INTERVIEW: Lori Allen’s (‘Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta’) celebrates 10 years on TLC with return on March 21

Originally posted Saturday, March 21, 2020 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Lori Allen, owner of Bridals by Lori in Sandy Springs, has made a multi-decade career out of making women happy by guiding them to the right wedding dress.

And for the past ten years, she has been able to entertain tens of millions more worldwide via her TLC show “Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta” with her sidekick Monte Durham. 

While TLC placed the show on hiatus in 2016 and only a handful of new episodes have aired since then in 2018, an 11th season is finally coming Saturday, March 21 at 8 p.m.

The season was delayed by a mishap last April when Allen slipped on a train while shooting a “Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta” promo. The train blended into the bleached honey color hardwood floor and Allen didn’t see it. She stepped on it and fell so hard, she suffered a broken nose, two cracked ribs, two broken wrists, a concussion and two black eyes.

It took months for her to recuperate and the season wasn’t finished until well into the summer.

In a phone interview March 13, she said that she is largely fine though one of her wrists remains weaker than it was before. “I have some wrist pain,” Allen said. “I’m trying to lift weights and keep building strength.”

Her face has recovered fully though she still feels a little soreness in her nose. 

This season will address her injury, she said.

“It becomes a big part of our show toward the end of the season as we were filming,” Allen said. “We were having so much fun. We had to stop production for a few months. We were supposed to return last July. We couldn’t get the show finished in time.”

>>RELATED: Allen recounts her injuries in April, 2019

This season will be a blend of both the traditional bride wedding gown search and the hunt for bridesmaid dresses as well. (TLC aired a few seasons of a “Bridesmaids” spinoff” with Allen earlier in the 2010s.)

There will be only six episodes this season, with three celebrity appearances: 

- TLC crossover alert: Jessa Duggar Seewad from various “Duggar”-related shows, helps out her sister in law to buy a dress.

- Country music duo Maddie & Tae seek bridesmaid dresses.

- “Bring it On” actress Brandi Williams is actually getting married. 

Allen also has an inspirational self-help book coming out in July called “Say Yes to What’s Next: How to Age With Elegance and Class While Never Losing Your Beauty and Sass!” (Pre-order here.)

“It’s for women over 50,” she said. “All my life I’ve been inspiring women and trying to get them to feel their self worth, especially mothers of the brides. I want them not to give up on themselves and have a clear path for their life after 50. I’m super excited about that.” 

Here’s the trailer for season 11:

TV PREVIEW

“Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta,” 8 p.m., Saturdays, TLC, stating March 21, 2020

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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