TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress is back tonight with Paralympic snowboarder and former Dancing with the Stars competitor Amy Purdy, and The Knot has got an exclusive sneak peek of the April 1 episode!
At the young age of 19, bacterial meningitis caused Purdy to be placed in a coma with less than a 2% chance of living. The inspirational athlete survived but not before losing both her legs below the knee due to circulation complications. Just two years later, Purdy received a kidney transplant from her father a week before her 21st birthday, her website explains.
Through blood transfusions, lengthy hospital stays, and the loss of her limbs Purdy remained in high spirits, challenging what it meant to be in her situation. In 2005, the snowboarder co-founded Adaptive Action Sports which lead to the addition of adaptive snowboarding in the 2014 Paralympic Games, where she took home the bronze medal.
When it came to wedding dress shopping, the Dancing With the Stars and The Amazing Race alum put the Say Yes to the Dress team to the test. Three weeks before her August 29, 2015 wedding to Daniel Gale, Purdy was still without a wedding dress.
Purdy has a few requests for her dream wedding dress, including, “long sleeved, vintage, and lace,” SYTTD consultant Lisa shares in The Knot’s exclusive sneak peek clip. But right off the bat, the bride-to-be is not feeling any of the wedding dress selections.
Repeating several times that the selections are too “plain,” Fenoli and the Say Yes to the Dress consultants are on high alert, hunting through the racks desperate to find something to start bringing the Paralympian’s bridal vision to life.
In the first grouping of dresses there’s only one wedding dress she calls “beautiful,” but it ends up being a total dud! “It feels very…motherly. I’m old,” she says, scrunching up her face as she looks at herself in the mirror. “It reminds me of my grandma.”
“This appointment is going downhill fast!” Fenoli says to the camera, explaining “That’s what happens when you wait till three weeks before your wedding!”
Limited to the sample wedding dresses and sale options, some of which have imperfections like non-reparable holes, Fenoli snatches up as many dresses he can get his hands on and heads back to the dressing room with a new batch of gowns.
Luckily Purdy eyes one organza and lace wedding dress right away, loving its “whimsical” design.
Fenoli says, “Whimsical and sexy! Which is nothing you asked for in the beginning!” giggling with the bride-to-be. Although she changed her wedding dress themes, the Say Yes to the Dress team is relieved to be heading in the (new) right direction. But is that one the one?
Want to see if the incredible Paralympian Amy Purdy will stick with a more vintage look or swap for a whimsical, more daring design? Watch TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress tonight at 9/8c to hear Purdy’s story in her own words and see which design she chooses just three weeks before her wedding!