For my entry on the Say Yes To The Dress: Atlanta episode on Lauren Garcia that aired 3/2/12 click here

Amazing $4,000 (and over) wedding gowns are standard fare on Say Yes to the Dress, the hugely popular wedding dress shopping reality show. And Kelley Brooks, a gorgeous paraplegic from Tennessee, was the first wheelchair-using bride to be featured on the show.

You know, I’m not quite sure how this episode managed to go under my radar since it aired over a year ago (October 17th, 2009), but thanks to a random Google search I did last week I learned this episode existed, and thanks to Netflix Watch Now, I’ve now seen this episode (Season 4, Episode 7. “The Blowout Sale”). Its truly awesome seeing a wheelchair bride rock such a couture frock on national TV. She looks great; the tummy panel is proving it’s worth in gold, giving Kelley a flat stomach as she’s seated, and her waist is accented well too.  Here’s another view of her dress (with the veil).

Refusing to tone down her dream of a grand dress just because of her wheelchair, Kelley ended up purchasing a gorgeous $4,500 strapless Kenneth Poole gown, with a beaded bodice, a-line skirt (with a barely-there slip so no volume was added), and custom-made train (designed by Kleinfeld) that attaches by slipping over her wheelchair backrest. Smart idea, nice effect, and actually doesn’t look cheesy, as you can see below:

If you would’ve told me they were attaching a piece of satin to the back of her chair before seeing this pic, I would’ve cringed in horror (my newly-injured mind would have though such a thing would look juvenile). But as I’ve learned more and more about seated fashion over the years, sometimes working the wheelchair into the outfit isn’t necessarily always by-default a bad idea.

A wheelchair can have a graceful, gliding movement….just like a movement of the hem of a dress as a bride walks. And in an occasion like this when you’re in a processional for cripes sakes, using gorgeous fabrics to create a train, or to even accent/hide certain aspects of the wheelchair (subtley is key), you can transform your wheelchair into a floating throne…or setee (whichever you prefer).

To read an article about Kelly’s story, here’s a nice read from the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Bride Says ‘Yes’ to Special Dress

– Tiffiny, the fashionista paralyzed blogger  (bio)

Written by Tiff

    7 Comments

  1. Ally December 9, 2010 at 9:45 pm Reply

    Honestly, there is a lot about this episode that I did not lot. Her mom’s interview left a bad taste in my mouth. “I didn’t think anyone could ever love her.” Those may not have the exact words, it has been a while since I watched it. But that is essentially what she said. I get really annoyed by people with that kind of attitude, especially a loved one of someone with a disability.

    • Bev March 4, 2012 at 9:52 pm Reply

      While I completely agree with how you could have misunderstood that comment, I have to say..thats probably not how she meant it.

      I am also in a wheelchair (and getting married next year) and my parents thought that I might not ever find anyone. Not because im not worth loving but because loving someone and being with someone in a wheelchair is “extra work” and takes someone with patience to look past the chair.

      Its hard enough for me being in a wheelchair, but its probably almost just as hard for my fiance always having to take care of me and go that extra mile for me. Im sure her Mom didnt mean it the way it was taken. I can completely agree with her comment…although I believe everyone deserves love and Im glad she has found it!!

  2. Tiffiny December 12, 2010 at 11:06 am Reply

    Ally, I must say I completely agree with you. While I’m over the moon for the dress, elated the show featured a paraplegic, I hated the soundbites, and was very put off by her mother’s comments as well. i bet my mom would say the same thing, sadly.

  3. L June 12, 2011 at 9:59 pm Reply

    I liked how you said that, if done tastefully, incorperateing your chair into your outfit can be done and be beautiful.

    Since I was pushing myself down the aisle, carrying a boquet was not conducive, but I’m obsessed with flowers. So my florist made a garland of flowers (that matched the rest of the flowers that draped from one wheelchair handle to the other and down each side of the back of the chair. So everyone saw my beautiful flowers as I walked down and it was my “dramatic back of my dress” so to speak.

  4. Sandi Donaldson August 16, 2012 at 2:48 pm Reply

    Life has opportunities to rise to the occasion. We’re not always capable of that, but it’s great when we are!

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