Ahead of the premiere tomorrow (June 15) of TLC bridal makeover series Randy to the Rescue, the show’s star Randy Fenoli (pictured) talks to realscreen about branching out beyond Say Yes to the Dress and channeling his “inner Barbara Walters.”
The name Randy Fenoli has become synonymous with bridal finery after six years of doling out advice on TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress. Starting tomorrow (June 15), he breaks free from Kleinfeld Bridal, the New York City bridal store where he served as fashion director, to take his matrimonial know-how on the road with another TLC series, Randy to the Rescue.
In the Half Yard Productions program, Fenoli brings a truck full of wedding gowns to cities from San Diego to Minneapolis, to give brides what he calls “head to hem” makeovers in their own towns. Here he talks to realscreen about the show.
What has the Randy to the Rescue experience been like for you?
It has been a way for me to reach across America to brides that don’t have it in their budgets to come to New York City and shop for a wedding gown. For me to go to them, and to brides with real issues and challenges, and help them, it’s just an honor. It’s been magical.
What’s it been like to be out of Kleinfeld’s and on the road?
Each city has a different vibe and a different feeling from the brides. It’s interesting to go to San Diego [where] the brides are a bit more laid back and they like that beachy wedding [style], or to be in Cincinnati where you have brides with that Midwestern vibe.
In Las Vegas there were a lot of fast weddings. One bride actually got married the day of the shoot. We found her a dress, made her up from head to hem and then walked her off the “aisle of style” through the casino to the chapel. I got to walk her down the aisle, so that experience alone – I will never have a daughter to walk down the aisle, so to be able to do something like that for me was kind of life-altering.
I’m so happy to be with a show that I can really be proud of and that is good TV. Let’s get real; there’s a lot of TV out there that is pretty raunchy and I wanted to do something that was uplifting and that’s what it is.
What have you learned from the years of shooting Say Yes to the Dress that you were able to apply to Randy to the Rescue?
The biggest thing I’ve learned is to sit back and ask the right questions and really listen. I feel sometimes like I channel my inner Barbara Walters and I’m asking the right questions to find out what the story is, because everyone has a story.
Who are some of your style icons?
I would definitely have to say Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and I think Kate Middleton will absolutely go down in history as having the most incredible wedding dress of all time. As far as designers, I think Oscar de la Renta makes the most unbelievable dresses, [as does] Carolina Herrera, Monique Lhuillier, and Valentino. All of these designers have one thing in common – they are making dresses that enhance a woman’s beauty and to me that’s what a dress should do.
If you weren’t a TLC star, what would you be doing?
I want to get on Dancing with the Stars and win that mirrorball trophy. I’d love to have a talk show that elevates people’s self-confidence and makes [viewers] feel good about themselves and be inspired.
Randy to the Rescue premieres tomorrow on TLC in the U.S. at 9 p.m. EST