Say Yes to… a Disaster

Ah, so here it is: the post I’ve been seriously dreading… the post in which I tell you about my first bridal meltdown. It was a BIG one. Like the kind that you’re ashamed of. No, I wasn’t a bridezilla… I was a baby. A big ole cry baby. Normally, it would be something that one would just deny ever happened… unfortunately, that one is going to be nearly impossible to ignore. It all started towards the end of last summer when and friend and I were planning a trip to New York City. Since we were going to just enjoy the city and relax, I said “Why don’t we go to Kleinfelds and I’ll try on dresses?”

I mean, what bride wouldn’t want to step foot in that place? Kleinfelds is the Mecca of the wedding gown world! I, like many other brides out there, have been drooling over the designer gowns on the TLC show Say Yes to the Dress f 7 seasons now! It didn’t take much convincing! We went to the website to schedule my appointment. Right there in the top right hand corner of the site was their Kleinfelds Say Yes to the Dress page. Including “Apply for the Show.” Just for fun, I filled out the application page, told a little about Kevin and I, and went on my way.

Windows at Kleinfelds, NYC

The window display at Kleinfelds, NYC

Within a few weeks I had heard from the show a few times, and had agreed to film for an episode. It was done! I was super excited to be in a sea of couture gowns, take an awesome trip with my pals, and enjoy NYC in the fall! Plus, it meant that we could move our stay to the Hilton in Chelsea and enjoy being sandwiched right in the middle of the Fashion District and the Flower District. Talk about fun! We scheduled our trip for October, and before you know it… we were on our way to New York City!

I’m a huge fan of roadtrips (I know most people consider them punishment…), so we decided to drive up! Kevin, Adrienne, Sam, and I all piled in and set out! Christine flew in, so we met her in the city. We hung out Friday night in the city, got up the next morning, and headed to Kleinfelds. I was superrrrr nervous. Not because of the cameras (my Bachelors Degree was in Broadcast News… I’ve done the camera thing), but because of the stress of picking a dress. From the first dress I tried on, I’ve struggled with making a choice. Struggled to the point that I had decided on getting more than one dress for the whole ordeal. Yes, more than one dress.

In fact, I had settled on four very different styles for four very different events. 1. The Ceremony. 2. The Reception 3. The Wheeling, WV Kevin’s Hometown Celebration 4. The down-home Cowen, WV Amy’s Hometown Celebration. Granted, I didn’t expect to find all 4 dresses in one place… but where better to start than a place that has more than 2,000 dresses?!?!?!?!?! My consultant was Diane (petite, blonde cutie that looks like a normal, human, pretty version of Donatella Versace –then again maybe her hair is just similar–), and she was just amazing! She was super nice, helpful, and really listened to me about what I wanted. Unfortunately, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted.

The appointment wasn’t off to a great start when I tried on an over-the-top-ballgown (as requested) that weighed about 70lbs! It was miserable, I felt like the room I was in was super hot, and I was just a little bit uncomfortable with all of the attention (I know, me, who would have thought?). Turns out, there were a few brides in the salon that were trying on dresses and were under the impression that everyone that shopped there was filmed for the show. When they realized they were wrong they weren’t particularly happy, and sure weren’t happy to see that my experience was being filmed. For that reason, every single time I walked out of the dressing room to show my ‘entourage’ my dresses you could have heard a pin drop… until they all started whispering to themselves about it.

Before the second dress was even laced up I was completely second guessing myself: Did I really know what I wanted? Did I really need more than one dress? Would I ever find one dress… let alone four? Why couldn’t I pick one? How can one dress epitomize the entire day and be perfect? What if Kevin hated it? What if I picked something that looked horrible and my friends wouldn’t tell me?    …Okay, you get the point now, right?

My friends were amazing and super supportive. (Kevin left to the lobby –once he agreed on a budget for us to work on–, as he is pretty traditional and didn’t want to see anything). One thing that the film crew interfered with (which is understandable) was staging my entrance into the lobby to show the girls the gowns. This meant waiting a few minutes at a time in a corridor with tons of people before making the grand entrance into the area. After showing each dress I then had to point out what I liked about it, and what I didn’t for the camera to catch. Again, this makes perfect sense when putting together a show… but didn’t make sense for someone like me. Once I had reflected on each dress and decided what I didn’t like about it… I couldn’t see past what I didn’t like about it. Before you knew it, I kept seeing flaws: beading, material, ruching, and eventually in myself. I started feeling overwhelmed with the process, how I felt about myself, and things took a turn for the worst.

