Follow TV Tropes


Series / Say Yes to the Dress

Go To

An American reality television show on TLC about Kleinfeld Bridal, a salon in the Big Applesauce, and more specifically, the women shopping there for their wedding dresses, and the employees trying to balance the brides' egos, budgets and families. A Guilty Pleasure if ever there was one.

There are several spin offs to the series itself.

Tropes featured include:

  • Age-Inappropriate Dress: Many of the dresses tried on by the older brides are more appropriate for 20-year-olds.
  • Almighty Mom: Many, many, MANY of the moms are this, especially if they show up in the Atlanta show (which dedicated a whole episode to dealing with these mothers)
  • Beautiful All Along: How many women feel while trying on the dresses.
  • Big Applesauce
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Many of the brides, despite most being in their 20s or older.
  • Advertisement:
  • Bridezilla: Not as common as one might think, given the show's focus, but it does happen. There are also a few Maidzillas.
  • Camp: The male style consultants tend to be very... expressive and flamboyant. Randy is the "codifier" (plus, he is gay), but Monte from Atlanta is very flamboyant.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "[name], are you saying yes to this dress?" (Interestingly, this was not used in many of the earlier episodes of the original series.)
    • "Jack you up" from Atlanta, referring to finishing out the bridal look, including the veil, for the audience to see.
  • Censor Decoy: One bride who wanted to dress 'sexy' persuaded Randy to bring her out in an extremely provocative dress first so that the dresses she actually wanted would seem tamer by comparison.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: One gets this vibe from the $20,000+ dresses.
  • Advertisement:
  • Cool Old Guy: Vera in Alterations.
  • Daddy's Girl: Several of the younger brides show up with their dads and are this to a T. i.e, the Atlanta spin-off featured a Navy captain who raised the budget to 10.000 dollars from one moment to another to make his little girl happy.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Money doesn't buy happiness or stability, kids.
  • Extreme Doormat: Some have shown up:
    • A woman purchasing a gown for her vow renewal ceremony ended up buying a dress she hated instead of the one she loved because she couldn't stand to disappoint her 8-year-old sons.
    • One young (late teens/early 20s) bride, who was sad because her grandmother kept complaining about her dress choices.
  • Fairytale Wedding Dress: Why the brides are at a fancy boutique.
  • Friendly Rivalry: Between Randy and Audrey.
  • Gem-Encrusted: Some of the dresses will leave the viewer wondering how the brides can stand under the weight of the adornments.
  • Get Out!: Once in a while, the grooms show up at the stores too. They're allowed to hang around until the very last dress try, where they're told to step out.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Takes place if the bride shows up with her sister/s, or if two sisters are getting married at the same time and decide to buy their gowns in the same store.
  • Happily Ever After: The show usually ends with pictures from the featured brides' weddings.
  • Hide Your Lesbians: Notably averted on this show, which treats lesbian brides no differently from straight brides and candidly discusses the possible challenges of styling two brides in two dresses for the same wedding without ever once falling into Unfortunate Implications. It probably helps that TLC is a cable channel — and that fashion director Randy (and his Atlanta counterpart, bridal image consultant Monte) is flamboyantly gay.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: In the early episodes of Atlanta, Lori comments a few times on needing to drink a cosmopolitan due to stress from the job/customers.
  • Insistent Terminology: They're consultants, not saleswomen.
  • It's All About Me: Many of the brides. Even worse, some of the bride's families.
    • One distressing example was when when a young woman brought in her mother and stepmother (both of whom were very important to her). The mother took every time the woman liked anything the stepmother said as a snub while the stepmother backed off quickly and tried to be nice no matter what the dress was (aka which mother picked it).
    • A more benign example came from the "Say Yes to the Prom" episode; since an entire class of high school students was able to choose clothes, two of them end up getting the same dress. The focus girl wanted to feel special and unique for having her dress, so they hash it out off screen and have the focus girl get it.
  • Momma's Boy: Older brides sometimes show up with their sons, who tend to fit in here. They tend to be either spoiled brats (especially if they're young boys) or milder examples, like an American football player who showed up in the Atlanta series to support his mother as she's getting ready for her vow renewal ceremony.
  • My Beloved Smother: Some of the bride's mothers, and at times also stepmothers and grandmothers.
  • Never My Fault: Claudia, from the early seasons.
  • No Accounting for Taste
  • Once an Episode: Usually some variant of "[name], are you saying yes to this dress?". Also, in the Atlanta spinoff, it closes with Monte and Lori squabbling good-naturedly.
  • Parental Fashion Veto: It's not uncommon for a bride to love a dress, only to have the family member(s) she brought with her shoot it down. Sometimes their judgement seems sound; other times... not.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: For the brides and bridesmaids.
  • Pretty in Mink: In one episode, a bride wanted a winter wedding, and her bridesmaids to wear white faux fur muffs, so the dresses, that she was looking for her bridesmaids to wear, were to at least look good with the muffs.
  • Put on a Bus: Most of the saleswomen are featured for several episodes and never heard from again. There are a few long-runners though, notably Dianne, Sarah, Keasha, and Audrey.
  • Rich Idiot with No Day Job
  • Serious Business
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In the Atlanta show, a Sassy Black Woman bride got so fucking fed-up with her Almighty Mom and her other companions that she stopped trying on gowns, gave them a What the Hell, Hero? speech and walked out, saying that she'd come back alone later. Even more, Monte supported the bride's decision without a moment of hesitation.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: If a bride has big boobs, she's very likely to gun for a revealing wedding dress to pull this trope. More often than not, her companions won't agree.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Once in the Atlanta show, a bride showed up with her younger brother. While well-intentioned, he shot down all of the woman's choices and tried to force her to buy a gown of his choice.
  • Spin-Off: Several:
    • There's a whole second show (or was it just a special set of 20 or episodes?) about bigger brides—usually size 12 and up. Those episodes had even more about "the right fit" and showing how to mitigate/play up parts of your body.
    • They have another spin-off called Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    • Further, Say Yes to the Dress Bridesmaids, where the brides need to be reminded that it's their wedding and they can pick any bridesmaids dresses they want, or that you can get nice dresses in weird colors, or that it's the bride's day not yours, etc. Or that automatically making your sister the maid of honor doesn't mean she'll be nice to you.
    • Randy has two spin offs for himself. One is called Randy Knows Best and another is Randy to the Rescue, with Randy taking his talent on the road to help women find dresses.
    • There are spin offs in other countries too: Canada, Argentina, Chile, Brazil...
  • Stripperific: Most of the gowns by designer Pnina Tornai are low-cut, transparent, and covered in rhinestones.
  • Unconventional Wedding Dress: The series will occasionally feature brides who want unconventional wedding dresses, which will invariably put them at odds with their more traditional family members or entourage. Usually they'll get the style they want or compromise with the dissenters to find something in the middle.
    • In one episode, bride-to-be Christalyne fought against her Indian family's wishes, as she wanted an ivory or champagne gown when in India white is reserved for widows.
    • Former Prince bassist Nik West, who wanted something futuristic, ended up with a beaded white catsuit with a detachable skirt.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: