Say Yes spotlights brides from the moment they arrive for an appointment with their "entourage" -- an extroverted group of friends and family -- in tow. Each woman is assigned to a consultant who takes the bride's wedding theme and gown expectations into consideration when making dress selections. Sometimes the woman has an idea for a dress in mind, sometimes she can't afford said gown, sometimes she has a bitter rival with her sister who gives petty feedback. Drama usually ensues, but ultimately, in true reality-TV fashion, the episode resolves neatly when the soon-to-be-newlywed finds her dream gown, and says "yes" to the dress, a slogan that's trickled into bridal salons across the country.
As a viewer, it's a show with low stakes and high reward, highlighting all the glamour and crises of shopping without the discomfort of going to a store, luxuriating in the excess of the wedding industry without making comment or judgment. However, Say Yes is a show with a curious appeal: it's one of the only programs whose premise centers around a woman feeling pleasure in her body, in her choices. For years, it's shared a message of adoring the female form in the outfit she feels is most representative of her personality and desires, worn on a day deemed to be one of the most significant in life. This in itself is radical when women's ownership over their bodies is a crucial conversation.
The show's premise centers around a woman on a mission: to feel a level of elation upon choosing a wedding gown. Each episode's top honors, a woman getting what she wants -- not a cash prize nor a business deal, but self-love -- sets Say Yes apart from other reality shows, where women are portrayed as superficial, competitive, and in combat with one another. (Or in other wedding-centric shows, as "bridezillas.") The show does not attempt to reshape the spectacular profligacy of the wedding industry, and the financial privilege of many of the show's subjects. Instead, it's indulgent, catering to a woman's every desire. "It's not our wedding," is a frequent saying among Kleinfeld employees, a sign of the program's pointed effort to please.