This Week on Say Yes to the Dress: Custom Wedding Dress Designs and Surprise Weddings

Wedding Dresses

Each week we'll be chronicling the wedding dress shopping trials and tribulations captured on TLC's Say Yes to the Dress. From family feuds to consultant faux pas to falling in (and out) of love with a gown, we're taking notes from the best of what "Brideday" has to offer.

Last night's Say Yes to the Dress was packed with special surprises: not one, but two new episodes aired, both of which focused on picky brides looking for one-of-a-kind wedding dresses to match their one-of-a-kind weddings.

It's no secret that every bride wants her wedding to be the most magical day of her life. It shouldn't come as a surprise, then, that the brides on last night's first episode, "I'll Know it When I See It," weren't willing to settle for anything less than a gown that felt completely custom.

Take bride #1 of the night, Amanda Namer. She's already purchased a tulle Pnina Tornai ballgown with a sheer lace bodice but feels the gown just isn't perfect. She wants to look like a princess—and a dress fit for royalty requires crystals galore. As her parents attest, the bride-to-be blings-out everything. Her dad shares, "She's spoiled, and I like to see her in something that nobody has." What does it take to give her a one-of-a-kind bling-aganza? An unlimited budget and the opportunity to work with bridal designer Pnina Tornai herself on the dress. The custom creation adds up to 30 big ones ($30,000), but, at the end of the day, she, her parents, and the dress designer are all overjoyed.

See more: Wedding Accessories That Sparkle

Not all custom gowns require a complete overhaul, though. Bride-to-be Brooke Gosselin ends up matching one dress's bodice with a different dress's skirt to create her dream wedding-day look. The best part? The fabric she prefers (a light and airy organza) costs less than the dress's original satin, dramatically slashing the price. Although customization can be scary, it can be a great option for brides who can think out-of-the-box, and, as we learned with Brooke, can even save you a few bucks!

See more: Light, Ethereal Wedding Dresses

The second episode of the evening, "A Surprising Turn of Events," looked at three brides who had unexpected guests arrive at their appointment (one bride even threw a surprise wedding!) but the theme of one-of-a-kind gowns carried through. Bride Victoria, who had already visited 24 bridal salons before stepping foot inside Kleinfeld, could have saved herself time (and stress!) by going custom the route. Though she eventually falls in love with a lace mermaid number, she can't get passed the lace, a fabric she already swore off in the shopping process, and walks away empty-handed yet again.

The takeaway? Even if you think you have a clear picture of your dream dress, keep and open mind and don't write off taking the design process into your own hands.

—Lauren Frankfort

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