- Say Yes to the Dress America airs Saturday nights on TLC at 8 p.m. ET.
- Randy Fenoli tells Good Housekeeping what the cameras didn't capture while filming the show.
Randy Fenoli knows the ins and outs of TLC's Say Yes to the Dress — after all, he's been leading the program since its release in 2007. Even still, nothing could've prepared Randy for his latest venture with TLC, Say Yes to the Dress America.
"It’s like Say Yes to the Dress on steroids," he tells Good Housekeeping, later adding that the spinoff "nearly put me in the hospital."
The new TLC series follows one lucky bride from every state (plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico) as they receive the Kleinfeld dress-shopping experience and prepare for one giant group wedding in New York City's Central Park.
As one can imagine, pulling off a large ceremony with 52 brides from all over during the summertime was far from easy. For starters, Randy felt tremendous pressure, given that the brides only got to choose a dress from a curated collection at Kleinfeld Bridal.
"It’s not like, 'Oh, are you saying yes to the dress or no?' It’s like, 'You really have no choice,'" Randy says. "So talk about stress, for us, and the bride."
On top of that, Randy says 42 of the 52 brides had to pick out their dress in one appointment on that day because "two days later, they were getting married." Then, the alterations department had to fix up all 52 gowns in a day and a half — a process that usually takes weeks.
"I was in complete panic mode. I didn’t show it, but honestly, I don’t know. There have been very few times I’ve been that stressed," Randy reveals. "Here's the thing: I didn’t want the girls to just say yes to a dress, I wanted them to find the dress of their dreams ... I wanted each one of them to have that moment."
Once every bride had picked out their ideal gown, it was time for the grand wedding in Manhattan's Central Park. The day of the ceremony, Randy recalls it was 90 degrees outside, which made things challenging for the brides getting their hair and makeup done. "There were some meltdowns, some girls literally hysterically bawling because they didn’t like the way they looked," Randy explains.
On a more positive note though, Randy shares that he also saw something truly touching on the day — in fact, it makes him want to "cry" just thinking about it.
"[Some of the brides] went in this separate little room with a curtain, and they gathered around and they all started doing each other’s hair and makeup, just like you saw in Miss Congeniality ... They were just loving each other ‘cause they all knew they were in this together."
Apart from witnessing the heart-warming camaraderie (some of the brides apparently have a texting group chat), Randy was very moved that so many of the brides trusted him during the course of the show.
"I honestly sound like Dr. Phil or Oprah with the way that they opened up and told me really intimate stuff," he says. "Some of the stuff we couldn’t even use on air. It was so intimate that I felt so humbled that they just met me for the first time, but they thought of me as a best friend already."
Moments like that made all the struggles and hiccups worth it in the end.
"The logistics behind this was an absolute feat. I’m so proud of everyone that was involved that we pulled this off," Randy recalls. "It was just, ugh, yeah, amazing."
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