Lori

Conservative or Insecure?

05/21/2012

Bridesmaids-212-300x400

Watch video from the show right here, and see pictures of all the dresses featured on Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids. Get social with TLC on Twitter and Facebook for the latest show updates!

Lori knows that a bride can be heavily influenced by the way her family thinks. But ultimately, the bride makes the final call on the bridesmaid dress. How did that play out Friday night?

Courtney met her bride, Jordan, in the lobby. Jordan explained that she'd been dating her fiance since junior high. Wow! Talk about long-term romance. She confessed that she has commitment issues to the wedding -- not her guy -- and she couldn't decide on a dress or a maid of honor. Courtney had one indecisive bride on her hands! Besides "short," Jordan couldn't say one thing she really wanted in a dress. What she could definitively say was that her mom was not being supportive of the marriage. But would Mom's disapproval keep her from finding a dress?

Lori started off the appointment by putting Jordan's bridesmaids in dresses that each featured a ruffle to give the collection a cohesive look. Jordan was confused by what she wanted. Did she like the different looks? Did she want short dresses -- or maybe long ones? She told her mom that her indecision about the marriage was causing her to waffle on what she wanted. "I really wish she would see what I want and just be happy for me," Jordan said.

Jordan explained that her mom was her only family, so she needed her by her side. But her mom's lack of support was keeping her from full-blown wedding planning. "If Jordan's mom doesn't get on board with the wedding, she's going to lose her daughter," Lori predicted. At last, Mom came around. "I'm happy that you're happy, and I'm going to accept this decision," she said. Jordan was able to say yes to her bridesmaid dresses -- and would the search continue for her own dress?

Ashley's bride Latishia was just 18 but had already found the man of her dreams. For her summertime theme, Latishia wanted bright, happy colors on her bridesmaids. While the bride was thinking short and sexy, her mom wasn't so sure that was appropriate for church. As a pastor, she wanted to see her daughter's bridesmaids dressed for the venue.

While the bride's mother and sister looked for long dresses, Latishia and Ashley pulled sexy short ones. And for the first round, Ashley put all the girls in long, glam gowns. But they weren't winning over the bride. She still wanted to see her girls in a short dress. Her sister's reaction to that? "Hush!" she said. "You don't need short dresses." Was this an issue of church-appropriate or one bridesmaid's insecurities? What a great sister -- Latishia said yes to the dress her sis felt most comfortable in.

Stacey greeted her bride, Michelle, who was planning a Southern wedding in Alabama. Her four bridesmaids were very special to her, she said, and they all needed to look beautiful on the wedding day. Michelle's bridesmaids would wear one dress; her matrons of honor would wear another. Michelle was overwhelmed by the wild options her girls chose, so Stacey dressed them in the bride's picks.

When all the girls fell for a charmeuse dress, Michelle worried she wouldn't be able to find a complementary gown in the same fabric. There was just one more in the store -- and "What were the odds that the other bridesmaids would like it?" Stacey asked. In a magical Say Yes moment, Michelle fell in love with it. "I'm so excited that they're happy, and they're going to look beautiful on the wedding day," Michelle said.

Jordan gets her first glimpse of wedding reality: bridesmaid dresses on her best friends! (Credit: DCL)

Lori's Least Favorite Trend

Bridesmaids-211-300x400

Watch video from the show right here, and see pictures of all the dresses featured on Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids. Get social with TLC on Twitter and Facebook for the latest show updates!

What does Lori think about the multiple bridesmaid dress trend? "It takes all the focus off the bride." And speaking of taking all the focus off the bride, that's exactly what went down with one pushy sister and one chaotic vision.

Nikky's client, Maretta, wanted one style for her bridesmaids and one for the matrons of honor. Not unheard of. What was the issue here? Maretta confessed that this was her second time at Bridals by Lori -- and at her first appointment, she spent six hours at the store. Then her sister Belinda chimed in, "If I'm spending my money, then I'm going to look the way I want to look." And we quickly realized the wrench in this grand bridal plan.

Krystle came over to lend a hand. She was the consultant for the first marathon appointment. On hour two of this session, Belinda wasn't compromising. She was back in her favorite dress -- the one that made her feel like Marilyn Monroe. And Maretta still wasn't budging. "I hate this dress," she said. Belinda's response? If she won't let her have the dress, she simply won't be a bridesmaid.

Even after three hours of dresses, the bride was no closer to making her choice. "At the end of the day, a decision has to be made, and I'm going to make the decision," Maretta said.

With the appointment turning into another six-hour day, Krystle went back to square one, pulling the dresses the bride originally loved. Maretta commited to one long dress for the matrons of honor, and the one hitch was finding a complementary dress for the bridesmaids. Nikky picked two options, and with her selection carefully pared down for her, Maretta was finally able to choose one. And for everyone's sake, even Belinda said "yes." 

Stacey and her client Helena were shopping for her vintage country chic wedding. For her eight bridesmaids, Helena wanted eight different styles. "I want it to look like everyone just picked out their own dress and showed up and it just worked out," the bride said. Uh-oh. Stacey knew this strategy just wouldn't work. "You will have to give some structure to the shopping," Stacey said. But Helena wanted everyone to have total free rein.

