Lanae Brody hails from Scottsdale, Arizona and has lived in Los Angeles for 4 years. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a BA in Journalism in 2008. She and husband, Dennis, just got married in Arizona in November and enjoyed a stunning red, white, and black wedding that reflected their high taste for style and attention to detail. Lanae still loves to talk about weddings and is enjoying life as a newlywed!
Everyone knows that as a bride, saying yes to the the dress is probably the most exciting part of the entire wedding planning process. Since I am such a pop culture junkie, I knew that I had to go to the mother ship of wedding dress shopping: KLEINFELD!
Wedding dress shopping in Arizona and Los Angeles didn’t even compare when I got to New York City. By the time I arrived in New York, I had probably tried on about 50 gowns, and no, that is not a typo. Going into the process I “knew” all along that I wanted a princess ball gown. Well, once you start trying on gowns, your mind quickly changes. I think that’s why I tried on so many gowns!
Since “Say Yes to the Dress” started airing, Kleinfeld has become a tourist attraction. Because of this, appointments have to be booked months in advance. I got engaged on December 27, 2011 and the soonest appointment I could get was March of 2012! About two days after my now-husband proposed, I decided to just book the appointment at Kleinfeld. I had to put down a $50 deposit, which was the only place I had to do that! That was kind of unsettling, but hey, it was Kleinfeld and so worth it! Plus, it was just a holding fee, which meant I had 48 hours before the appointment date to cancel. So, I booked the appointment, naturally, before I did anything else wedding related, and crossed my fingers that I would even be able to make the trek.
After looking at flights with my mom, we found some cheap airfare and snagged it up quickly. This was actually going to happen! Their website suggests that brides try on several gowns prior to the big appointment. Because their inventory is the largest in the world, they recommend coming in knowing exactly what you have in mind since the appointments only last 90 minutes.
When I arrived in the city, I checked out some other New York staples like Amsale on Madison Avenue, Designer Loft, Lovely Bridal, and Gabriella. They all had that New York feel to them, but all I kept thinking about was Kleinfeld, and of course, I purposely saved the best appointment for last.
March 24, 2012 was came, and it was finally my turn to (hopefully say yes to the dress! My cousin and bridesmaid Melissa flew in all the way from Chicago to participate in the fun, and my childhood friend and bridesmaid who was a New York local, Rachel, also came. And, of course, I had my mother in tow. My sweet fiance flew in just for the weekend because he wanted to give me a giant hug and kiss after I said “yes.” So sweet!
I walked through the big doors and the waiting area was jam packed. I had visited ten to 15 bridal stores by this point, and I had never seen anything like it. I checked in and they directed us to sit down on a couch. There were framed photos of slogans such as “Just Say Yes” around the walls as well as several mannequins in their gowns. Some girls’ names were called for their appointments and I just sat there patiently. Several tourists had already come in and out just to take pictures. There were camera crews filming one bride inside the main show room. I kept crossing my fingers I got to go into that room. I had so many butterflies in my stomach!
Finally my name was called and I looked up to see a cute, smiling blonde woman named Jillian who was familiar. I was beyond elated that I was getting a consultant from the show to help me choose my gown! She sat my crew on the famed couches and took me back and slipped me into one of those famous Kleinfeld robes. She and her assistant, Jackie, talked to me about what I wanted. I showed them some photos, told her what I liked and didn’t like, and she said she’d be back shortly with some gowns.
About ten minutes later, Jillian and Jackie returned with some contenders. I was a little confused about why I didn’t get to help pick them out off the racks like every other bridal store I’d been to, but I was in the best of hands and just rolled with it. The first dress I tried on was a Monique Lhullier dress. It was pretty and I took the famous Kleinfeld walk from the dressing room out to the waiting area where my family was. I stood on their well-known pedestal and my entourage was on the couches. At this point, they had moved my family to a different couch. Kleinfeld keeps everyone bouncing around due to filming. The girls were kind of sick of playing musical couches by the time I got out there, too!
Jillian kept telling me, “If you don’t like it, tell me. It won’t hurt my feelings. I didn’t make it!” I was so comfortable after that because she did pick some that I found so God-awful. After I threw some of those dresses out, I decided I wanted more. When I walked out to my family to show them the Monique gown, another gown caught my eye. “You sure do have a wandering eye!” said Jillian. I asked her about that gown and she said, “I didn’t bring it to you because it was a corset and you said you didn’t want that.” She was right, but at this point, I decided to try it and just see. I tried on a few more and just wasn’t feeling “the” feeling. You only go out of the dressing room to show your family if you like the gown, so by that time, I had only gone out in the Monique.
Jillian brought in the gown my “wandering eye” found and it was pink and gorgeous. She told me they had it in white so just to try it to see. The dress was by a designer named Dennis Basso and his line, like several other Kleinfeld designers, was exclusive to Kleinfeld. I put it on and loved it, but something wasn’t sitting right with me. I showed my entourage and they loved it, too. I stood out there for a while in it, but couldn’t put my finger on what was missing. Everything was right except this one mysterious thing. I didn’t want to take it off, was fine with not looking around more, but something was off.
“Can I try it on in white?” I asked Jillian. She went to the head of stock and here came my big Kleinfeld moment. The stock girl knocked on my door and she had it in her hand, but the problem was, it was a plus sized sample. Jillian assured me she could clip me in to make it look like my size, and when she did, it was even worse. The crotch area was droopy, it didn’t sit right on my body, and it wasn’t perfect. The clock was ticking and my appointment time was running out. I began to grow upset and confused. Should I take the chance on this perfect gown and just trust that it’ll look the same in white and give me that feeling?
About five minutes later, there was a knock on the door. It was the dress in white, my size, and total perfection! The dress apparently was buried somewhere as it was used for a photo shoot the week before. Once that particular piece was on me, the dress was really talking to me! Jillian and Jackie turned me away from the mirror and put it on me. I looked up and started crying. This was the first time I cried during the dress process. I knew it was the one. It was meant to be! I walked out to my entourage and they all started crying. Everyone just knew that it was time to say yes to the dress! Once you say “yes,” more bridal gear was flung at me to buy. All of a sudden, I was greeted with a matching veil, belt, and jewelry, all literally seconds after saying “yes.”
After paying and signing paperwork, my fiance was waiting with arms wide open outside. My friends and I then turned into tourists and took photos in and out of the store. “Make sure you send me a picture of you in the dress,” Jillian said before I left. Duh. I would be honored to be on their wall of brides in their dressing room! I can’t wait to be added to Jillian’s collection!
Months later I was at home, watching “Say Yes to the Dress” and reminiscing about my amazing time. It was probably the highest highlight during the entire planning process. It was well worth the trip to New York and the butterflies in my stomach for days. I even saw another girl try on my dress on the show! This was an experience I highly recommend for any bride who wants the best dress experience of her life!