Ilyssa Wapnick seems to have it all: a great family, wonderful friends and as of three weeks ago, an engagement ring from her fiance, Matt.
“He actually surprised me on Mother’s Day. … I was totally shocked,” Wapnick, a marketing associate, said. “He showed up and then proposed in front of my entire family.”
The one thing Wapnick didn’t have was a dress to fit her 5- foot, 3-inch frame.
“I’m shorter than most girls are. So I think, height-wise, that’ll be a challenge,” the 26-year-old said.
“GMA” knew who to call for help. Bridal fashion guru Randy Fenoli hosts TLC’s “Randy to the Rescue,” and he specializes in helping brides find the perfect gown.
Fenoli said the most important thing for a bride to remember when she’s selecting a wedding gown is to pick something that makes her feel the most beautiful.
Fenoli invited Wapnick and her family to Kleinfeld, the bridal emporium where the TLC show ”Say Yes to the Dress” is filmed.
Fenoli and Kleinfeld bridal stylist Paula selected four options for the bride-to-be: a lace strapless mermaid gown by Romona Keveza; a strapless dress by Henry Roth that featured a detachable skirt; a lace strapless gown by Alita Graham that featured an embellished train and an attached sparkly belt; and a Lazaro ballgown with a beaded bodice and gray sash.
Wapnick found it a tough decision, and narrowed the field to just three dresses – the Henry Roth, Alita Graham and the Lazaro.
But live this morning on “Good Morning America,” Wapnick surprised her family by unveiling her final gown decision, emerging from behind a wall in the stunning Alita Graham dress by Kleinfeld.
“Oh my God, I’m speechless,” she said in the studio, gazing into the mirror with her hands over her mouth in amazement. “When I tried it on, I just felt like it was a princess dress, and I knew it was for me.”
When asked if Fenoli thought this was the perfect gown for Wapnick, he quickly replied, “Absolutely, from head to hem.”
Fenoli said the family loved every single dress Wapnick tried on because she makes such a beautiful bride, but once her sister saw the final gown this morning, she confirmed, “This was my favorite by far.”
“Absolutely beautiful,” Wapnick’s mother said. “My heart is melting. You look gorgeous.”
“Just unbelievable,” her father added.
And even after all the excitement of seeing the bride for the first time, the surprises didn’t end there. Fenoli revealed to the family that Kleinfeld was “gifting” the dress to Wapnick, who originally had a $3,000 budget.
“Kleinfeld is going to gift you this gown,” Fenoli said. “It’s for you, baby. You got rescued.”
As for Wapnick’s fiance, he will not be seeing the gown before the big day.
“The husband-to-be is sequestered,” said “GMA” anchor Lara Spencer. “He is not watching.”