Five life lessons I've learned from Say Yes To The Dress.

As you may have heard, Say Yes To The Dress (AKA my favourite show of all time) is coming to Sydney, Australia.

And I cannot wait to pretend to be engaged and infiltrate the bridal shop where it’s being filmed, only to thank the crew for the joy they’ve brought to my life.

Not only has Say Yes To The Dress provided me with more hours of entertainment than I’d care to admit, but it’s taught me things. Important things.

Before I share these valuable life lessons, I just want to take a moment to defend my consumption of a show that blatantly reinforces problematic values like excessive materialism, objectification of women, and a very narrow definition of marriage. Because yes, I should know better. And yes, my time could be more effectively spent.

But sometimes fighting against economic, gender and marriage inequality can be exhausting. And Say Yes To The Dress allows me to take a complete break.


Because lets be honest, as a woman, Say Yes To The Dress has everything I’ve been socialised to love.

Wedding dresses.

Image via TLC.


Image via TLC.

Family tension.

Image via TLC.

And of course, weddings.

Image via TLC.


So after watching arguably every episode that has ever aired of Say Yes To The Dress, I'd like to share the profound life lessons the show has taught me. Things my mother hasn't taught me, because she was too busy encouraging critical thinking, and other useless skills.

1. Just because you have money, does not mean you have taste.

This is perhaps the first lesson one learns upon watching Say Yes To The Dress. It's blatantly clear that the brides tend to be affluent, given that they can afford to spend up to $35,000 on a wedding dress. But there seems to be an inverse correlation between how much they spend on their wedding gown, and how good their taste is.

Image via TLC.

Bigger price tags are associated with more see-through corsets, more over-the-top bling, an unreasonable amount of tulle, and even, dare I say, knee-length gowns. *shudders*

2. If your friends don't like more than three dresses you try on, they don't like you.

We've all had experiences with toxic friends, but sometimes they can be hard to spot. Are they giving constructive criticism, or being mean? Was that a joke, or a bitchy comment?

On Say Yes To The Dress, there are a lot of toxic friends. There have to be, otherwise it would just be a show about people trying on wedding dresses, and that would be very boring.

Several episodes solely focus on the bride's entourage tearing apart literally every gown she tries on. Sometimes they even laugh at her. The cold hard truth is: if your friends are hating on all your dresses, they might just hate you.

3. Never trust sales assistants.

Oh sure, Randy may seem like your best friend. Laurie might appear entirely invested in your big day, and look like she really cares about making you look the best you possibly can. But then this happens:

How about no, Randy. Image via TLC.

And you realise you can never, ever, EVER trust sales assistants. They're in it for the money, even if they are really sweet and manage to deconstruct decades of family tension in a half hour episode.

4. Don't buy things purely because they're on sale.

It never ends well.

Every season on Say Yes To The Dress, they do an episode based on their annual 'blow out sale'. Essentially, all the wedding dresses that haven't been sold are put out on racks, and crazy, emotionally-vulnerable women do shameful things in order to get their hands on them. It's probably one of the highlights of the series.

Of course, there is always, always regret. Because you should just never impulse buy a wedding dress. Ever. Impulse-buying anything, just because it's on sale, is always a bad idea.

5. Make sure you remember what's important.

Getting a beautiful dress for your big day can become an all-consuming endeavor, and drive you to forget what really matters.

But Say Yes To The Dress teaches us that you must always stay true to yourself and your values. Because above all, weddings are really about love, family, tradition, and, obviously, dresses.


But also snacks.


Say Yes To The Dress has taught me these lessons and many, many more. Like: 'Too many chef's spoil the bridal shopping,' and 'Going on TV will solve all your problems.'

I'm so glad it's coming to Australia, because if there's anything we need as a country, it's more shows about weddings, conspicuous consumption, and family drama.