04 Jan Our Time on Don’t Tell the Bride. . . .
It’s been news we have been waiting to share with you for ages! And eventually last night the episode aired and the secret’s out – we were on E4’s Don’t Tell the Bride! And what an experience it was, it was a whirlwind couple of days and here’s the inside scoop on what happened when Don’t Tell the Bride came to House of Oliver.
To those who have never seen the show – Don’t Tell the Bride has been around for what seems like forever. It’s been on channel 4, e4, bbc1 and sky one and is integral viewing for those planning a wedding. The premise of the show is the bride hands over all control of her wedding to her partner, not having a single say on any decision – and in exchange they get £12k to plan their day.
The ideas for the weddings seem to get crazier and crazier with each series and there’s been such weddings as underwater vows, alien themed weddings and even weddings at tattoo conventions! It’s a show that everyone seems to have heard of, and if you haven’t well where have you been – go and catch up on some episodes – you’ve missed a treat!
We first got the call back in April, when the production team said they were filming in the area and would they be able to pay us a visit. It involved us opening on days we don’t usually open so after a quick chat with the team it seemed a no brainer and we were on board! We know how loved Don’t Tell the Bride is as a UK show and it’s like staple TV for those of you planning a wedding. What an absolute honour to be chosen from all of the bridal shops in the region, it was definitely something we weren’t going to say no too! And with Royal Wedding news breaking too before Christmas, you never know who could be watching…….. 😉
The production team asked to come and do 2 days of filming with us and the second day was a day we already were already fully booked. Their equipment, 3 cameras, 2 directors and light and sound takes up a lot of room but luckily we had just taken on the shop next door! This however meant we had just days to turn it around into a gorgeous changing space ready for filming on day 2!
The team stayed late making sure it was all perfect and now it’s one of our favourite areas in the shop.
When the day arrived, it was an early start and the production company set up whilst we waited for Sam the groom and Elliot, his best man to arrive. We had been told that Sam required 2 of the same dress or extremely similar, with less than 2 weeks until the wedding this wasn’t going to be an easy task. Roxy had volunteered to be front of house that day and take the appointment but behind the scenes it actually took 4 members of staff to coordinate Sam and Elliott. We had been told we couldn’t help Sam in anyway make a decision, he had to pull out dresses all by himself, guess Maria’s size and we couldn’t ask for any details about the wedding. This was super hard, as you know here we are a chatty bunch – we love getting to know all about your big day and helping you find the dress that matches your personality, style and venue.
Not being able to ask any questions or get to know any details about the wedding came really unnaturally to us throughout the appointment but Roxy handled it perfectly. The boys liked having a joke about, but ultimately Sam was really nervous about finding Maria a dress she really loved, although I’m sure he won’t mind us saying he didn’t really have a clue as to what that may be! He was very sure he wanted 2 of the same dress though, which we now know, was because he intended to ruin one – in a prank where she was to get sprayed with mud!
Claire our seamstress was on hand to give advice and was the model for the day too so Sam could get a better idea of what the dresses looked like on. The dress he settled on was a gorgeous Mori Lee fitted fishtail with asymmetric beading and strap, it was a lace up style with low back and as we saw complimented Maria’s petite frame perfectly! Claire then had to alter not one but 2 dresses to a bride we knew nothing about and in speedy time too!
We then saw Sam and Elliot a couple of other times throughout the coming week and they came back for a third wedding dress too – with literal days to go for the wedding – what could this be for?
Again we were told a rough size and nothing else! We also caught a glimpse of the guys suits – we’d been told they had been purchased online, so we offered to clean and press them for the guys – it’s safe to say we got a shock when we saw the colours they chose! Bright orange and pastel blue suits – we knew straight away these were those iconic Dumb and Dumber wedding scene suits
In the week that built up to the second day of filming, we were speedily getting the changing room finished, just a week before it had been a coffee shop with huge wooden counter taking pride of place. Me, Jade and Roxy smashed a couple of late nights in that space, co-ordinating a busy week of appointments with re fitting a shop area and we were super proud of what we achieved, The night before filming we were still finishing off painting the walls and building furniture but it all came together just in time.
