Having watched a few episodes of "Say Yes to the Dress" throughout my lifetime, I was curious about the experience of shopping for a wedding dress at Kleinfeld's famous flagship location in New York City. Would it be as fancy inside the bridal boutique as the store appears to be on TV? Would it be super loud and chaotic, with brides-to-be, stylists, and maids of honor fussing all over the place? How many girls would actually say yes to the dress while I was in the store, and furthermore, would they get glasses of champagne delivered, even if they said yes at, say, 9 a.m.? (Which, by the way, just so happened to be the time of my appointment and was the first slot of the day.)
Fifteen minutes after I arrived, the lobby was packed with excited brides and families who were waiting to be assigned to a stylist. It quickly became obvious which customers were fans of "Say Yes to the Dress," because they pointed out and took photos with the stylists whose segments are televised most often. I was already a bit tired and thirsty as I picked up a Kleinfeld branded water bottle from a table near the threshold of the bridal room floor. I peeked over the mannequins wearing the latest gowns from bridal favorites Pronovias, Hayley Paige, and Pnina Tornai, trying to determine how this whole system worked, and whether or not I'd get to browse through the racks myself.
The boutique was average-sized and extremely organized, with mirrors at each "station" all across the floor. Each station was separated by a couch for the bride's crew. The gowns were hung on metal rack systems that lined the walls, spaced efficiently enough for stylists who knew the stock well and could easily recognize a dress by its details.
I was ultimately greeted by bridal consultant Antonella, who has made many appearances on "Say Yes to the Dress." Antonella calmed my nerves as she brought me directly back to my fitting room and handed me a silk robe, introducing herself as my personal stylist and quizzing me about my bridal likes and dislikes. Naturally, I just showed her my Pinterest board, because I wanted to let the pictures do the talking. She left, and minutes later returned with an intern (yes, you can be a Kleinfeld intern), plus three gowns to start trying on.
The next 90 minutes changing in and out of gowns flew by. While I didn't end up finding a dress, I learned a lot about what it's like to shop at Kleinfeld. By the end of the experience, I had a newfound appreciation for consultants like Antonella, who make women from all over the world feel beautiful when they visit Kleinfeld. I now understand why so many people end up choosing The One at this popular boutique. Ahead, read everything you've ever wanted to know about the in-store bridal shopping experience at Kleinfeld in NYC.