Monte Durham

When Fate Steps In


Say-yes-atlanta-318-maranda-w-9-blogMissed Friday's finale? You can meet unforgettable bride Maranda here! And go behind the scenes of the show with these videos, while toasting the season with all our fabulous Season 3 brides. Get dress inspiration from our wedding dress slideshows, too!

This was a first for Robin. She greeted a bride who informed her she was getting married in just eight days to a guy she'd never laid eyes on. Only an untraditional gown would do for Maranda. Obviously!

Monte was a little shocked by the scenario. "You've never touched? Never kissed?" he asked. What kind of bride meets her dress before she meets the groom? Robin, Lori and Monte tackled this interesting case together, starting with a unique beaded ivory fit and flare. "I like it, but we ain't done," Maranda said. She didn't like the train or the color. At this moment, she informed the team that she wanted a silver dress. "I want to feel like a bride, but in my own way," she exlained.

So, it was down to the bridesmaids department, where Robin pulled some silver selections. They looked great on the bride, but her mom and sister thought they weren't quite special enough. She'd blend in with the rest of the guests in that color, they said. Lori had a flash of inspiration. She had a one-of-a-kind designer sample that no one had ever tried on. And she thought it might be just perfect for Maranda.

As soon as Maranda laid eyes on the shocking red dress, she knew that was it. "Wow. This is gorgeous," she said. "That's exactly what I was going for." It impressed her entourage, too. "This is you, 100 percent," her sister said. In a twist as fateful as her marriage, the dress fit perfectly, too -- no alterations needed. Congratulations to a very unique and special bride!

Miah, another pageant queen, was on the search for the perfect, non-pageanty gown. And like some of the other pageant brides we've seen this season, she had a very opinionated mother. From the start, her mother was critical of the selections hanging on the racks. She pulled some dresses for Miah, and Miah chose a handful of her own.

Dress No. 1 was a full-length beaded ivory gown that Cindy zipped her into. "This tops everything that I've tried on so far," Miah told Cindy. But her mom immediately declared it too pageant. Monte went in the opposite direction for Dress No. 2 -- simple silk, with no pageant glam or glitz in sight. In this dress, Miah felt bridal and very emotional. "I'm getting married in six months, and it just hit me like a freight train," Miah said. Her mother deemed it too simple, though.

One more try! The last gown is always the best, isn't it? And Miah was shocked to learn that her mother had chosen this one. Everyone was really happy with the bride's choice, but mostly they seemed relieved that she'd found a dress that pleased the whole group -- even the toughest judge.

Don't stray too far from the TV! Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta may be over for the season, but an all-new season of Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids begins Friday!

Appointment Thieves


Say-yes-atlanta-316-melissa-m-2-blogWatch video from Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, and see pictures of the gorgeous gowns featured on the show! (P.S. We're pinning our favorites!)

"Today is my day," bride Chassidy announced, "but my mother is also engaged." And Harlene was certainly proud of her bling! Because Chassidy had moved to Japan recently with her profesional ball playing husband, she'd had a quick courthouse ceremony. But now she wanted to big party and the perfect dress. For her, that meant something with feminine, vintage appeal. But to Harlene, the perfect dress would have to be sexy, sophisticated...and just a little sparkly.

In dress No. 1, Chassidy had all the vintage charm she could ever want. Harlene didn't exactly see it that way. "The dress makes you look like a virgin. If that's the kind of look you want..." Well, how is a girl supposed to respond to that? So, it was back to the dressing room to try on one of Mom's picks. Even though Chassidy didn't like the dress, she was willing to model it for Mom, who quickly realized it would look far better on herself. And even though this was Chassidy's appointment, that didn't stop Harlene from trying it on. Eek!

"I felt like my moment was over," Chassidy said tearfully when Mom started playing dress up. And when Harlene saw how upset her daughter was, she "felt like a villain." How could they possibly get the appointment back on track? Monte and Lori decided that Chassidy should put back on her original favorite and get jacked up with the perfect veil and accessories. She looked like a bride and quickly won over her mother -- and her entire entourage.

