For generations, New York City brides-to-be trekked to Bay Ridge to boutique for bells gowns at Kleinfeld. Now, women from all over the apple army to the conjugal salon acknowledgment to the TV appearance “Say Yes to the Dress.”
The TLC absoluteness appearance this year is adulatory 10 years on the air, with its 15th division accepting premiered Feb. 25.
When “Say Yes” began, the abstraction was to go abaft the scenes of the world’s better conjugal shop, endemic by Ronnie Rothstein and Mara Urshel (who are ally in business and life). The 35,000-square-foot store, which confused to Chelsea in 2005, employs 250 bodies and sells some 10,000 dresses a year.
Over the years, though, “It went from actuality a behind-the-scenes docuseries to ‘House Hunters’ for bells dresses,” said Abby Greensfelder, co-CEO of appearance creators Half Yard Productions. “Say Yes” affectedness in added than 150 countries and territories, and brides appear from as far as Africa and Hong Kong to boutique at Kleinfeld today. It’s additionally coined a catchphrase, “Are you adage yes to the dress?” which is acclimated about the world.
The alternation has afflicted the acquaintance of arcade for a bells gown, too. “Before the show, the babe came with her mom, her grandmother and her best friend. [Now] there are ample groups of bodies activity to allotment the acquaintance with a bride,” said Rothstein. “[That] makes it added difficult because there are added opinions. That’s absolutely been one of the furnishings of the show.”
In ceremony of the show’s anniversary, actuality are 10 of the top “Say Yes” moments.
The appearance was originally alleged “Kleinfeld Unveiled.” The accepted appellation “came about aback we attempt the pilot” in 2007, Rothstein said. “There was a babe who was disturbing over two dresses. I said to [her] mother, ‘It’s easier to say yes to the guy than to say yes to the dress.’ The arrangement alleged us weeks afterwards and said ‘We accept the name: “Say Yes to the Dress.” ’ We anticipation it was terrible! Afresh all of a abrupt it bent on.”
Sometimes it’s not the helpmate who is the toughest customer. “We’ve had the absolute over-the-top, overbearing, anatomy Italian [father] who screamed at the woman who was aggravating to accomplish alterations because his babe looked abhorrent [in the dress],” said Greensfelder, apropos to a 2007 adventure with helpmate Giustina Rossi and her father, Tony [left]. But already Tony saw his babe in the able gown, he was “reduced to a dabble of tears,” Greensfelder said. “This boxy guy aloof absolutely absent it and it was so endearing.”
Kleinfeld’s appearance administrator Randy Fenoli had formed at the abundance aback 2007 but beneath to be on the appearance — until 2008, aback he was guilted into rescuing ample helpmate Michelle LaMarca. Unbeknown to him, she had collapsed in adulation with a contour he afresh told her wasn’t appropriate for her body. He was abashed to see his comments played up for ball in the trailer. “I backward up all night bawling,” Fenoli said. LaMarca didn’t booty his admonition — but abounding admirers anticipation he was right, and started allurement for his ascribe aback they shopped.
The “Say Yes” assembly aggregation embeds in the abundance for three to four months per season, so the two staffs are like family. Aback Sarah Velasquez — who appears on the appearance and works in the abundance as a dress constultant — called her own clothes in 2009, “it was fun and affectionate of awkward for [her] to be on the added ancillary of the camera,” Greensfelder said. “We had a affecting moment area bodies cry and clap.”
Kleinfeld attracts affluence of brides with absolute budgets, such as Nicole Burkes in 2009. “[She] flew in on her clandestine jet and said ‘I can accept any dress,’” Fenoli recalled.
“She played dress-up for three hours, afresh went to added salons. She came aback and capital to comedy again. I told her she had to . . . appear aback tomorrow. That’s aback she assuredly said yes to the dress.”
Pity Jennifer Bloom, whose twin, Melanie, kept cogent her she looked abhorrent as she approved on dresses in 2009. “The accompanying was anxious of this moment that she wasn’t having,” Greensfelder said.
Few “Say Yes to the Dress” belief accept been as affective as that of Margo Mallory, who came to the salon for a 2012 adventure while aggressive cervical cancer. “She did accomplish it to her wedding, but anesthetized abroad anon after,” Greensfelder remembered.
Among the stars who’ve chock-full by are Seth Meyers and Kathy Griffin (above left, with her aloft abettor Tiffany Rinehart). “Kathy’s abettor came [to try a dress], and Kathy afraid her by assuming as a mannequin — and absolutely cool her out,” Greensfelder said of the 2015 episode. “That was a 18-carat moment that was Kathy’s idea.”
Dresses at Kleinfeld ambit from $2,000 to $32,000 — or added for custom gowns by Pnina Tornai, the store’s absolute designer. Holding the almanac for priciest helpmate is Naulila Diogo (above, in white), the babe of an Angolan presidential chiffonier affiliate who spent aing to $200,000 — $55,000 for two custom Pnina gowns, additional seven dresses for her conjugal affair — in a 2015 episode.
For the new season, Fenoli formed out the VIP analysis for bride-to-be Kelli Hutchinson, who absent her bells dress in a flood. “In 15 seasons, this is the best absurd arrangement we’ve done,” Fenoli said. “She’s a helpmate with three kids, their abode abounding canicule afterwards they confused in and she absent her ancestor [last] year.” So the appearance created a pop-up salon in Louisiana, and able her a dress, blind and jewelry.
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