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TLC’s ‘Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta’ generates ‘Bridesmaids’ spinoff

Lori Allen now has two shows on TLC: "Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta" and "Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids" CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Lori Allen now has two shows on TLC: "Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta" and "Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids" CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

After just one season on air, “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta” has already created a spinoff: “Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids.”

The timing is good given that the recent film “Bridesmaids” has created plenty of buzz. The shows will air back to back starting this Friday, with the second season of “Atlanta” debuting at 9 p.m. with two back-to-back episodes, then “Bridesmaids” at 10 p.m.

Both are shot at Bridals by Lori, the Atlanta bridal shop owned by Lori Allen. She said the spinoff was happenstance. The producers happened to hear a commotion on the bridesmaid floor while shooting the regular version and the idea came up to do a show on that aspect of wedding planning as well.

The appeal of the original show is the conflicts, usually between the bride and her family members, typically the mom, over what dress to purchase. There are budgetary considerations. There are style considerations. Bridals by Lori employees often have to play diplomat and therapist, as well as sales people.

With the bridesmaids, the complications are comparable. In the first episode, one picky bride brings in nine of her 15 bridesmaids from Houston to find a dress for them. She budgets it at $500 per dress, though some bridesmaids balk at the cost. She doesn’t care, saying the $500 number was in an email. Another bride clashes with her bride of honor, Melissa, trading insults and very different fashion opinions.

“Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta” is already a spinoff of the original New York version.  It pulled in good ratings for TLC on Friday nights last year and quickly got a renewal. How confident is TLC with the show? The network has already started prepping for a third season of “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta.”

Allen said tourists and wannabes now traipse through the showroom and take pictures, but traffic hasn’t been so heavy as to detract from the business at hand: selling dresses.

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By Rodney Ho, rho@ajc.com, AJCRadioTV blog

38 comments Add your comment

Tired of Reality TV

July 7th, 2011
11:47 am

Dumb. Dumber. Dumbest. The dumbing down of America. Our kids need to learn more math and science and less foolishness. Half of these brides will be divorced in less than 5 years. SMDH

Kay

July 7th, 2011
2:42 pm

Tired of Reality TV, Sad to say, but this is about as classy as it gets.

verucasalt

July 7th, 2011
2:43 pm

Can you say “Idiocracy?”

Dana

July 7th, 2011
3:09 pm

Yes! I’m glad it’s being shown. Brides often think they decide everything, but not when it’s somebody else’s money to pay for a hideous dress to wear one time. Maybe comparing it to a bridal gown seems minor, but imagine paying $500 for a dress you hate, look horrible in & wear only one time!?!?! Brides need to talk BEFORE & first find IF the maids can afford what the bride wants, then get ideas about style based on body types, complimentary colors for skin tone, height, weight, etc. if you really want your wedding to look great all the way around & your wedding pictures. I backed out for these reasons too.

Stephanie

July 7th, 2011
3:18 pm

@Tired of Reality TV…Turn off the TV or bet yet, get it out of the house. Everyone is so concerned about the kids. Spend time with the kids and control what they do,then you won’t have to worry about what they see on TV.

Denise

July 7th, 2011
3:40 pm

I went to this shop when my friend was getting married and I was a bridesmaid. Terrible service. Actually…no customer service. I would love to see how they front on TV. I could not watch their bridal version of Say Yes to the Dress. It was terrible and made us Southerners look stupid. LOL

JT

July 7th, 2011
3:46 pm

@ Stephanie……..AMEN!

Boo

July 7th, 2011
4:16 pm

The Bride should pay for the Bridesmaid dress if she set the budget at $500. Actually, the Bride and/or Groom should pay for all attire required for the wedding.

Kate

July 7th, 2011
4:22 pm

Lori Allen use to be my neighbor and she was one of the rudest woman I have met. She puts on a fake southern charm for the TV’s. I would never buy a dress, bride or bridesmaid, from her store.

WeddingExpert101

July 7th, 2011
4:41 pm

Lori Allen and her team know what they are doing 150% I have been to the shop SEVERAL times and received high quality service and Lori Allen is one of the most influential people of our decade! All of the negative comments are coming from people who are jealous of Lori Allens accomplishments! Karma is a B#@$ !

