Say Yes To The Dress wheelchair brideMar 04 02:08
Last night, the Southern version of the hot wedding dress reality show, Say Yes To The Dress: Atlanta, featured a bride in a wheelchair – a woman who was shot by a stray bullet only five months before.
Say Yes To The Dress has been one of my favorite shows for awhile now. In 2010, they featured a paraplegic bride from Tennessee who flew to the store in NYC to find a dress, and she found a fabulous full gown that you can see in my blog. And Lauren Garcia, the woman on last night’s episode, is a young woman in her 20’s engaged to her high school sweetheart. The episode shows her on her first day of leaving rehab, which is the same day she decides to find her dream dress. I gotta say, she is one brave cookie.
While I get her determination (I was there. You don’t want to let anything stop you), putting yourself through the already-rigorous process of finding a wedding gown, but combining it with the intense emotional drama of nothing being how it used to be when you now look in the mirror and trying to find a dress that looks as good sitting down as it does standing up in, is a huuuge emotional roller coaster. I know I wouldn’t have been in any mind frame to do that 5 months after my injury.
I loved how this episode got into the science of how a frock changes once it’s sat in, and the important things to take into consideration (avoiding too much crinoline for example) when choosing a dress for a woman who will not be standing. Lauren always envisioned herself in a ballgown-style of dress before her injury and she was able to stay as close to her vision as possible.
After a few misses (like trying on a dress with a weakly defined waist that made her look like she was swimming in the dress) to the beading on specific dress not being in the right place, in regards to balancing the whole look from top to bottom (they wanted a dress that would detract from the chair and focus on her as much as possible), they finally found the perfect dress: A gorgeous strapless number with a great waistline.
I was really impressed with how Say Yes To The Dress: Atlanta handled Lauren’s situation and thought they did a fab job of giving her exactly what she always wanted, yet making sure she looked a gorgeous as possible in her new mode of transportation. But you know, when you have a budget of $2,000, I don’t care what your body is like or what kind of medical equipment you bring into the bridal store, if a store can’t find you a dress for $2k, they’re doing it wrong.
My only complaint with this episode: They didn’t show her getting married! I really would’ve loved to have seen how Lauren looked on her big day – hair and makeup all done up, seeing her with her groom, dress perfectly altered, etc. Maybe TLC will release some deleted scenes in the future? Only time will tell.
So, when will one of us conquer the Bridesmaids version of this show? I can pull off the bitchy overly-opinionated bridesmaid in a wheelchair like no one’s business.
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.