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  • Jessica Taylor Yates

TV Review: Say Yes To The Dress America

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

Randy, bridal gowns, judging people, yay!

Source: Kleinfeld

If you aren't into wedding dresses, prob best to stop reading now. Also, delete me, I don't need that kind of negativity in my life. I bet you also hate movies that are universally loved. If you are into wedding dresses, however- strap in for the ride.

So, can't remember exactly when it was that I became utterly obsessed with the TV phenomenon that is Say Yes To The Dress (syttd). Spreading over 18 seasons and spawning a multitude of spin-offs such as Say Yes...Atlanta (too many 16 y.o brides named Mary-Jo who need 'Daddy's' approval), Say Yes...Australia (too many brides who are normal and reasonable) and Say Yes...Canada (way too nice...where my drama at?), the show focuses mainly on brides trying on wedding dresses ahead of their big day at Kleinfeld Bridal Salon in fabulous New York, New York.

But guys - it's lit.

Yeah, crazy! Good one, bff. Source: TLC

For me with reality TV, something needs to be going on- buying a house, painting a porch, trying on a dress (I didn't say anything huge, just something). None of this just cruising-around-living-my-life-Kardashian-stuff (my co-LAL partner will highly disagree, don't worry, she can provide that content you're craving, see: All Aboard Below Deck for your low-brow reality needs. This is my article). Anyway. This show incorporates so many of my hobbies- doing nothing, fashion, and judging people.

Basically, in any given ep, you'll have two different brides trying on dresses with their own consultant and squad. They've normally brought along some sort of bitchy entourage (yay!) and 'emotional journey slash baggage' e.g they lost weight, they're self-conscious, their mum has never approved, they wanna wear green etc, and one bride at the end who picks up her dress for a fitting. The fun is in obviously watching with someone else and bitching all about how the gowns are not right / don't suit / wrong / perfect, while wearing your ugliest pyjamas and praying no-one will say that about your own wedding gown (side note: this is what inspired me to shop solo).

Let the judging begin! Source: TLC.

There's a recurring cast who work at Kleinfeld who ask in every ep when you have 'The One' on, 'So...are you saying yes to the dress?'

It's truly gripping television.

Also, just gonna drop in now that I've been there, nbd - jokes. Big deal. big. HUGE!

Source: Supplied.

Note: We were not allowed anywhere near the dresses and had to peep at them from a doorway with a big line saying Do Not Cross whilst supervised as we were not worthy. We could go downstairs to touch shoes and accessories, so obv touched everything in sight (pre COVID lyf). Still counts tho.

The show also stars resident Fashion Director, Randy. We love Randy, k? No exceptions will be tolerated. He grew up on a farm in Louisiana and then won a drag contest to pay for his Fashion studies scholarship and worked his way up the Bride Lyf train, and is still so lovely and cute, even my husband had to admit that 'he seems like a really lovely guy, doesn't he?' Everyone wants a hug from Randy! (Also, this was at the top of my head cos my hobby isn't cooking or bird watching but creepily Wiki stalking celebs that pop into my head at 2am. Also did you know Mandy Moore grew up in New Hampshire and has two brothers? Fascinating). I also really want Randy and Tim Gunn from Making The Cut and Project Runway fame to get together and just be nice and cruise around being fashionable af, but I will save my Fantasy Celeb Pairings for another day (starts scribbling in journal furiously about Seal and Heidi's reunion).

But I'm waffling. Point is, I was nerv for this new season. It went away from the orig format and into competition territory. Wasn't a fan of change, not ready- 2020 has had too much, give me my familiar brides whining for a Pnina Tornei gown they can't afford like usual! I held off watching, instead using iso to plough through seasons 15-17 in the space of two days. But I needed something new. So, I relented, giving it an ep.

Guys - this is the best season.

