0

Jonesboro bride to appear on TLC show

By Maria-Jose Subiria

msubiria@news-daily.com

A Jonesboro bride will get her 15 minutes of fame on a TLC show.

Latoya Mendez, 25, will be featured on "Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss," scheduled to air this Friday, at 9 p.m., according to Danielle Pasquariello, a TLC spokesperson.

"I had a good time," said Mendez, about her experience on the show. "TLC was great."

Pasquariello said the show is taped inside Kleinfeld Bridal, a premier bridal salon in New York City, and features plus-sized brides selecting their wedding dresses.

Mendez, a three-year Jonesboro resident, said she has been a fan of the show since she became engaged, in December 2008.

As a future bride, she said she took an interest in the show and became hooked.

Mendez added that she decided to have an extended engagement, because she wanted to graduate from Clayton State University, in Morrow, before walking down the aisle.

"That was a long engagement," she said with a laugh.

According to Mendez, she graduated from Clayton State University in December 2009, when she received a bachelor's degree in health-care management. After graduation, she began her wedding-dress search, and booked an appointment with Kleinfeld Bridal, she said.

Mendez said, although her wedding is scheduled for April 23, 2011, her appointment with the bridal salon was set for March 2010.

She said her mother advised her to apply for the TLC show. Before flying to New York, she said, she applied for the show at TLC's web site, http://tlc.discovery.com.

"They [TLC producers] called me back a few months before my appointment," she said in an excited voice. She said producers advised her that they would be meeting her at Kleinfeld Bridal, around the time of her appointment.

Mendez said during the filming of the show, she felt a little nervous as she tried on dresses, but, overtime, she grew accustomed to the cameras and forgot about them.

Although she was at the bridal salon for two hours, she said, she did not find her perfect dress, and flew back to Jonesboro. She said her dream dress would have made her so emotional that tears would have rolled down her cheeks, but none of the dresses affected her in that way.

Mendez said she visited a variety of bridal boutiques in Atlanta, but the dresses could not compare to the selection she saw at Kleinfeld Bridal, so she advised TLC that she was returning to the premier bridal salon, and flew back to New York in May 2010.

According to Mendez, her second visit to the bridal salon was successful. "I immediately started crying in the room," she said. "I knew it [dress] was the one. When I looked in the mirror, I looked like a bride."

She exceeded her dress budget of $2,000, and bought an ivory wedding gown, which cost $2,300.

Mendez said the chiffon dress has a sweetheart neckline, with beads that run from the neckline, to the bottom of the dress. She said she is hopeful her fiance won't see the TLC show on Friday. "He will probably be listening with a blindfold on," said Mendez, as she giggled.