Honorary Southerner/For-real Northerner Maggie was planning a barnyard wedding with real Southern appeal. There would be the usual, human guests in attendance, as well as some horses, goats and chickens. Obviously, this bride needed a gown that screamed "SOUTHERN!" But the problem was that she wasn't quite sure what that was. Was it chiffon tiers? Nope. A big, ball gown skirt? Not quite. What about Monte's choice of a softly ruched gown with a sweetheart neckline? That wasn't it, either.

Rather than force the dress, Maggie decided to call it a day. She went home to do some more research and figure out exactly what she wanted. Good luck, Maggie! We're rooting for you!

Down in alterations, 45-year-old bride Melisa was trying on her dress for the first time. She'd purchased a sample because of a tight time window, and she was nervous about the final product. It was important that she have something "regal" and appropriate for "a mature bride." Melisa had waited her whole life for the right guy, so she was determined to have the perfect dress in which to say "I do."

The only hitch? The skirt was too severe an A-line for her taste. She wanted a veritable Cinderella dress. Would an extra crinoline skirt solve the problem? Yes! Congrats to the lucky, lovely bride and her groom.

Melisa gets by with a little help from her crinoline. (Credit: DCL)

Locked and Loaded


Say-yes-atlanta-317-jackie-jo-3-blogSee pictures of all the gorgeous gowns from the show right here! And catch the behind-the-scenes drama and fun in these videos. Plus, watch highlights from this season -- and Seasons 1 and 2!

Lori sees a lot of women walk into her bridal salon, and she's sized up sisters pretty accurately. They're usually polar opposites when it comes to shopping, she says. And the sister who's not getting married is the one who wants to choose the dress. Sound accurate to you? Well, let's take a look at how things played out with Jackie Jo and sis Lacy Lee!

Jackie Jo already had a wedding dress -- so why was she shopping for another one? Big sis Lacy Lee thought it looked cheap and trashy. (Good call, Lacy Lee. It was a little, uh, boobalicious.) While Jackie Jo wanted to keep that modern, sexy look in her new gown, Lacy Lee thought it could be pulled off more tastefully. Mom didn't really care. She was cute and giggly and just wanted to see some sparkle! Definitely one of the most fun moms we've seen on the show!

In dress No. 1, Jackie Jo was pleased with the deep V-neck and simple design. "I love it. It's flat and there's not a lot of crap on it," she said. Lacy Lee thought it was too low-cut, and Mom wanted more bling. Jackie Jo, she said, needed "something that sparkles and pops!" Try No. 2 was Monte's pick: modern elegance with just a touch of bling, he called it. "This dress is locked and loaded!" Jackie Jo exclaimed. As she modeled it on the runway, she proclaimed it a perfect 10. Mom weighed in, "It's a 12!" What about modest big sis Lacy Lee? "It looks like what you deserve to walk down the aisle in." Well-said, sis!

Robin tears up at the drop of a hat, and she had an especially emotional appointment in this episode. Kelsey was shopping with her dad, who was terminally ill with cancer. It was paramount that Dad not only be present for the appointment but that he play a role in choosing the dress. "When you find the right one, I'll let you know," he told Kelsey. He felt very strongly that the dress play up Kelsey's "petite little figure." Let's shop, then!

Dress No. 1 was the perfect gown in Kelsey's book...until her sister pointed out that it made her shoulders look broad from behind. Lori explained that any time the bride gets verbally wounded like that, it's essential to put the criticism back on the DRESS and not on the bride's BODY. "I was 100 percent sure my family was going to like this dress," Kelsey said. Lori was determined to pull a family-pleasing gown. "Knowing what this family has been going through, even I want to please Dad!" she said.

She pulled a more fitted gown with a beaded belt to play up Kelsey's shape and add just a hint of shimmer. The dress made Kelsey look like a sophisticated princess. When Kelsey saw her dad's tears, she didn't even have to say "yes" -- everyone knew!

Jackie Jo in the dress "she deserves to walk down the aisle in." (Credit: DCL)

The Feeling You're Supposed to Feel


Say-yes-atlanta-314-lexie-m-2-blogGo behind the scenes of Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta with our exclusive video extras! And catch a sneak peek of Lexie and her tough entourage right here. Want more gorgeous gowns? Flip through photos to find your perfect dress!

