it’s a summer wedding in the south!  We decided to start trying on a few of our “picks” and off to the dressing room we went.
The dressing room was kind of awkward because I was still mic’d and everyone could hear everything we were saying, even if they weren’t filming.  There was a female camera person in the fitting room with me and the consultant who would film once I was in the dress.
The dressing room
We’d have a chat about the dress and then I’d go out on the “walk way” to show the moms.  The first time out on the runway, Lori was there waiting for me.  It’s weird because my back was to the moms and I was supposed to stay facing the mirror and make all the comments.  I ended up showing 3 dresses on the “runway” but none of them were my dress.  At one point, Lori said I sounded like someone who wasn’t afraid to make a commitment but afraid to make a mistake, which is true.  She also said I’m someone that’s always very “together” and “fashion forward” – I don’t think I’ve ever heard fashion forward used??
The last dress was more than double the budget I wanted to stay with; it was beautiful, I couldn’t find anything I didn’t like, I just knew it wasn’t THE dress.  It’s very overwhelming standing there with all eyes/cameras/lights on you and everyone’s waiting for a reaction and your comments for EVERYTHING.  So, I walked away without my dress.  We still had to do post-interviews and that wasn’t very fun…. I was convinced if I made it on the season I’d be made out to look like I’m very hard to please and didn’t know what I wanted.  I had brought pictures of 3 dresses from a magazine and kept asking if they wanted to see what I was looking for, but there really wasn’t any interest in that.  Lori was adamant that if I didn’t find my dress there it probably didn’t exist.. I knew better.
Leaving there I felt pretty discouraged but also like the first dress I put on with my mom a few months prior was more and more likely to be my dress.  Mom asked if I wanted to stop by that dress shop (Prado in Chattanooga) on the way home to show my MIL the dress there that I liked.
So, we stopped at the store.  There wasn’t anyone there except the owner (who happens to be from WV ironically) and the sales girl that helped us the very first time.  It was nice to not have to be surrounded by people once again!!  I walked over to the rack where the Maggie Sottero dresses were and saw a new dress that was the exact dress from one of the ads I had torn out of the magazine.  I knew I HAD to try it on.  So we grabbed it and the original 1 that I liked.  I put on the “new” dress and it was amazing!  We all liked it.  Then, I tried on the original Maggie and had the same thoughts/likes/dislikes.
When I got home that night, I looked the dress up online… and lo and behold.. the description said…”This fashion-forward, bead-encrusted lace…”  How crazy is that?!  I took that as a sign and put a deposit down on the dress to get one ordered…
However, less than 24 hours later, I called my mom in a panic because I had changed my mind!  Something in my gut told me to go with the first Maggie Sottero dress.  I was 100% convinced I had made the wrong choice and was SO upset.  Luckily, the store owner was very understanding and allowed me to order the new dress and apply the deposit to that.  Crisis averted and I ADORE my wedding dress that I ultimately went with.
So, what became of filming?  For about a year, I read the descriptions of each new episode and recorded/watched the ones that sounded like they could possibly be “my” episode.  I was hoping and praying our episode would never see the light of day and to my knowledge, it hasn’t!  I joke that we weren’t “dramatic” enough.  It just wasn’t a fun experience and it has turned me off from watching the show in general now.  Is the show even still on?!
Thanks for stopping by!

4 thoughts on “My Experience with Filming Say Yes to the Dress

  1. Woah! I read every word- this was super super fascinating. I love that show- but I know there is way more behind the scenes than actually makes it to camera. Thanks for sharing. I found this riveting, and I say you made the right choice for SURE! You look stunning. I actually had second guesses about my dress wayyyyyy too far into alterations, but had to stick with it. Looking back on pictures I’m glad I did- but that feeling of “oh no!” panic is the worst! I empathize. Thanks for sharing. I just loved reading this!


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