The TLC show Say Yes to the Dress has touching moments left and right just from the nature of the interactions. Whether it’s mothers and fathers crying watching their babies step into their dream dress, or brides tearing up from the sheer joy of finding the bridal attire they will marry their future husband or wife in, there is no shortage of tear jerking content on Say Yes to the Dress. One particular misty eyed moment was recently posted to the TLC YouTube channel…a moment twenty plus years in the making!
Say Yes to the Dress offers audiences a fly on the wall view of brides from all different backgrounds and origins as they try on and sometimes re-try on their potential dream dresses at the Klienfeld Bridal Boutique in New York City. Full of those tug on your heartstring kind of moments, as mentioned above, as well as bridezilla-esque individuals, disapproving mothers, and daddies girls who increase their budget one batted eyelash at a time Say Yes to the Dress is quite the spectacle.
Wedding expert Randy Fenoli is arguably one of the most well recognized individuals in the wedding and bridal industries. His role on such shows as Say Yes to the Dress as well as Randy to the Rescue and others has given viewers an in depth look into this one-of-a-kind man’s mind. Starting his fashion career at just nine years old, Fenoli taught himself to sew. His curiosity, fascination, and ambitious attitude took him through the doors of the highly sought after Fashion Institute of Technology.
Post grad Fenoli immediately set to work and created not one but two flagship bridal collections, both titled ‘Randy Fenoli’—one was for the Diamond Collection and one was for Dressy Creations. His career took off like wildfire, bringing us to the prestigious and well respected Fenoli we know today. He has been the recipient of several awards in his career, including the Oscar of the bridal industry, a DEBI, or Design Excellence in the Bridal Industry. His gown designs truly stand the test of time, which is why this blushing bride below took her mother’s Randy Fenoli original to the Kleinfeld Bridal Boutique to be re-fitted for her wedding day twenty plus years later.
This dress is absolutely gorgeous and very simple and classic. Reminiscent of Georgian era dresses, this ivory satin and lace number gives off a very soft and grand appearance. The beautiful bell sleeves are made all out of lace, with a little bow to cinch the fabric just below the elbow, creating a flowing masterpiece. With modern day touches, such as a strapless design and sweetheart neckline as well as outer boning in the bodice, this dress speaks volumes about Fenoli’s ability to make truly timeless pieces. Fennoli exclaimed in the video “Oh my god! Oh my god! This is my dress!” after being brought into the room.
The designer went on to explain that this particular dress was the first dress he designed for his first collection. “This is my dress, this is my baby, my child, my first child,” he excitedly explained. Defining it as “style 101”, he went into further detail about the actual design of the gown. For him to even create this particular style was a statement in and of itself: “…nobody was putting boning on the outsides. Nobody had done these sleeves. So it was a very unique dress for that time.” It lit a fire under his career and really put the wind in his sails, helping him to become the beloved designer he is today.
Just how did this blushing bride get her hands on a gown that today would be considered an incredible vintage find? Her mother wore it when she married Lonaa’s father. Keeping a wedding dress is customary after the ceremony and most brides choose to have their gown preserved either by wrapping it in muslin or in a display case complete with it’s own bosom. Luckily this particular dress is in good shape and able to be enjoyed as a family heirloom.
The beautiful Lonaa wanted nothing more than to wear her mother’s wedding dress on her special day. Her mother married her father in this dress, so, “to get married for one and then to be able to wear my mom’s gown that she got married to my dad in is… it means a lot” Lonaa said through watered eyes. Cue the heartfelt tears! Anyone need a handkerchief?
She’s getting married to an incredible partner named Torron, a whom she describes as “amazing.” Although Torron is a hulking 6’6″, he defies stereotypes in his career as a pediatric nurse. Lonaa goes on to talk about how lucky she feels to be marrying someone like Torron. “I get emotional when I talk about him because I honestly don’t know how I got so lucky to be able to have him in my life. I’m gonna spend the rest of my life with him and it just… it makes me very emotional.” she says with love.
Fenoli was so touched seeing one of his original designs that he spoke about possibly doing a re-design of the same gown for his upcoming fall collection. The pair finished their emotional moment with Fenoli stating, “I wish you so much happiness in the world.” Swiftly turning to the bride’s entourage, he finished his sentence with a smirk, saying, “… and lots of babies.”
What a moment between mother, daughter, and designer! Fenoli was evidently touched at the multi-generational moment that he seemingly set into motion with his classic design. How time does fly for all involved. Having created and seen so many dresses and trends in his career, it’s crazy that Fenoli could even remember this dress. Then again, no one forgets their first, whether that be love, child, or, in this case, dress.
The trusted and leading industry expert continues to excel from dress number one to now. Current collections include the Silver Springs Collection and the Beautiful Beginnings collection, both of which can be discovered on the designer’s website. Say Yes to the Dress is sure to continue to dazzle and delight viewers with its soft lighting, beautiful dresses, and moments that will make even the toughest people complain that there is something in their eye.
Say Yes to the Dress airs on Saturdays at 9pm EST on TLC.