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The Magic Behind "Say Yes to the Dress"

posted by Kateri Koch

Kateri Kleinfeld 1I got to “say yes to the dress,” at Kleinfeld this semester.

I’ve been watching TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress for as long as I can remember, dreaming of setting foot in Kleinfeld and recreating the show’s magical moments. This dream came true thanks to my Introduction to Fashion Business class.

Kleinfeld Bridal is open six days a week, Tuesday through Sunday, and welcomes hundreds of weekly appointments. To avoid disrupting brides-to-be, our class’s “appointment” was on a Monday. Upon entering the tall, clear gates, I was greeted with white orchids and a luxury lobby with a sneak-peek view of the showroom. We met with Stock Manager, Kenssy Quezada, who gave us a tour of the showroom, stockroom, accessory room, and alteration room.

The tour began in the showroom. Breathtaking gowns overwhelmed me from each direction. With over 90 designers in-store, you can find any type of dress in a variety of materials including lace, beading, tulle, glitter tulle, silk, and crepe. The room centers around gold mirrors and luxury seating—where a bride tries on dresses to show her entourage—and dresses line every wall and crevice.  Hidden between dress racks are over 20 fitting rooms—Quezada even revealed that room 22 is where the magic of Say Yes to the Dress is filmed. As we made our way through the maze, I couldn’t help but pause and admire the dresses; each one was so unique yet so beautiful.

Kateri Kleinfeld 2We exited the showroom and came into the stockroom. While the showroom was organized by designer, the stockroom was organized by silhouette. The aisles had hundreds of gowns hanging in clear, garment bags—there were even dresses stored in the ceiling! We made our way down the aisle, downstairs, and into the accessory area. Sparkle was everywhere. There were options for every type of bride with an assortment of earrings, necklaces, shoes, and even tiaras and crowns. As Kleinfeld emphasizes the importance of each bride’s individuality, they even offer in-house alterations. After the gown is ordered and passes through quality control, brides work one-on-one with a seamstress to fit the gown and alter any details to create their perfect dress.

Having such a strong passion and background in bridalwear, this trip was absolutely amazing for me. Being able to see the behind-the-scenes of my favorite television show and understand the environment of Kleinfeld only confirmed my dream to be a bridal consultant here. I am currently a bridal consultant at a small boutique, so I was able to understand Quezada when he discussed how the mind of a consultant works, and how important it is to know the inventory in order to best assist your bride.

Kateri Kleinfeld 4When I thought this visit couldn’t get any better, I was given the opportunity to try on any gown in the store. Pnina Tornai, my favorite wedding gown designer, was my instant choice—she has every silhouette available: a-line, sheath, mermaid, trumpet, and ballgown. I selected my dream dress: a princess ballgown, with a larger-than-life tulle skirt and a jeweled bodice covered in the most glamorous diamonds. After putting it on, Quezada gave me the full Say Yes to the Dress experience, asking me, “Kateri, are you saying yes to the dress?” which resulted in a “yes,” followed by tears from me and cheers from my classmates.

Kateri Kleinfeld 5
This experience was incredible. I learned more about the industry I’m passionate about, explored my dream bridal store, and put on my dream dress from my dream designer. Quezada was right when he called Kleinfeld, “the place where the magic happens.”

Topics: fashion industry, New York City, bridal fashion, fashion industry in NYC, designers, Weddings, Kleinfeld Bridal, Kateri Koch

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