Wedding season is six months away, but winter is wedding planning season, and reality wedding shows abound. Here's a rundown of bridal reality TV shows, so you can figure out which ones to program in your DVR.
"Say Yes to the Dress" (TLC)Set in New York City's Kleinfeld Bridal, "Say Yes to the Dress" was the original "find the dress" series. Clients with a range of personal tastes and hang-ups search for the perfect dress, despite family and friends who often seem more interested in sabotaging the appointment than helping.
"Randy to the Rescue" (TLC)In the "Say Yes to the Dress" spin-off "Randy to the Rescue," Kleinfeld employee Randy Fenoli runs a traveling boutique, helping brides around the country. In addition to matching them with a dress, he suggests hair styles and accessories, which are modeled each show by a couple participants. Unlike the original series, where brides stick to their preconceptions, these brides are eager for Randy's advice, as he dispenses oodles of wedding style tips.
"Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta"/"Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids" (TLC)The Atlanta spin-off of "Say Yes to the Dress" is filmed at Bridals by Lori. The heart of the show is owner Lori Allen, whose poise, tact, and keen perception help her salvage faltering appointments. A well-placed word from Lori prevents a meltdown and silences argumentative family members and friends. In the "Bridesmaids" series, also shot at Bridals by Lori, the claws come out, with bridesmaids often believing the wedding should be about them.
"Brides of Beverly Hills" (TLC)A "find the dress" series for the upscale bride, "Brides of Beverly Hills" is filmed at Renee Strauss for the Platinum Bride. Clients range from celebrities (such as "American Idol" Season 3 runner-up Diana DeGarmo, whose dream dress was a relatively moderately priced $6,000 gown) to the well-to-do. The expectations -- and budgets -- may be more excessive, but at heart, it's still a show about overcoming insecurities and family pressure to find the perfect dress.
"Four Weddings" (TLC)The innovative series "Four Weddings" pits four brides against each other in a friendly competition. They attend each other's weddings and take notes on the dress, ceremony, decor, food, and entertainment. Through secret voting, they rate each other's events, with the winner receiving a dream honeymoon. Watching the brides grouse about bland food, distracting photographers, and quirky personal touches should serve as a reminder that you can't please everyone.
"Along for the Bride" (TLC)A new series, "Along for the Bride," follows wedding parties through the planning stages to the big day. In the episodes aired to date, the focus has been on strong personalities, friction amongst bridesmaids, and the excesses to which some brides go, dragging their bridesmaids along.
"My Fair Wedding" (WE tv)On "My Fair Wedding," event planner extraordinaire David Tutera transforms brides' plans from tacky to tasteful. The best moments are the reaction shots: David's thinly concealed horror while learning about the brides' plans (a skull-shaped wedding cake?), and the brides' undisguised delight at seeing his amazing creations.
"Bridezillas" (WE tv)The ultimate guilty pleasure show "Bridezillas" follows ill-tempered brides through the wedding process. Just when you think you've seen the worst possible behavior, someone drops a dog in a wedding cake. The biggest mystery: Why anyone agrees to go on this show!
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