Katie, 14, has been in love with Randy Fenoli of TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” for many years, said Katie’s mom, Annie. It’s her favorite show and she watches it every Friday, or “Bride-day” as Katie likes to call it.
Katie has dreamed of being able to try on beautiful wedding dresses and be a bride just like in “Say Yes to the Dress.” Her mother even found white dresses over the years for Katie’s creative play and she has worn them out reenacting the show. “She has long ago outgrown her play dresses but loves to watch Randy help the brides on the show,” said Annie.
Katie said Fenoli is her favorite because, “He is so nice and he helps brides feel beautiful!” adding, “He’s so cute! He is a gentleman!” It’s only fitting that meeting Fenoli and trying on dresses at his store in Manhattan, Kleinfeld Bridal, was Katie’s one true wish.
Katie received brand new white shoes from Make-A-Wish Arizona volunteers and had her hair done by Stacy from Once Upon a Bride to get ready for her meet and greet with Fenoli and private tour of Kleinfeld Bridal. “Stacy was so nice,” Katie said. Katie’s mom said that Katie felt so pampered as she prepared to meet Randy.
Katie said she had so much fun to trying on “one hundred” dresses and felt like a bride. She received a Kleinfeld’s Bear from Vera Wang and Fenoli gave her a drawing of one of his dress designs and a copy of his book, which she can’t put down. “The dress design will go on the wall in her room for she and her sisters to enjoy,” Annie said.
“It was wonderful but really better than imagined,” said Annie. “Randy and the Kleinfeld’s staff and owners were so kind and welcoming. Katie felt so special and our family felt so welcomed.”
The experience was a bright spot after some difficult times for the family.
“Katie’s heart condition has recently progressed toward her need for a mechanical heart valve replacement and our family has some difficult decisions to make regarding her health,” said Annie. "This has been such a blessing for our family and Katie. It was a time for us to be carefree and enjoy each other out of the stressors of home and the concerns of managing and worrying about what will come next for Katie."
She continued, "Now, I am able to reflect on the kindness of others and the wonderful restorative gift that was given to Katie and our family. I am deeply grateful.”
Katie said she will always tell people when sharing her story that, “I went to New York City to meet Randy Fenoli, saw the Statue of Liberty and rode the subway!”