William

July 7th, 2011
5:03 pm

WeddingExpert101:

You really need to get a life if you think a lady who just sells a dress is “one of the most influential people of our decade”

OMG

July 7th, 2011
8:37 pm

William:
You are too funny and that is so true!!!! A woman who owns a wedding shop has become the most influential people of our decade..Wow!! This might be the craziest thing I have read all year..

Gigi

July 7th, 2011
9:28 pm

Unfortunately, I bought my wedding dress at this store. EVERY time I went in, the consultants were rude, acted like they didn’t want to help me, and insulted me repeatedly. Need examples? I’m 5′5″ and weighed 120 when I got measured for my dress. The consultant told me to “eat a few less peanut butter & jelly sandwiches” because she thought the dress would look better if I lost some weight (I had not complained about how it fit me…). Then, when I sat down to order and pay for my dress, the “manager” told me “Well, your bust and waist measurements put you in this size but your hips jump you up to this size. If we order anything smaller, it won’t fit over your large hips.” Exactly what a bride wants to hear (and would never be on the show). When the dress came in, the alterations department had to take handfuls of silk off the sides (INCLUDING THE HIPS) because it was ordered WAY TOO BIG. The only person who actually knows what they are doing at this store and isn’t rude? The lady who did the alterations.

Huh?

July 7th, 2011
10:07 pm

WeddingExpert101 – otherwise known as Lori Allen or one of her employees.

Everyone else says the shop sucks – I tend to believe everyone else.

I don't buy it

July 7th, 2011
11:06 pm

@Huh?: I’m with you. I believe that Lori Allen and her staff are probably rude.

@WeddingExpert101: Try not to be so obvious the next time you defend your boss/friend/buddy in an anonymous post. And, no, she is NOT one of the most influential people of our decade. Are you serious?

Mel

July 7th, 2011
11:47 pm

I’ve been to this shop twice. Once for my best friend when she was shopping for her wedding gown and the second time for my bridesmaids when I was getting married. The service was absolutely horrible. Both women that helped us (a different one each time) were rude, rude, rude. One girl just walked away from me when I asked her a question. I wound up leaving with my bridesmaids and we bought the dresses somewhere else. This shop may be featured on tv, but the customer service is deplorable.

kelley

July 8th, 2011
6:57 am

So excited to see this!! It will be SO nice to see my southern girls saying Yes!

Sensible

July 8th, 2011
7:56 am

The best way to handle the mess is to turn off of the television. I was so suprised it can be a good show when everything is based on how much money you can spend. The biggest joke is the fact that the dresses are made in China and they are too over priced. Half of the people can’t afford the dresses and no feel embrassed. I am too embrassed for them. What about the big weddings when they already live together and their children are in the wedding.

Sensible

July 8th, 2011
7:57 am

Enter your comments here

nativeatlantan

July 8th, 2011
8:17 am

My daughter got married several years ago, we went to Bridals by Lori first, the sales girls were so rude we left after 10 min.

left/right? i care

July 8th, 2011
8:46 am

i love it, the comments are so real!! @ huh? and @ i dont buy it– i am with you guys. hilarious.

lizinsarasota

July 8th, 2011
1:49 pm

Anyone who spends $1000+ on a dress (must less $6000 or $10,000!) they’ll wear for several hours needs their head examined. We’ve all been sold a bill of goods on this wedding day thing. The white dress with a train (any virgins out there?), the playing princess for a day, the “most important day” of your life, etc., etc. – it’s just hype and foolishness. You can walk into Neimans or Saks and get a beautiful dress for not all that much money, and – wow – it can be worn again!
The best thing to do is buy a smashing dress, get married in church or the court house, and take your nearest and dearests out to a great restaurant and let them order whatever they want, then go out to a club. Pocket that extra money, go on a wonderful honeymoon. Come home and live happily ever after.

