I was on 'Say Yes to the Dress.' Here are 5 things that surprised me about being on the show.

I was on 'Say Yes to the Dress.' Here are 5 things that surprised me about being on the show.
  • I was on TLC's "Say Yes to the Dress" and a few things about the wedding-centered show surprised me.

  • The show isn't scripted and I still receive fan mail years later.

  • I thought Randy Fenoli was nice and caring and I liked that we share a Louisiana connection.

In 2016, I was on a special episode of TLC's "Say Yes to the Dress," (season 15, episode six).

I planned to get married earlier that year, but when my Louisiana home flooded and my gown was destroyed, it looked like my dream wedding was ruined. As my fiancé and I considered pushing the date back, "Say Yes to the Dress" posted an online request for brides-to-be who were affected by the flood.

A friend nominated me and I was selected to be on the show. Here are five surprising things I learned from my "Say Yes to the Dress" episode.

I may be the only bride who received a free dress on the show

The writer wears a wedding dress and speaks to Randy Fenoli
I selected a Mark Zunino gown and Kleinfield's own collection of jewelry.TLC

Normally, the "Say Yes to the Dress" team starts by breaking down your budget, but because my original wedding gown was destroyed, I received a free dress.

My episode highlighted the tragedy of the flood that took most of my belongings and I was offered the best care by bridal designer Randy Fenoli and his team. "Say Yes" flew my husband and me to New York, where we stayed in a lavish hotel right by Times Square.

My family lost everything in the flood, so it was a huge contrast to go from watching all of our stuff wash away to wearing a Mark Zunino gown, Jimmy Choo shoes, and Kleinfield's own collection of jewelry.

Fenoli really is an angel and we even shared a personal connection

The writer hugs Randy Fenoli as her guests stand up and clap in background during dress fitting
Randy Fenoli helped me feel confident and cared for on my wedding day.TLC

As we filmed, I could feel Fenoli had a strong bond with the people who he worked with to tell my story. I'm still so grateful to have been chosen to share my experience about planning a wedding that felt as if it would never happen and I cannot thank that team enough for helping me feel the most beautiful and cared for.

During the process, I learned that Fenoli actually grew up in Louisiana and he's also dealt with natural disaster. He was trapped in a two-story apartment in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

I think my experience touched him because it was a story that was so close to home.

I still talk to Fenoli to this day and he featured my story in a special season-17 episode where he discussed his most memorable brides.

The show is not scripted

The crew captured my genuine reactions.

And if I said something funny, cute, or cool, I quickly learned to expect to see that footage over and over again.

I didn't get any of the footage of my own wedding

The writer wears a wedding dress and holds a bouquet and walks down the aisle
I was surprised to learn that I wouldn't get any footage from my episode.TLC

I was so excited to have such an enormous film crew and producers record my wedding because I thought I would receive some of the footage. I also didn't hire my own videographer to capture the details of my entire wedding, so sadly, I don't have the day's events on film.

Still, the "Say Yes" production team gave me five minutes of absolute fabulousness.

Hindsight is 20/20, but I still wish I would've known the footage wouldn't be available to me because I definitely would've hired a videographer.

To this day, I still receive fan mail about our episode

People may not know that my husband and I have split up since our episode aired.

Still, every time fans contact me, I don't really know what to say other than, "Thank you."

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