So, Say Yes To The Dress America is a comp run by my aforementioned bff Randy and resident hot bridal designer who also seems super fun, Hayley, of Hayley Paige Bridal. One bride from each of the USA's 52 states then was selected a 'winner' to 'represent their state' by winning a trip to NYC with their squad and beau, a free Kleinfeld's dress, veil and bouquet, and a mass wedding and reception in Central Park officiated by Randy.

So, all in all - 52 brides, one from each state, won their outfit and trip to NYC for a group wedding, all expenses paid.

Source: TLC

Look I'll be real - not for mine. Like, if I wanted a day with 50+ other people in white where I don't stand out, I'd have gone to Mecca. IT IS MY DAY (see, proposal: bridezilla vibez). And also, the only people at the reception are all the couples- where your friends at? But I think for a lot of these people, they had never had opportunities to travel, or pay for a big wedding- foster kids, brides whose parents had passed, or have family members not approve cos they were gay etc.- so their thrill just was so cute and genuine, and made you happy. Each week, Randy would travel to a state with the Kleinfeld crew, surprise the shit out of a bride at her home, like a super remote ranch in like Idaho or another made up town I don't know, hang out as they take him to the local barn in Schitt's Creek or whatever, and then get their glam appointment in 'the big smoke'. They're cute and feel like they're famous for a day, and each one got her own special dress and moment.

So, after each bride gets her gown and time with Randy in the salon (we only feature the fun ones cos, TV) we cruise to the Big Day. Oh side note- the bros all hang and get suited up too which is cute, and Say Yes To The Vest. Captivating. (Legit. Not sarcasm. Loved every second).

One of my fav brides in my fav dress which is why she was obv a featured bride. Fomo. Source: TLC

For the finale, 'America's bridesmaid' Hayley organised (I mean, pls. Staff def organised, but on the camera it was her, so let's go with it...) for them each to get a bouquet reppin' their state as they walked into their mass ceremony that was not at all like those mass weddings you see in that South Korean Unification Church cult:

Mass wedding in South Korea. Source: AP

Nothing to see here folks, not cult-like at all cos AMERICA! Source: USA Today.

But I must admit, I did find myself shedding a tear for how happy Randy was (if Randy cries, we all cry - write that down), how they all became BFFs, how fomo I was that I did not get to eat a dessert made by the Cake Boss:

I just feel like I would appreciate this more than the regular person. Source: TLC

or get invited to a themed pre-reception party where they all got to dress up as their state:

#UltimateFOMO! Where was my invite I love costumes! Source: TLC

And overall, just how cute and magical the event was. There was one hiccup - a groom passed out in the heat in Central Park and couldn't make it. I almost spat out my pasta (but never would, cos I would never waste pasta, particularly during the Zombie Apocalypse that is 2020).

"Will!" I yelled to my husband as he rushed past and pretended not to hear me by speeding his step, "Can you believe the AUDACITY of this guy on her big day?! It's her big moment on the Central Park steps and she didn't get it cos he can't handle some heat! What a fucking ASSHOLE!! I would never forgive you. NEVER! I would stay and get my photo on the steps and I would not come with you to the hospital if you ruined that moment for me! What a fucking DICK!"

Imagine some asshole taking this away from you cos he was taken to the emergency ward or whatever. Source: South Bend Tribune

Will appeared...alarmed, but weirdly for the wrong reason. "Isn't ambulance on screen? Jess...he's seriously passed out. He looks...really unwell.'re saying he's selfish for requiring emergency attention?!"

It was at that moment I realised my dog Maple was a much better viewing partner and shooed him away to like, do his job at 2pm on a Tuesday or whatever.

All in all, quality viewing. We have it all - romance, fashion, drama, an emotional journey, and of course, my bff-in-waiting, RANDY!

Come surprise me at my house! I can find a barn! Luv u! Source: TLC

Bring on next season.


Say Yes To The Dress America is currently only available on Foxtel in Aus (or other sneaky ways I assume).


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