Brides Gone Styled is TLC’s Newest Contribution to Your Wedding Show-Filled DVR 

Gretta and Robert show  style-challenged brides the way on TLC's new Brides Gone Styled | Facebook

Gretta and Robert show style-challenged brides the way on TLC’s new Brides Gone Styled | Facebook

A few Fridays ago, just before I closed down for the weekend, I received a press release about a handful of new TLC shows, one of which was, not shockingly, wedding focused.

And what can I say? My interest was piqued. (Both in the show itself and in how on earth TLC found another way to come at weddings via half-hour programming.) The new Friday-night show, Brides Gone Styled, involves well-known stylists Gretta Monahan and Robert Verdi helping brides who have questionable style (a term that refers either to the bride’s total lack thereof, or to her having a look that physically pains her mother and friends) find a wedding dress that looks fab and pleases the whole room.

The first two episodes showcased ladies with very different style “problems” going on. Kristen was a punk-goth type who preferred all black (including her wedding dress, of course), had colorful hair and makeup (including eyebrows), and was covered in tattoos, including a turquoise design that completely covers her entire neck, much to the horror of her very normal/typical mom. Georgette (this episode was filmed in Philly! It opened with the bride, her mom and sisters shopping at Elizabeth Maar in Haverford) preferred ensembles of bulky cardigans layered over bulky turtleneck sweaters, topped off with pearls. You got the sense this is how Georgette likes to dress during summer, too.

And so, their families presented them to be fixed! The process went something like this:

  • Robert and Gretta would break down why each girl’s style made everyone nervous concerning their potential selection of wedding dress. (I believe Robert likened Georgette’s frumpy gray shawl-collared cardi to an “elephant’s vagina.”)
  • They allowed that the bride could flip amongst the racks and choose the gown that they would like best to try on. (Note: It seems that each time this happens, the show will have planted a dress they know the bride will immediately go for, based on her style “flaws”.) (Second note: Due to DVR complications, I watched the second episode first, and sat there the entire time distracted by trying to figure out what Philly bridal salon they were in! After watching the other episode as well, I have come to the conclusion that they are in a studio, complete with a brick wall facade and a seamless gray sweep.)
  • She comes out in her choice, and as her family and friends cower in horror on the Spectator Couch, the stylists go through why that dress might not be the best option for her body/the occasion/everyone involved.
  • Gretta and Robert choose three dresses for her. She tries them on, and is shocked that she actually likes most of them. The Spectator Couch oohs and ahhs with each one.
  • The bride retreats to the back, where she immediately knocks one out of consideration, and then chats about the three finalists with the stylists. Gretta talks about how she would envision the bride’s hair and makeup with each choice; the bride makes her decision, and then comes out in full regalia—hair, makeup, veil, jewelry and her final selection—to reveal to her family; tears ensue.

It’s formulaic, scripted, and predictable, sure—but I liked it! Here’s why—well, other than all these reasons that totally still apply to this show: The stylists actually chose dresses that took into consideration what the bride liked, too, even though everyone had gathered there that day purportedly to banish all traces of her “style” when it came to selecting her wedding dress. They considered Kristen’s funkiness, for instance, when selecting a dress with ostrich feathers scattered all over it—and even when choosing a neck-covering one they threw in there for her mom’s sake, the style of the dress very much suited her and she loved it, despite the coverage. I actually think Georgette might start dressing differently, she so loved the way she saw herself once the stylist’s got a hold of her. They didn’t step all over the brides, and they really did help each of them find a gown that even the brides themselves were shocked to love.

Just add it to your list. (9:30pm on Friday nights.) You know you’re going to no matter what I say, anyway. Here’s a peek below of what’s to come:

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