The second day of filming was a little bit more chaotic, with a lot more bodies than day 1. Maria had bought her 2 bridesmaids with her but also we had Claire on hand for last minute alterations, 2 producers, cameramen, lights and sound and an already busy day full of bridal appointments going on in other areas of the shop. The House of Oliver Team co-ordinated it all perfectly though, other brides in the shop were aware that there was some filming but we made sure it was contained in our downstairs areas leaving other areas of the shop for other brides finding their dream dress and having their own special moments!
Maria was understandably really nervous and it was a long process of getting everyone mic’d up which added to the suspense. We were all super nervous too, there were so many variables – had Sam gotten her size right, had he factored her height in properly with the right size heels for the alterations and most importantly would she love the dress? Her bridesmaids were really lovely and chatty and we all got on with wedding chat whilst other bits of filming was happening around the shop. Did you see the bridesmaids dresses Sam and Elliot made them wear? Wow! What amazing girls – I’m not sure how I’d have felt in those quite revealing dresses!
Back to filming though ………….. the changing area was set and Maria was invited in to get a glimpse of the dress Sam had picked for her. All of the mirrors had been covered up so she couldn’t catch a glimpse of how she would look and it also made the room quite a dark space – not the best place for a dress reveal. There were a few wobbles understandably as dresses look a whole lot different on a hanger than they do when they fit a body all laced in correctly. We were still holding our breath that the dress may not fit…….. but once she came out and it was revealed how she looked everyone breathed a sigh of relief – she liked the dress, her bridesmaids thought she looked stunning and it fit her too! Claire just needed to step in and take the dress in slightly – which she now had less than 24 hours to do! Roxy popped a veil in to complete the look.
There were a few more interviews to be had which gave everyone else a bit of downtime and the nerves had now well and truly settled so we were able to chat all about the ideas they had for the day – we weren’t allowed to tell them anything we had seen filmed or vice versa – but it was really lovely to get to know the bridal party, Sam and Maria.
We’ve had a long wait for the episode to finally be aired and it feels like it’s been forever ago since we first had that phone call for the episode to be aired and we’ve had to keep a lot of secrets until it’s been aired. The episode was a huge success and set the precedent for what looks like an amazing series of new brides willing to let their groom have full control over their day – and believe us – it’s exactly what it is – you are handing over every decision to the best man and groom! A very brave thing to do if you ask us!
For those that missed it – reruns of Don’t Tell the Bride play throughout the year but for the next 30 days you can catch it here http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dont-tell-the-bride
We’d like to say a special thank you to Sam and Elliot for choosing House of Oliver Bridal, the production company behind Don’t Tell the Bride who made the experience as seamless as possible, to Maria’s bridesmaids who helped calm her nerves the day before and to Roxy and Claire who took to it all with ease and represented House of Oliver perfectly!
A huge congratulations Maria – without giving too many details away, for those who haven’t managed to catch it yet – we think you are a saint. There were plenty of opportunities I would have just gone home but you just took every surprise really calmly and rolled with the experience, taking it all in your stride. We hope you got the day you wanted and wish you both a lifetime of happiness as husband and wife!
From all at House of Oliver Bridal
House of Oliver Bridal is an off the peg bridal store situated in Ilkeston, halfway between Nottingham and Derby. We specialise in designer bridal wear without the price tag bringing you discounts of up to 85% off the RRP. We have over 200 dresses in store from an 8-24. Our Grooms Room brings you excellent formal hire from tails to modern suits and we have bridesmaids dresses available to order in over 50 colours too. For more information or to book your appointment visit www.houseofoliver.co.uk or call us on 07709544939.