Julie Allen Bridals announced on April 23 a “save the date” of its own on its Facebook Page.
“Our episode of ‘I Found the Gown’ is set to air on Friday, May 17, at 10 pm!” the post read.
The TLC show is hosted by the owners of Vows Bridal Outlet in Watertown, Mass.
Vows owners Rick and Leslie DeAngelo host the show, which features the pair visiting other bridal shops searching for dresses that are no longer running or not selling well. The dresses, after being purchased from the other bridal shops, are then sold at a reduced rate at Vows.
“I had met them back in October of last year,” said Lauren Morehouse, the marketing director and co-manager of Julie Allen Bridals, “and I said to them, ‘If you guys ever want to come down to our area of town, just give us a call.’”
Julie Allen Bridals had also worked with Vows before to sell dresses.
Then the call came. Mrs Morehouse said the DeAngelos gave them between two and three weeks notice before visiting Newtown to film part of “I Found the Gown” at Julie Allen Bridals, but quickly changed their minds. A second call, two hours later, announced the pair and film crew would be in Newtown after that weekend.
“This was on Thursday,” said Mrs Morehouse, before explaining the next three days were spent making sure the store looked absolutely perfect for its television debut.
The store is owned by Mrs Morehouse’s mother Melanie Mattegat.
Filming was “a lot of fun” said Mrs Mattegat, but it was also nerve racking.
Mrs Morehouse said she is expecting Julie Allen Bridals to be featured in about ten minutes of programming of the Friday, May 17, at 10 pm showing of I Found the Gown. She is also not expecting to see some of the footage from that day, like the filmed “entrance” that never was.
After introductions on Monday, February 25, Mrs Morehouse said the film crew explained they would go back outside and film Mr and Mrs DeAngelo greeting Mrs Morehouse and Mrs Mattegat. The front door of the bridal shop had been locked to prevent anyone entering the store during the filming, however.
“Well, we had to do that take over again,” said Mrs Morehouse.
That was the start of filming, and the start of other incidents that Mrs Morehouse does not expect to be featured on the show.
While Mrs Morehouse said the staff at Julie Allen Bridals had worked to make the upstairs of the shop was spotless, little attention had been shown to the building’s downstairs, where the DeAngelos were most interested in.
Mrs Morehouse said holiday decorations were still left out in the basement, waiting to be stored away, along with furniture.
“It’s a jumbled area down there,” said Mrs Morehouse.
But the basement is where customer dresses are also stored. There was a moment of brief hesitation, followed by consent.
“Of course I had decided to wear massive 5-inch stiletto [heals],” Mrs Morehouse said, before explaining that she was asked to turn around while walking down the stairs to talk with the DeAngelos. “So I’m walking down the stairs, I’m leaning back to talk to them, and the next thing you know, I missed a step. Just slid all the way down the stairs.”
Mrs Morehouse said Leslie DeAngelo went straight into “Mom mode,” making sure she was not hurt.
“I had so much adrenaline going that I was like, ‘Totally fine. Totally fine,’” said Mrs Morehouse. “Walked straight back up the stairs and re-shot the whole scene.”
She later realized her ankle was twisted, but she had never noticed while the adrenaline was pumping.
Other than the unexpected events of the day, Mrs Morehouse said filming for TLC’s I Found the Gown was overall “a really cool experience.”
“It was very different than what I thought reality TV was going to be like,” said Mrs Morehouse.
The DeAngelos were down to earth and friendly, Mrs Morehouse said, before admitting she is nervous to watch the show on May 17.
“I’ve never actually seen myself filmed like that before,” said Mrs Morehouse.
I Found the Gown, which is in its second season, did wind up purchasing some dresses from Julie Allen Bridals for Vows.
“I think our segment will be short,” said Mrs Mattegat, “judging on some of the other shows have forged through, but they were filming for three hours.”
May 17 will also mark the local bridal shop’s television debut, said Mrs Morehouse. Dresses from Julie Allen Bridals have been featured on TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress before, but this will be the first time the store itself is on television.
While both Mrs Morehouse and Mrs Mattegat said they enjoyed their time with the DeAngelos, they also agreed a reality television show is not in the local bridal shop’s future. Mrs Morehouse said Julie Allen Bridals likes to make its customers feel at home, which a show may hamper.
Nevertheless, Mrs Morehouse and Mrs Mattegat are planning a possible small party to watch the show.
The experience was so fun, Ms Mattegat said, she would do it again in a heartbeat.