It quickly turned into country chaos. Helena's mom wasn't seeing the same vintage vision as the bride. Thrift store chic vs. lace and beads? Lori needed to step in and help. Eight girls just happened to show up in coordinating silver dresses? "It doesn't work like that," she told the bride. Lori advised cutting down on the styles -- three to four -- and picking the same designer and fabric. "The eye doesn't need to be distracted from you being the focal point," she said.

As Lori worked her magic, the bride was on board, but her mother, the matron of honor, spoke up and said that she wanted her dress to be totally unique. "It's going to take a lot of effort to make [this vision] make effortless," Lori said. It was up to Lori and Stacey to pull the perfect collection to show the bride. Thankfully, even mama found a dress she liked that would help her stand apart. Helena said "yes" five times -- and Stacey couldn't have been more relieved!

Down in fittings, Allicia was with her best girls to try on their dresses. With the wedding 10 days away, Allicia's biggest concern was that Sharon, who'd been measured post-partum, would need a lot of alterations. She'd lost more than 30 pounds, and the dress simply didn't fit. "The dress is beautiful and I love everything about it," Allicia said. But Sharon and the other 'maids were quick to point out what work they needed. Allicia was quite surprised by the amount of alterations. "I would probably die if the dresses weren't ready in 10 days." The staff at Bridals by Lori would never let that happen, and on Allicia's wedding day, the girls looked picture-perfect.

Helena's bridesmaids wear vintage-chic gowns. (Credit: DCL)

We're Like a Pushup Bra

05/18/2012

Bridesmaids-209-marisca-rachel-steph-nicole-lori-blogWatch video from the show right here, and see pictures of all the dresses featured on Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids. Get social with TLC on Twitter and Facebook for the latest show updates!

Bridesmaids should be a bride's support system. But if the bride can't get support from her 'maids, Lori expects her consultants to provide it. "We're like a pushup bra!" Brandon explains.

So, when he encountered bridal party anarachy, he was more than equipped to deal with it. (Hint: the solution wasn't underwire.) "My bridesmaids have actually added a lot of stress [to my wedding planning]," bride Emily explained. "I've felt very lonely through this process...I don't feel like my bridesmaids support me." Well, for starters, this lovely bride wanted her girls to wear YELLOW. That would make any girl balk.

But that was the problem with this appointment: Brandon saw quickly that the girls were being supportive. It was the bride casting a negative vibe. When she saw her bridesmaids modeling various yellow dresses, she threw out critiques like, "You look like a big nacho." "God, that's horrible." "Ooooh. I just hate that dress."

Brandon called in the big guns -- Lori! Lori instantly sniffed out the situation. "Where's your mom?" she asked. "Has she been helping you plan this wedding?" Emily crumbled. Minutes before, she'd been hurling insults; suddenly, she was crying. She admitted that she felt a lot of resentment about planning her wedding alone. "It sucks," she summed up. That off her chest, she was ready to take the appointment in a positive direction. And once she changed her attitude, it was easy as lemon pie saying yes to a yowza yellow dress!

Michele was an encore bride who wanted her nearest and dearest -- daughters Anna and Jamie -- to be her support system for the big day. Jamie admitted, "I never thought I'd be maid of honor at my mom's wedding, but I'm glad she's doing it." At this appointment, the big surprise was that Jamie needed some support. 

Jamie had been a competitive swimmer in college, and after graduating, her body had changed shape. She was quite used to her new figure, and nothing could make a girl feel more insecure than trying on formalwear under bright dressing room lights. "I hate this. I'm uncomfortable. I feel huge and just ugly," Jamie said. When Michele realized how serious the issue was, she knew the only fix would be helping her daughter find a dress to highlight her assets. Starting to rebuild confidence with a great-fitting dress for an important occasion would be a huge step in the right direction.

Consultant Ashley thought of the newest shipment of dresses with funky skirts and young, unique details. Something a little different would help Jamie feel like a standout -- in a good way! And sure enough, Jamie found true love in a short dress with a flared skirt. "I love this one. I think it's perfect. I feel beautiful." Sigh of relief. "Find the right dress is the best feeling in the world," she finished. We totally agree!

In alterations, Marisca was anxiously waiting to see her junior bridesmaids in their dresses The original length was simply too long for such young girls, but now she worried they'd gone too short to overcompensate. And since the wedding was just two weeks away and in South Africa, it was now or never. Fortunately for the bride, the dresses were just perfect! On her wedding day, Marisca looked the picture of happiness and elegance.

Marisca's junior bridesmaids and matron of honor are fresh and flirty in sky-blue dresses that are just the right length! (Credit: DCL)

This Can Be a Dictatorship

05/08/2012

Bridesmaids-208-nicole-lauren-jeri-ashley-blogWatch video from the show, and see pictures of the featured gowns! Get Social with Say Yes on Facebook and Twitter.

No one knows Southern weddings like Lori Allen. She's got dressing Southern brides down to a science, and she can describe a Southern wedding in a nutshell: a lot of guests, a lot of bridesmaids, a lot of attitude. And Southern weddings can be incredibly country or sophisticated -- we saw two takes on Southern style Friday night.