Yuck! Reality shows are ruining TV

July 8th, 2011
1:50 pm

I disagree with the fact that this show is not interferring with Bridals by Lori. My daughter purchased a sample dress at Bridals by Lori and was unsure if it was the dress she wanted to wear. We happened to the in the area one day and walked in without an appointment. They were not that busy but the staff made it seem like this was a huge deal (like the snobby hostess who asks if you have a reservation in an empty restuarant.) We told them we could wait to talk with a “consultant.” They said fine but we would have to wait a considerable time. We waited for 45 minutes (although there were at least 6 empty dressing rooms and 4 salespeople who were walking around not helping clients) and would have been happy to wait longer but we became thoroughly uncomfortable with the atmosphere. It was a total copy of the Kleinfields “Say Yes to the Dress.” All the consultants seemed like they were acting in a reality show. The brides seemed to be acting like the divas you see on TV. I bet we heard the phrase “Say Yes to the Dress” and “TLC” about 50 times.

Dareing Events planner

July 8th, 2011
2:06 pm

The biggest problem I had when we got married were the bridesmaids’ dresses. I really tried hard to pick out dresses that did compliment all of them, something they would want to wear again, and still be in my wedding color scheme. However, there were challenges. I was an older bride (36) and most of the less expensive styles (like what you find at Penny’s) are very young looking. Plus, most of my friends had been through multiple pregnancies by this time so their body shapes were all over the place. I had asked them about price points for a dress and was told just to let them know what I had selected so they could save. I finally found dresses I loved for $240 per dress. All were ok with it, except one. She said she would never pay that for a dress..in fact she wouldn’t pay more than $70. I offered to pay it for her. She said it wasn’t that she didn’t have the money, but that she didn’t want to spend that much for a dress. I went looking at department stores and online again. This conflict caused me to miss the deadline for ordering bridesmaid’s dresses in time for the wedding. I ended up going with another bridal dress from the same Alabama shop. It was a little cheaper, but not as lovely as my first choice. I paid for two of my bridesmaids and half on a third and the original girl to be in the wedding wasn’t. She declined to be in it because these dresses were still too expensive at $210. While brides should consider the feelings of bridesmaids in picking out the dresses, the bridesmaids also need to realize it is their job to be supportive on this special day. It is about the bride and groom, not about them.

Upcoming Events |

July 8th, 2011
2:16 pm

[...] out this blog article by the AJC featuring one of Atlanta’s best wedding vendors, and how Bridals by Lori is home to [...]

AshPash

July 8th, 2011
2:44 pm

@WeddingExpert101
If you want to sound like a legitimate “expert” with quality commentary on a local business, how about not throwing out “Karma is a B#@$“? Are you 12? That and the comment regarding “one of the most influential people of our decade” indicate that you probably are.

Anyways, here’s to hoping the bridesmaid show will be a wake-up call to brides that think other people’s savings accounts should go up in flames for the sake of their “special day”

Wedded

July 8th, 2011
3:43 pm

I don’t understand why people care so much about what the bridesmaids wear. Who cares? I let mine just pick out what they wanted to wear. So they all had black dresses in their closets and wore those and matched nicely with the groomsmen in their black tuxedos. Of all the things to stress out over on your big day, is what other people wear really so important?

Anti-Bride

July 8th, 2011
9:47 pm

Disclaimer#1: i’ve never been married.
Disclaimer#2: i’ve never been a bridesmaid.
Disclaimer#3: my mother was a wedding planner / partner in a bridal shop.
Disclaimer#4: IF I ever was engaged, I’d elope.

Never set foot in the place. If Bridals by Lori had such atrocious service, why is she still in business & in a new/large location?

I was raised in the social circles of privilege – I am all too familar with the “Southern Charm” behavior – perhaps they felt you “weren’t worthy” of their pricepoint/retail experience? (recall that scene in Pretty Woman?) Lower-end brides -in their eyes – may not be worth the commission.

Amusingly, I saw her daughter featured on Platinum Weddings… It was beyond tacky. I wouild swear her daughter’s fiancee was deeply in the closet. Daughter was quite “full in the hips” herself. The pretentiousness and flaunting of the event was nothing short of vulgar (from a properly-raised Southern woman). Nouveau riche posing as refinement…

I’d love to have a bunch of trailer-trash extremely obese bridesmaids show up & watch her expressions.

