Finally Andrea let her friends off the hook, announcing that she had a confession to make. She riffled through layer after layer of red tulle and lace to reveal a microphone pack strapped to her leg.
"So what would you do if your best friend picks a monstrosity of a wedding dress? Do you tell her?" Andrea asked them.
Their response: a resounding, "Yes! You tell her!"
While Andrea may have been able to brave her friends' objections, Roney explained afterward that it's important to be mindful that sometimes such bold aversion to a bride's choice of gown could be hurtful.
"If your friend walks in and says, 'I love this dress'… I don't believe it's the right policy to go in there and undermine someone's good feelings about a decision they've … already made," she said. "There are many less confident brides out there who couldn't take that kind of battery."
While friends can be pillars of support and honesty, some brides choose to lean on those who know them best: their sisters. Sarah Lee and Nicole Licata were two such brides, and both pushed the bounds of our experiment in unexpected ways.
Sarah, for example, was paired not with a bridal gown, but a bridal "outfit." It was a white halter top and matching bell bottom pants with shaggy beads that dangled from every square inch — an ideal ensemble for a Las Vegas wedding.
"Oh my gosh! It's pants!" exclaimed bridesmaid Briana Dillaman as Sarah stepped onto the pedestal.
Sarah's guests were shocked by the pants, and how "funky" the outfit was, but they tried to remain supportive in her presence.
Again, we instructed Kleinfeld headpiece manager Marisa to escort Sarah out of the fitting area to select headpieces. As soon as they rounded the corner, Sarah's sister, Rebekah Lee, abruptly opened up the discussion.
"I have never seen a bride wear pants," she said.
"I've never seen a bride wear pants, either!" Briana agreed. "We all were like, 'Huh?'" They all broke out in laughter.
When Sarah and Marisa returned from our control room, everyone registered their surprise at Sarah's choice, but none wavered in their support.
"Everyone is going to be talking, like, 'Sarah had the coolest outfit on,'" said bridesmaid Mara Kelly.
"The only thing that's different is that it's pants. That's all," Briana said, reconciling her shock.
After Sarah revealed that she would, in fact, not be wearing pants on her wedding day, Rebekah told us why she supported her sister's decision.
"There comes a point when it's your integrity versus … what you think you should say," she explained. And when it came to her sister, she had to ask herself, "Where's that line drawn with white lies? Who is it hurting versus who would it help? And so in this case, I think it's really about supporting her."
This group of family and friends believed that supporting Sarah was their most important role, in spite of their vision of the kind of bride they thought she should be.
"It's not really a lie; it's love," added Briana.
Love, however, was not part of the reception bride-to-be Nicole received when she stepped out of the fitting room in a puffy 16th century-inspired, corseted gown. It was truly a dress fit for a princess … if that princess was marrying Shrek.
Instead, Nicole was greeted with outright laughter and jeers by her recently-married twin sister, Danielle Erker; her two future sisters-in-law; and a couple of her bridesmaids.