She said ‘yes’ to the dress

Weehawken bride goes on TV to find wedding gown

This coming Friday, July 24, Susan Lee from Port Imperial in Weehawken will appear on The Learning Channel’s reality show “Say Yes to the Dress.”
The episode is called “Indecisive Brides” and will air at 10 p.m. Lee was likely chosen for that particular episode because she paid $3,300 for a dress, then changed her mind and had to search for a different one.

How it all happened

Lee and her now-husband, Erich, got engaged in August of 2008. Soon after, she and her friend, who was also engaged, went to the sample sale of the famous (and expensive) wedding gown store in New York City, Kleinfeld Bridal.


“It just so happened that the first dress I tried on, I thought it was the one.” – Susan Lee

The women waited in line for two hours just to be able to try on the gowns. Even though Lee was mainly there for her friend, she figured that after the wait she should try one some gowns for herself.
“I just got three dresses and tried them on,” Lee said last week. “It just so happened that the first dress I tried on, I thought it was the one. My friend said, ‘Oh my gosh; this is the one; this is the one; you should just buy it’ and I said ‘okay’ and I was so frantic that I just bought it.”
Lee hadn’t yet made any other plans for the wedding, including choosing a location for the ceremony. Ultimately, the couple decided on Napa Valley, Calif. order to accommodate Lee’s elderly grandparents and to indulge her in-laws’ enthusiasm for wine. Erich’s family owns a wine business in Fort Lee.
Once the couple decided on Napa, Lee realized that the romantic but large and puffy dress she had purchased would not be suitable for walking down a very narrow aisle in an outdoor setting.
She started looking for other dresses in hopes that she wouldn’t find a dress better than the one she had, so that she would feel like she’d received an affirmation.
Meanwhile, Kleinfeld Bridal sent out an e-mail asking would-be brides if they were interested in being on TV. Lee responded, and the show e-mailed her back.

The dresses

Lee’s first gown had cost her $3,300 at a sample sale, although it retailed for $6,000.
The TV show chronicled her as she searched for another dress.
The dress she found via the show was what she wore on her wedding day. It retailed for $5,000, but paid $3,400 after the show’s representatives convinced the store to sell her the floor sample.
Lee said she wanted a romantic, almost fairy-tale dress that would match her personality. She said most dresses felt “safe” to her and were too commercial for her taste.
The second dress Lee bought was an “empire dress,” which Lee described as very comfortable, especially for an outdoor setting.
Eventually, Lee plans to make a cocktail dress out of her wedding gown since part of it was mangled during the outdoor wedding photo shoot.

Her experience on the show

Lee said that being on TV is a lot harder than it looks. Through the two-day schedule, she had to balance the appearances with her studies at Columbia University for her master’s degree in architecture, and planning the wedding.
She said it was harder to speak in front of the camera and articulate a few of the things she wanted to say, including the description of the gown she was looking for.
“I told them, ‘Edit it as much as possible,’ ” said Lee with laughter.
So what advice does she have for gown-shopping brides?
Lee said that she would recommend trying on dresses that they wouldn’t normally try on, and also consider pre-owned dresses.
Which dress did you like best? Comment below.

Melissa Rappaport may be reached at

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