Kathy

July 8th, 2011
11:21 pm

I don’t know if Lori and her crew are great or not great, I do know that those bridesmaids slash jerks were beyond rude and selfish. If one of them had been in my daughters wedding party I personally would have tossed them out on their ear. It’s about the brides experience and any well brought up southern bride would consider her bridesmaids needs and wishes without being told. As a matter of fact any respectable southern bride would not have such jerks for friends.

Nichole

July 8th, 2011
11:42 pm

Kathy, I completely agree with you, I was shocked at the lack of love and respect some of the bridesmaids had for the bride. Is it so hard to ask that you at least be respectful of the person who has asked you to share this day with her? I cannot imagine surrounding myself with people who are that disrespectful of me.
As for those of you who keep talking about the “downfall of the nation” and “terrible reality t.v.” there is a simple solution to your problem……..change the channel.

Stress Of The Dress

July 9th, 2011
9:35 am

Take it from one that has been married a couple times due to wife-cheating, save your money. The thousands you people spend on a dress and what amounts to be a big party can be better spent on a down payment or Roth IRA. Have a small ceremony with some friends. You’ll be just as married, probably less stressed as you get started, and if it (heaven forbid) doesn’t work out, you (or your parents) won’t have the memory of money wasted.

gapeaches3

July 9th, 2011
7:26 pm

I actually enjoy the show. I never got to experience shopping for a dress, or really any of the typical wedding fun that girls dream of. I guess I get to live out some of my missed opportunities watching these ladies find beautiful dresses. I look forward to taking my daughters to find dresses one day.

Rebecca

July 9th, 2011
10:26 pm

I totally agree with Stress of the Dress. Weddings today have come to the point of being obscene.

MOB

July 11th, 2011
4:07 am

After recently assisting my daughter in wedding planning I can attest to some of the claims of rudeness from bridal dress sales people. After looking at several stores we were told about “New Natalie’s” off of Chattahoochee Ave. Not only were we able to find a beautiful designer dress for about 500 dollars but eh staff was extremely nice and considerate.

I gave my daughter a healthy budget and told her to keep what ever she did not spend. Being the intelligent young woman that she is she choose to have a nice wedding and pocket the rest for a down payment on her first home.

Parties are great, and we had a great one, but homes are better. Be creative ladies, it does not have to break the bank to be memorable and lovely.

Just say no to reality TV

July 11th, 2011
9:23 am

Just what is needed, another crappy reality TV show. Several months ago I decided I had had it with reality TV, which seems to be all that is on anymore. I cancelled my cable, bought a streaming box, signed up with Netflix and HuluPlus and never looked back. I find I read more, choose better programming of what I want to watch and when, plus I put $65+ back in my pocket each month. Why pay for this bad programming? Just say ‘no.’

karen

July 11th, 2011
8:27 pm

Lori and Monte are Kleinfeld “wannabes”. I’ve heard them both make hateful and rude comments about the brides in their store. If Lori ” hates the Bridesmaid floor” so much, she should get into another business. They make a mockery of Atlantans! It’s like watching Minnie Pearl and Liberache!

Lisa

July 16th, 2011
1:49 am

I have a question for Monte. What’s wrong with a bride being a virgin? I say that is an accomplishment to be proud of, but you sneered at it like it was stupid. Isn’t that an individual choice?
I have another question for Monte and the consultant with shoulder length blonde hair. You both bad mouthed grooms in tonight’s episodes, as if they don’t matter. I’ve bee watching this show for years (the NY version) and I’ve never heard anyone act like a hunk of fabric is more important than the groom, and certainly not important than the marriage that create the need for the dress. Very bad taste… I wanted to like this show. I always think of people from the south as being better, with stronger character (though I am from California). If this show is an indication, I was wrong. The Atlanta version showed bad taste in many ways, mostly from Monte and the blonde consultant (Holly?)

JD

July 20th, 2011
7:59 pm

I just hate the fact that people from the south end up sounding and looking like idiots. Sad day. Although I do watch the Atlanta shows and they are entertaining, I must admit this Atlanta native still prefers the NYC Kleinfeld shows. Sorry.