A surreal, life-changing moment.
In a truly touching clip from Say Yes to the Dress, airing on July 24, a bride details the tragic accident that left her blind ten years prior.
"Actually, March 8, 2011, I was coming home from church with my older sister and we were at a stop light and we were rear-ended by someone who was under the influence," Shaela recalls. "All I can remember is being in the hospital and feeling as if I had a blindfold over me. I tried so much to take it off but I realized I can't. I can't take the blindfold off. It's so surreal after 10 years that I just have to remind myself and accept myself that this is what happened."
The inspiring 26-year-old similarly feels as though she's living in a dream while entering luxe bridal boutique Kleinfeld. "Being here at Kleinfeld's, I can't fathom it," Shaela gushes. "It seems so surreal, just like my blindness is surreal, because I grew up never thinking about what a wedding is like, being a bride."
The team at Kleinfeld has a special guest in store for Shaela: a remote visit with iconic consultant Randy Fenoli through an iPad. "Hello beautiful!" Randy welcomes Shaela.
"I've been watching you since I was a baby!" she says with a smile.
Randy quips, "Thanks for making me feel old, Shaela!"
The designer asks how she intends on shopping for her gown, being fully blind. "I'm going a lot by the feel," Shaela explains. "Not only, like, tactfully feeling like my fingers and how the body feels and every detail of the dress, but most importantly how it feels on me."
As for style, Shaela definitely wants a sweetheart neckline and a "little showy-showy" cleavage, plus some sparkle in the tulle train. With a budget of $3,000, Randy and fellow stylist Lisa Fuhrman assure Shaela that she will find the dress of her dreams.
Randy exclusively reflected on working with Shaela to E! News in July 2021. "After 30 years in bridal, I've never experienced this," Randy revealed. "She literally had to depend on her entourage and her consultant and me and her sense of touch, just to feel the silhouette and the beading and the lace and everything."
Yet, stories like Shaela's are the ones that drive Randy as both a consultant and Say Yes to the Dress star. "I think as viewers, we forget how privileged we are sometimes, just the little things we just never think about," he added. "Like, if you didn't have your sight, how could you do the simplest things? Or the things we take for granted, like choosing a wedding dress? I think it's just a beautiful moment when you get to witness something like that and be a part of it."
Of course, Shaela also found her happily ever after.
"In the end, we always have this lovely wedding and this joy and happiness of two people coming together and celebrating love," Randy concluded. "I'm just so blessed and lucky and honored to be able to do what I do every day."
Watch the moving clip above!
Say Yes to the Dress airs Saturdays at 8 p.m. on TLC.