What I couldn’t have foreseen was that once I started questioning everything, losing my self-esteem, and getting all worked up: all of the dresses ran together into a sea of white. I tried on a few, LOVED one, but was too scared to commit. After that, I tried on several in the dressing room and completely refused to come out at all. If you’ve seen the show, you know that this is the point that they call in the big guns… yup, you guessed it… Randy himself. He was great: charming, genuine, helpful, and so nice! I really didn’t get the impression that they were just trying to make a sale like one would expect. They were trying their damnedest to get me into a dress that I would love, and love myself in.

Randy Fenoli

With Randy! Sorry for the blur! It was taken on my cell!

I just wasn’t cooperating. I wasn’t feeling well and really didn’t feel good about myself. The more the interviewers pried about my self-esteem, weight issues, and second guessing myself the more I struggled with all of those things. Now this is where anyone that has ever seen the show would say to me, “Amy, they don’t put those girls on there because its boring. There never seems to be a dull moment… and every episode has to have a train-wreck.” I wish that this was something that I had thought to myself before signing up for the show. I already have braced myself and know that some people are going to be really cynical “Oh, look at the blonde girl that was able to travel to New York to look for couture gown or two for her Disney wedding…”

I get it. I really get it now, and hind-sight is 20/20. I have so much to be grateful for, and even then I didn’t lose sight of that. So… just be nice, okay? I had no idea how stressful it would be to look for and find ‘the one’ (…or four), and finding something wrong and right with every dress for every camera really made me over analyze it all. To the point of breaking down… and that is just what I did. I was a mess, I’m sure the show will be a mess, and the entire trip was a mess. It didn’t help that when we left I had a fever of 102, and actually was sick with a respiratory infection. I won’t give away any more before the big show… which happens to be this coming Friday… so now you get why it was time for me to come clean and just tell you about it.

I haven’t seen the cut, and I’m not sure yet whether or not I will tune in to see. No matter how bad it looks: I promise I’m fine… It was a great time in the city with my friends, I’ve really learned and grown from the experience, and I’ve even found a few dresses since then… of course, that happens to be another topic for another blog.

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7 Responses to Say Yes to… a Disaster

  1. Annie says:

    Amy, I would really like to know what dress you tried on first!! I just caught the end part of syttd when you still had it on so I never got to hear who the designer was…can you help me out!? I think that could be my dream dress!

  2. Liz says:

    I wanted to contact you immediately after watching this episode! I feel the same way you do every time I go shopping! Rarely do I find things in my size, and when I do 90% of the time they do not fit me right. I go shopping with my husband and end up in tears leaving with nothing. I think you looked GORGEOUS in all the dresses you tried on. I would love to have your body … I am 5′ 7″ and 105lbs. I cannot gain weight for anything. I eat, I work out, I’ve even had two children, still the same size as I was 15 years ago. I know many people think they would love to be my size … it sucks! Thin people like me don’t have boobs unless they buy them, but the clothing manufacturers seem to think I should be in a full C cup! My waist is small … great for me in a swim suit if I had the boobs to fill the top …. crappy for me because no pants fit EVER! They are either so small I can’t get them over my two-children-delivering hips and thighs, or they are so big that you can see all the way down them when I sit! I’m sure weight is like hair … if yours is curly, you straighten it; if yours is straight, you curl it! 🙂 Honestly, I thought you were so beautiful and seeing you cry crushed me to the core. I know our situations are a little opposite, but they are really the same. I wish you all the luck in your wedding and in finding the PERFECT gown. I promise you, I would not be writing you if seeing you on the show had not moved me incredibly! Please do something you know usually makes you feel pretty and good about yourself and revisit those dresses, because you looked AWESOME! Lastly, don’t let people hurt you like that again! I have had the same thing happen to me in stores, it is embarrassing and crushes you, but you are beautiful.

  3. Dorthey says:

    Just wanted to remind you that you are beautiful inside & out!! Hope you have made progress in seeing yourself as you are! If you saw pictures of yourself with the face covered, you would recognize a fit and fabulous woman. It is your face and the negative recording in your head that throws you off. I just couldn’t get you out of my mind. So, I tracked you down to say that a complete stranger is proud of your courage. Best of luck in your future with your wonderful man. You are in my prayers

  4. Pingback: Say Yes to the Dress (follow-up) |

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