‘Say Yes to the Dress’ star Randy Fenoli shared the 2 mistakes that can derail a wedding-dress appointment

Randy Fenoli sits in a pink chair.
Randy Fenoli shared the biggest mistakes brides can make when shopping for dresses. TLC
  • Randy Fenoli of “Say Yes to the Dress” has been a bridal consultant and designer for years.
  • He told Insider that he sees brides make the same mistakes when shopping for their dream gowns.
  • Not setting a budget and letting your entourage control the appointment can be big issues.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Few people know more about shopping for wedding dresses than Randy Fenoli of “Say Yes to the Dress.”

As a consultant, fashion director, and designer at Kleinfeld Bridal, he’s helped countless brides find their dream wedding dresses.

Most of the time, Fenoli and other bridal experts help brides-to-be find the perfect gowns with ease.

But Fenoli told Insider there are two mistakes he sees brides make that can completely derail a bridal appointment.

First, brides have to have a budget, according to Fenoli.

If you don’t clearly communicate how much you’re willing to spend, a consultant could have you try on dresses that you can’t afford.

“As soon as they say, ‘I have no budget,’ I’m like, ‘Wonderful, here’s a $US30,000 ($AU40,741) dress,'” Fenoli told Insider.

Randy Fenoli holds a mannequin dressed in a white wedding dress in front of a white wall.
You have to set a budget. TLC

He went on to say that he recently worked with a bride who claimed she had no budget, so he had her try on a $US7,000 ($AU9,506) gown.

“She got in the dress and she loved it, but then she’s like, ‘Oh, it’s over budget,'” Fenoli said.

He, nor most consultants, would not put a bride in a dress she could not afford, but they can’t prevent that scenario if the bride isn’t willing to set an actual budget.

Secondly, Fenoli says brides need to be able to set expectations with the people who accompany them to the appointment.

“If you think that you’re mature enough to get married and start a family, I think you’re mature enough to handle a bridal appointment,” he said.

To Fenoli, that means being clear with the people you bring with you about your budget, the type of dress you’re looking for, and the kind of feedback you want.

“Sit down with your entourage before you walk into the salon and say, ‘Listen, I don’t want to look like Cinderella, so don’t pull any big poofy ball gowns. Number two, my budget’s $US1,000 ($AU1,358), so don’t pull a $US10,000 ($AU13,580) dress unless you’re going to put in the other $US9,000 ($AU12,222). And number three, I’m really sensitive about my hips, so when I’m on the pedestal in front of everyone in the salon and everybody is looking at me, don’t say that,” he gave as examples.

A bride in a pink, floral wedding dress and a man in a blue suit holding a dog stand on a runway.
Set expectations with your entourage. Estrop / Contributor / Getty Images

He went on to say that the lack of communication can lead brides to cry in fitting rooms and leave without dresses.

“This is what happens when you don’t have these conversations,” he said. “And I guess if they did, we wouldn’t have a show.”

He advised brides to be as clear as they can about what they want out of the shopping trip.

“Just let everyone know that I’m the bride. This is my appointment. I love you and I cherish you, but just remember you’re here to support me in finding my dress,” he said.

At the end of the day, Fenoli is just focused on helping brides find dresses that make them feel good.

“My goal is always to help the bride choose a dress that they feel the most beautiful in, because when they feel beautiful, they wear that dress like there is no other dress on the planet,” he added.

“They know they look good, and everybody feels it,” Fenoli said. “It’s about the confidence that you have while wearing the dress.”

New episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress” air Saturdays on TLC. You can catch up on last week’s episode on Discovery+.