As a connoisseur of reality TV, I have watched my fair share of wedding reality shows, even before I got engaged. "Say Yes to the Dress" has been one of my favorites, so I naturally signed up to be on a spin-off called "Randy to the Rescue" when I heard they were calling for brides in San Francisco.
We've talked about reality TV before: Why you shouldn't watch them and what they're getting wrong. This time Tribesmaid StaceOdyssey is sharing what it's like to be an Offbeat Bride on a reality show.
After a couple of phone interviews and emails, I ended up being one of four brides that they would feature on the show. This show does not offer to give away free wedding dresses, so if I found a dress I'd still have to pay for it. To me, that wasn't a great deal because the dresses they feature on the show are in the range of around $2000 – $10,000. I still buy most of my regular wardrobe from thrift stores, so spending a couple thousand bucks on a dress that I'll wear for one day didn't feel right for me. However, the show gives a full wedding makeover to the featured brides so I thought that would be fun.
So, for the show, we did two shoots two days in a row, in one of the large banquet halls of a San Francisco hotel. My first day of shooting was a bummer.
I was supposed to be there at 3:45pm the first day. But then they changed their mind and told me that they wanted me there right away, so I got there as soon as I could. I did not get paid to be on the show so I had to work in the morning and it was off-putting to have to cut out early from work and rush to go there. But these things happen with TV shows.
I ended up waiting in their holding area until even AFTER my original call time. When they finally called me in things got rolling. The instructions for the show were for me to show up without makeup. I followed the rules and despite me asking several times they never put any makeup on me. So I had to go on a national TV without any makeup. Not even mascara! I felt really deceived, but it is a makeover show so I understand now that they want the makeover to be as dramatic as possible. I wish they would have just been honest with me about that.
One of my specifications when I got cast was that I wanted a silver wedding dress. I made that very clear from day one. The first day of shooting when I told the host, Randy, about my desire to have a silver wedding dress, he said, "Um…. do we even have any silver dresses?" I was told by the production staff that there would be some silver dresses for me to try on so I felt like they'd misled me again.
For a second I was concerned they were going to try to make me try on all fluffy white princess dresses — that would have been a serious waste of time. But Randy came through and found one silver dress, a gold dress, and a couple of white dresses with silver embellishments.
My entourage (my parents and my husband) and I all loved the gold dress. It's beautiful; it's a subtle gold color with silver embellishments and it looks really great on me. Early on, I told the production staff that my budget was $2000, but at $2145 this dress was only slightly over my budget.
While I definitely felt some pressure to get the dress — and I ultimately did — I actually don't have any regrets. Turns out, I needed the pressure. Because we can afford it — I just don't like spending money.
Ultimately, Randy, the host, really came through. And, I must say, Randy is the real deal. He was genuinely concerned with finding me a great dress that wasn't way over my budget. He was kind and spent time talking to me and my family off camera. He obviously loves his job and he is genuine.
I got my dress and my makeover and I loved it. Overall I am glad I did the show, but I do not want to do any other reality shows again.
The second day of shooting was much more fun — that was the day I got my wedding makeover. Surprisingly, they did not try to mainstream my hair or makeup and actually gave me exactly what I wanted. The best — and most surprising — part about it was that the staff were all excited to do something new.
They were tired of the TV brides who all want a white princess dress, beach curls with a low bun, and natural make-up. One of the camera women kept telling me, "We did a steampunk bride last year and it was so cool. I wish we could film more brides with theme weddings, or like a goth wedding or something." Even the makeup artist and the hair stylist were excited to do something new.
I have no idea why all wedding shows seem to primarily feature mainstream "traditional" weddings. I was actually shocked to find out that wedding shows are actually interested in featuring more offbeat weddings, but the supply isn't necessarily there. So there need to be more Offbeat Brides to step up and represent on TV!
I got my dress and my makeover and I loved it. Overall I am glad I did the show but I do not want to do any other reality shows again.
So watch for me on the only reality TV show I'll ever do: TLC's "Randy to the Rescue!" The episode is set to air on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 9pm Pacific Time. I'll be the roller derby lady with the atompunk wedding theme in the Bay Area.
We know you've probably been seeing the wedding show casting calls… So have any of you tried out to be on a show? Would you ever do reality TV?