'Say yes to the dress'
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Dana Stellar and her dad, Tony, in the limo on the way to Kleinfeld Bridal, New York City.
Dana Stellar, formerly of New Tripoli, is getting married to the love of her life Patrick Holmes.
The couple met at Lehigh University when Dana, a graduate of Northwestern Lehigh High School, was on a recruiting trip for track and field/cross country.
The couple hit it off and began dating soon after.
On Sept. 13, 2012, Holmes asked for Stellar's hand in marriage.
While this day is one that many women dream about all their lives, Stellar found that her dream also included a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity a chance to choose her wedding dress and share that special moment with her father, Tony, while being taped for the hit TLC show "Say Yes To The Dress." The show will air later this year.
Stellar and her father traveled to New York City to shop at Kleinfeld Bridal last November after being asked to the show.
The series shows the progress of dress selection and support from store associates as it profiles brides seeking out the perfect wedding dress.
Stellar's inspiration for her dream wedding dress came from her parents' wedding album, which she brought with her to Kleinfeld. Dana's mother, Deborah, passed away in 2010.
During the taping, Dana looked at the photographs and shared loving memories of her mother.
"It was like she was with us all day," Dana commented. "Even the crew felt like they now knew Deborah Stellar."
Her mother's wedding dress, as Dana described, was elegant and classy, two of the things she wanted in her own gown as well.
Dana explained that she watched "Say Yes To The Dress," many times and knew there were a multitude of wedding fashions available to search through at Kleinfeld Bridal, so after getting engaged, decided to apply to become a participant.
Within a little more than an hour, Dana answered some of the following questions: Why do you want to be on the show? Have you looked for dresses? Who would you bring along?
After attaching some photos of herself, she hit the send button.
One week later, she received an email letting her know she was selected to be on the show. There was also a phone interview to review some information on her application.
She was then asked to come to New York for a taping.
Her father provided a limousine ride to the store. Accompanying them were Dana's special family and friends including Aunt Patsy, Jill Stoelzl and Alyssa Jones.
"Aunt Patsy is always there for the family," Dana said. "Jill was my mom's best friend and was able to represent my mom's opinions. And Alyssa and I met in grade school."
Another member of the group and longtime pal of Dana's, Ashley Madonick, lives in New York and met the limo there.
Both Jones and Madonick will be attendants in the September 2013 wedding.
The entire filming took about six hours.
There was a time for another interview with Dana, as well as lighting and sound checks. In a main room surrounded by wedding dresses, the group met a bridal consultant, Jenny.
It took two hours to try on 14 dresses.
Every time Dana walked out, the cameras rolled.
"The best part was when I chose a gown," Dana said. "We all felt that it was the dress to say yes to."
As Dana was standing on a pedestal in her soon-to-be wedding gown, she felt a tap on her shoulder.
The designer of the dress was standing there, offering other designs as well, but Dana knew what she wanted.
"So, are you saying yes to the dress?" Her dad asked her.
"Yes!" Dana said.
Many people have asked Dana if the gown was free.
It was not, she explained, however, the designer did give her a discount.
He also made a sketch of Dana in the gown, which he autographed and presented to her.
A deposit on the gown was made and paperwork was completed to end the first shoot, she will soon return to New York for a second taping of her fitting.
Her wedding will also be covered by the show and will air with another episode.
After her busy and rewarding day at Kleinfeld Bridal, Dana also had a busy evening.
"I had to rush home to host a dinner and evening of fun," Dana said. "I was going to ask my friends if they would be my bridesmaids."
She and Patrick, who reside in Philadelphia, will each have nine attendants.