The Storefront for Kleinfeld Bridal Salon in Manhattan, NY. (Photo courtesy of KleinfeldBridal.com)

by Carrie Victoria

Thousands of designer wedding gowns line the walls, consultants run around frantically looking for the perfect dress for their clients, and anxious brides-to-be try on their dream wedding gowns. Sound familiar? It should if you’ve ever watched an episode of TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress.”

If you’ve ever wondered if the Kleinfeld experience lives up to the hype created on the show, the answer is an absolute yes.

Walking into Kleinfeld, you’re greeted by a crowd of people—brides, family members, friends, and employees—and an air of excitement. Everyone wears a smile on their face while chattering excitedly about what dresses their brides will try on.

If you arrive early, there may be a short wait after checking in, but everything runs smoothly and on schedule.

And then everything happens exactly as it does on “Say Yes to the Dress.”

The consultant takes you and your entourage through a long hallway of dressing rooms, where many brides-to-be strut out in beautiful wedding gowns. Once inside your assigned dressing room, the consultant asks all the expected questions: “How did you meet your fiancé?” “When is your wedding?” “What is your budget?” “What dresses do you love?”

The consultants are just as amazing in person as they appear to be on the show. They find the dresses you wish to try on, give their full effort to meet your needs, and smother you with compliments, making you feel as if you are the most beautiful bride in the world.

Besides the consultants, the clients and their friends and family act similarly to those seen on TV. Many of the brides-to-be act bratty or picky, unhappy with every single dress they are trying on. Mothers make snide remarks towards their daughters; one mother was heard saying to her daughter that she looked like a nun.

When you’re done trying on dresses and believe you’ve found the one, the consultant asks the bride the question they’ve been dying to answer, “Are you saying yes to the dress?” After the bride says yes, more than likely with tears in her eyes, there’s a lot of hugging and laughing and jumping up and down. It might sound cliché and cheesy, but it’s really a great time.

After saying yes to the dress, you’ll have to make a 60% down payment on your dress. Just take a deep breath, because it will take a large chunk out of your wallet, especially if you’re a poor college student. It’s worth it though. That’s what I’m telling myself anyways!

As a side note, Randy is NOT at the Kleinfeld store anymore. Since “Say Yes to the Dress” became a hit show, Randy moved onto bigger and better things. Well, a new show anyway—“Randy Knows Best.” So, disappointingly, you won’t see Randy’s fabulous self walking through the hallway.

Ladies, add going to Kleinfeld onto your bucket list because it’s definitely a worthwhile experience! Not only to try on some beautifully designed wedding gowns, but to share a special moment with some of the people you love the most.