Why I said "No" to Say Yes to the Dress

When it comes to wedding TV, I pretty much only watch Don’t Tell the Bride - which I love in the worst way (why are people so ridiculous? Why?!). A few people suggested Steven and I apply for the show, but let’s be honest, we would be so dull. Steven is not a terrible person and I would love anything he did on principal. I am pretty laid back (I like to think… perhaps to a fault!) so I think it would difficult to get me to have a diva strop on telly. As cute as the day would be, no one would want to watch because, let’s face it, you watch it for the drama, that is the appeal. 

So when everyone heard that Say Yes to the Dress was looking for brides, I was getting sent the link daily. I hadn’t even seen the show, I just knew that everyone around me was obsessed. I considered applying but never really got around to it, until one Saturday, I saw on Facebook that they were going to be holding an open casting call the next day at a free wedding fair right near me. I figured I had nothing to lose and so gathered up my lovely friend Vicky and her daughter Tamzin and decided to go. The wedding fair was okay. For a traditional wedding it was probably great but there was nothing much for me (except for a cheeky free glass of champagne, thank you), so we lurked around until the casting director showed up. We were first in the queue which was a little awks but who dares, wins right?

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So I had to fill in a form asking how I would describe myself in 3 words (which is always cringe), how I would describe my “style” (I said, “Would rather be in pyjamas”), and the theme of the wedding etc. It was pretty fun to fill out really. Then I sat down with the casting director, who by the way, was so many shades of intimidating, whilst she questioned my answers. This bit was so awks.  She asked who my entourage would be (I had watched an episode in the bath the day before so I sort of knew what was going on) and I said Ruth, my Mum & Steven’s Mum. I had to chat about them all and then she got p excited. She said she was going to ‘fast track’ me and call the people on location and tell them they should see and it was all very fast and scary but exciting. 

So I was pretty buzzing, but at the same time dreading it. What if they made me look like an awful human on TV? Or I looked awful in the dresses and people watched it?

Anyway, everything quietened down for a few weeks and I felt so silly about having gotten excited. Maybe they said that to everyone? Then I got an email asking me to do a Skype interview with one of the researchers who was based in America. Eek. I did it and it was a weird experience. Obviously it was nice to talk about the wedding and Steven, but she was only half listening because of course that’s her job. This lady was much less intimidating though which was appreciated. She suggested Steven coming to the show too which I thought would be great, but, as untraditional as Steven is usually, he is adamant that he doesn’t see the dress beforehand. 

We ended with her saying we were hot to trot (though not those exact words because she’s not as weird as I am) and that it could be as soon as the following week. She took my entourages phone numbers, and photos and called Mama Wright for a little chat. I called my Mum & Ruth to check the date with them (they were both working that day, as is my luck), and I spent a lot of time freaking out. 

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Here is why: I don’t want to spend a lot on my dress. I want to look great, of course, but not at a huge cost. I’d rather a cheaper dress and something fun for entertainment, or a badass honeymoon. I would much rather brag about how cheap my dress was, than how pricey. Their dresses started above my budget. At first I assumed that you got paid for being on the show (I have worked as a children’s TV/film agent, I know how these thingsusually work), or at least a heavy discount on the dress, but even still, I was worried I would end up panic buying a pricey dress because I was being filmed. I was worried in case they made any of my “entourage” look anything other than the wonderful humans they were. Generally, I was anxious. 

But, I was willing to give it a go - more than anything so that I could write some exciting content for this blog and get the name out there. Always working, friends.

So everything was in place. I was originally told that all travel would be covered (it was in London, or thereabouts - certainly not a cheap place to get to), however, it later transpired that we would get up to £100 for travel… For the four of us. As in, like £25 each. To get to London, at peak time on a week day, with very little notice. I don’t know how much you know about trains from Liverpool to London, but we were going to end up out of pocket, and that was without paying for the dress. I sent screen shots of the train prices for that date and time to the lady I had been liaising with, and wrote something along the lines of “I’m a little concerned that the £100 isn't enough to cover travel and I can’t afford to pay for the excess myself, nor am I comfortable with asking the others to pay”. 

I didn’t get a reply. Ever. 

And i was okay with that. Although it was cool to be chosen and to feel like my life was exciting enough to be on TV (and not just the Jeremy Kyle show), I felt a whole lot less anxious. I didn’t want to waste my 20 minutes of fame looking like a potato in a variety of over-priced wedding dresses on TV, whilst the editing makes it seem like my nearest and dearest hate me. Or whatever. 

So although this blog isn’t as cool as being able to tell you the ins and outs of being on the show, hopefully it was a cool insight to the casting method, and choosing your own comfort over being swept up in Wedding Fever. 

But I still do need to buy a bloody dress.