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Is TLC's Say Yes To The Dress Fake?

Every bride dreams of her wedding day, and in that, their wedding dress. They've found the person they want to spend the rest of their life with, and the second-best thing is finding the dream dress that makes them feel like a princess. It's an intimate moment, finding a dress that makes you look and feel your absolute best. Not everyone thinks it's a private affair, though.

Those who are fans of reality television and frequently tune into TLC have no doubt run into "Say Yes to the Dress." On the air since 2007 and responsible for over ten locational spin-offs, "Say Yes to the Dress" has been a worldwide favorite for viewers to see brides find their potential dress in the beautiful Kleinfeld Bridal parlor. The drama is intense, audiences usually see the bride leave happily, and it tends to be a feel-good show. While the onscreen drama is what makes the show special, and the dresses are great inspiration for future brides, is TLC's "Say Yes to the Dress" fake? Is any of it even real?

Read on to have some of your most pressing questions about the reality-bride show answered and to learn what really goes on behind the scenes.

Brides have to apply and other requirements

It should come as no surprise; every bride you've seen on "Say Yes to the Dress" applied for their slot, filling out an extensive application. The executives need to know a great deal about you, including your love story, details about your wedding, budget, potential dress styles, and who you'd bring to the dress fitting if selected. It's essential to make your application stand out, too.

The applications are done to ensure no liars are seeking quick fame; every bride on the show must be getting married, and the producers will require applicants to disclose if they've applied to other reality shows in the past year.

If your application is picked, be prepared for every minute to be completely out of your hands. The producers are in charge of everything, even before you reach Kleinfeld Bridal, or one of their other locations if you're picked for a spin-off. One of the first steps is your fitting party. In the application, brides are asked to write detailed summaries of the people they'd have at their fitting, and based on those descriptions, the producers will tell you who can come along. Brides also don't pick their consultants.

There are other requirements for brides on the show, including a pre- and post-interview. These interviews help introduce you to the audience, but also give producers intel into ways to start some drama between you and guests for your fitting.

The experience is longer than 30 minutes

An episode of "Say Yes to the Dress" lasts about a half hour and with two storylines for two brides, so each bride only gets about 12 minutes of screen time. While brides would think shooting for so little screen time would go relatively fast, brides can be shooting for up to 10 hours, according to an article on Good Housekeeping

"Say Yes to the Dress" is real, but very staged. Brides and their fitting party will be asked to repeat lines, as was the experience for Courtney Wright, who accompanied her engaged friend on the spin-off "Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids" where they help brides pick out bridesmaid dresses. Wright interviewed with 417 and said her group had to repeat certain lines in certain ways, and filming total took about 8 hours. 

Sometimes the extensive application doesn't pay off either. Though there's an expectation for brides to come into their session with a few dress types they like, brides can still expect to try on an arsenal of dresses (at least 6, up to 16), and many won't fulfill style requests. That also applies to budgets; guest Amanda Lauren had both preferences and budget ignored when she dished about disastrous Kleinfeld visit on Ravishly. One of her requests was to avoid Pnina Tornai, one of the big-name designers at Kleinfeld and the only name mentioned on the show. The first dress brought back? A Pnina Tornai which went $3,000 over budget

Your husband to be may see you in your dress before he sees you in it walking down the aisle

In alignment with producers having the most say, brides should pay attention to one crucial rule: "Say Yes to the Dress" will air episodes whenever they want, regardless of the day of your nuptials. And even if something happens where the wedding no longer happens, your episode will still exist in TV history.

It happened to Alexandra Godino, who when trying on dresses was approached by producers via Daily Mail. Godino consented and signed the consent form but claimed she'd gotten a spoken agreement between her and the producers to not air it before her May wedding to no avail when the episode aired two months early. Godino attempted to sue, and her efforts were unsuccessful. 

In the same vein, according to Good Housekeeping, returning a wedding dress from "Say Yes to the Dress" can be borderline impossible. It happened to bride Randi Siegel-Friedman back in 2016, who received a custom gown in the wrong size and made of the wrong fabric than the dress she'd tried and ordered on the show. After a denied refund for the $12,000 dress (via TMZ), she sued.  

All in all, "Say Yes to the Dress" seems more like a nightmare than a dream come true when brides consider everything that goes on behind the scenes. For reality's sake "Say Yes to the Dress" is 100% fake.