A pageant girl with an opinionated mom? You don't say! Lexie told consultant Cindy she had no idea what kind of dress she wanted for her destination wedding in Maui, but Mom knew exactly what Lexie should wear: FEATHERS. Birds have them. And birds are on the beach. Got it?

As the entourage began pulling dresses for Lexie, Mom didn't hold back. She selected a wide variety of dresses, commenting "It doesn't matter how many she tries on." Point taken. A bride needs to see herself in lots of different styles to find her perfect match, but she shouldn't be overwhelmed with a wall of dresses. And that's the situation Lexie found herself in: a wall of Mom's picks, and her own selections -- the ones within her budget -- lost in the white, feathery shuffle.

Despite Mom's control over the appointment, Lexie was pretty pleased with her picks. Dress No. 2 was the real winner, until Lexie learned it cost more than twice her budget. Monte assessed the damage. "We need to put this bride back in charge of her own appointment and put her in one of her dresses," he said.

While Monte and Lori came to Lexie's aid and helped her weed out the gowns crowding her dressing room, Lexie began to come around. It was her appointment, it was her decision, and she could find a dress that she liked within her price range. And when she stepped out in one with plenty of confidence, she even won over Mom. That's a crown-worthy moment!

Florida bride Cara was paired up with Flo to find the right mermaid dress. It was mermaid or bust, according to Cara, who'd already tried on nearly 100 gowns in this style. This was a point of contention with her entourage, who thought she needed to step out of her style box and give a princess ball gown a shot. Cara agreed to try on a fuller silhouette -- but only to show her friends and family it was the wrong type of dress for her.

While they oohed and ahhed over the bride in her full skirt, Cara wrinkled her nose. She could fit her entire bridal party under the dress! Flo knew she'd have to find a sexy mermaid dress that was brand-new to the bride, so she pulled a dress fresh out of a new shipment.

"That's what I was looking for," Cara said when the zipper went up. As she modeled it for her entourage, she said, "I feel the feeling you're supposed to feel." The elusive it's-the-one feeling! Every bride wants it; no bride can deny it. This was an easy yes.

Down in alterations, Ruth wasn't too happy about her dress playing hide-and-seek in the bridal salon. No one could find it. With the wedding 10 days away, it was now or never. But, at last, it was located, and the bride was pleased with the fit. At her happy wedding, she glowed!

Lexie models one of Mom's ornate, out-of-budget picks. There's no denying it's gorgeous, though it may not be entirely right for a beach wedding in Maui! (Credit: DCL)

Darling, You Look Dumpy


Say-yes-atlanta-315-hollie-t-8-blogGet your fill of Southern charm and dress-shopping tips from the Atlanta consultants! Watch exclusive video right here. Want to see dresses from the show? We've got pictures!

Flo can handle anything, but even she was stumped by Irene. "My boyfriend has not proposed yet," she said...and yet, she was shopping for a wedding dress with her family and his parents. Interesting. 

Wait -- it gets dishier. Irene confessed that she'd once purchased 20 dresses at a bridal shop closing. Interestingly enough, the pre-bride who once said yes to 20 dresses was saying no to everything at Bridals by Lori. Even with her $5,000 budget, Irene was coming up empty-handed. "I'm kind of lost because I don't know where to go with you," Flo said. At that moment, Irene's boyfriend showed up and popped the question!

Congrats. Now, let's really shop. Lori was determined to get two yesses out of this bride. And when she pulled a perfect 10 for Irene, her family was bowled over. "I am the luckiest girl in the world right now," Irene said.

Southern belle Hollie had some tough ladies with her. Her mom told her outright that a mermaid silhouette looked dumpy on her, even though that's the style Hollie really wanted. Ouch. Lori picked a style for her that combined the sexy appeal of a tight bodice with a princess-worthy skirt. "I love it so much, I'm gonna die," Hollie said. And she finally got the approval she wanted!

Down in alterations, Brooke was back to try on her blinged-out wedding gown. Marrying her high school sweetheart without Mom by her side wasn't going to be easy. "This is a very hard day to go through without your mother," she said. But feeling like Mom guided her toward the right dress made the bride happy with her dress decision. Congratulations on a beautiful wedding, Brooke!

Hollie combines her look with Mom's request for the perfect gown. (Credit: DCL)











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