Nicole was after that preppy, colorful Southern look for her wedding. With raspberry and lime green as her colors, she wasn't winning over anyone in her bridal party. The girls were more than a little suspicious that the combination wouldn't work. Decked out in the colors, the bridesmaids complained that they felt like Barney. Brandon felt their pain and asked Lori to step in. In her professional opinion, one bright color was more than enough. So, Nicole forged ahead with raspberry.

The color decided, it was time to tackle style. Vocal bridesmaid Robyn, who insisted early in the appointment that she "never let[s] a second go by when [her] opinion isn't heard," picked a dress that all the bridesmaids loved. But the bride wasn't so crazy about it. "I'm the bride," Nicole said. "I should be able to tell the girls what to wear." As she was grappling with her bridesmaids' dress preference, Robyn threw out another shocker: She hoped to be pregnant on Nicole's wedding day, so she needed a maternity dress.

Lori was ready to combat that drama, though. She found a style that the bride loved -- and that came in a maternity version, too. Crisis averted, these steel magnolias softened to accomodate their friend's taste.

On the other end of the Southern wedding spectrum, Californian-turned-Atlantan Wendy was debating a denim dress. With cowboy boots, no less!

Consultant Courtney wasn't willing to let Wendy take her Southern vision that far. So, instead, she showed the bride some styles that would be sweet and sunflower-field appropriate. Guess who else was on Courtney's side? The bride's more glamorous sister, Danielle. She kept reminding Wendy that this was a wedding, not a rodeo, and there were certain, uh, assets the the girls wanted to show off. Now, Courtney had to work a compromise between sisters.

At last, she found two gowns -- one special version for the maid of honor, one for the rest of the bridal party -- that suited the bride's vision. And all was well again in the South.

In alterations, one bridesmaid was regretting the cheeseburger, beer and chips she'd had at lunch. Her dress didn't fit. Bride Stephanie wasn't too worried, though. She knew her friend Ashly would come through...even if it meant going to the gym twice a week until the dress fit like a glove! Whatever Ashly did, it worked -- on the wedding day, the entire bridal party looked fabulous.

Nicole realizes that raspberry and lime green aren't exactly a match made in heaven. (Credit: DCL)

The Last-Minute Bride

Bridesmaids-205-keosha-blogShare your pics of the most perfect or most perfectly awful bridesmaid dress you've ever worn! And go behind the scenes of the bridesmaids department in these videos -- you'll love the consultants' fashion tips. For pictures of dresses featured on the show, click here!

Even though Lori dreads bridesmaid drama, she knows that it's sometimes the bride -- not her bridal party -- that's causing it. She warned her consultants that they need to keep the bride as their No. 1 client...even if they're siding with the bridesmaids inside their heads!

Krystle had a tough appointment on her hands. Bride Leslie had just six months until her wedding, and she barely had a single detail planned. For her bridesmaid dresses, she simply said dark blue, no chiffon. "I'm open to everything else." Flexible bride? Nope, clueless and last-minute.

Luckily, her bridal party was on track. Her sis Kayla said, "If we do not make Leslie get this dress today, there is no telling when she will do it." So while the bridesmaids were all business, the bride's style was getting a little cramped. "I feel like I don't have an opinion here," she said. "Let me talk."

While the bridesmaids' strategy of forcing the bride to choose a dress backfired, Krystle saw a workaround. She needed to ease the bridesmaids' minds and make the defensive bride feel like she was back in control of the appointment. Since she knew there were a couple of styles Leslie liked, she suggested a dress that would represent the bride's perfect gown -- with minimal alterations. And that did the trick! "I'm glad I did not settle," Leslie said. Her girls were just glad she said yes.

Brandon had a high-maintenance bride on his hands. Ashlee's friends acknowledged that she was a total diva, but they loved her anyway. What they weren't so crazy about was their girl's wedding color palette: royal blue, platinum and yellow. Even Brandon had to hold back his opinion about that. As for Ashlee, she was more straightforward. "You guys don't have to like it. You just have to wear it."

Well, then! Brandon got to work pulling gowns in the bride's colors. She was a tough client. "They can't look sexier than me," she said when Brandon reached for a figure-hugging gown. When she saw her colors on display, she still wasn't convinced they weren't the right combination. "I did great!" Lori stepped in to help tweak Ashlee's vision.

What if the bride chose one amazing dress in bold royal blue, then accented with platinum accessories and yellow flowers? Ashlee agreed when she fell for a hot, one-shouldered dress. And the deal was cinched when the designer, Lazaro, stepped out to greet the bride and her 'maids. "I felt so special," Ashlee said.

Down in alterations, Jessica was getting excited to see her bridesmaids in their dresses for the very first time. The sample had been too small for any of her girls to try on, so ordering the dress was a pretty big fashion risk. Fortunately for the bride, it was a risk that paid off -- big time! Her girls looked so chic and fashion-forward on the wedding day. Congrats to the happy bride and her gorgeous girls!

Ashlee's bridesmaids help the bride narrow down her big-day style. (Credit: DCL)

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