Designer gowns are desirable but not affordable for many brides, but Rick and Leslie DeAngelo are on a mission. On Season 3 of TLC’s I Found The Gown, they help brides find their ideal dress at their ideal price. I spoke with Rick and Leslie and learned they got involved in the bridal industry out of personal necessity. Recalls Leslie, “We were married 22 years ago, and we opened VOWS right after our wedding because I couldn’t find a designer gown for less.”
The proud owners of VOWS in Watertown, Massachusetts, search high and low for discount designer dresses and bring their loot back to their bridal boutique to help brides’ dreams come true. Rick and Leslie hunt closeouts and back rooms, liquidations and warehouses, and leave no stone unturned in their quest for fabulous, yet discounted gowns for bargaining fashionistas and budget-conscious brides. Explains Rick, “We’re the largest outlet in the country, so when we go out buying we’ll go to designers, outlets, overstocks, we kind of we have our pulse on the whole industry.” Adds Leslie, “Our brides are really smart, they’re educated. They’re really smart consumers. They shop around, they know that things cost and when they come in here, they know that is a crazy deal. These are not knockoffs, these are real designer labels that are 50-80% off retail.”
Back in TLC’s BrideDay Friday lineup, the premiere of I Found The Gown highlights the annual “Gown Rush” at VOWS where hundreds of brides flock to the store for the monumental event. Says VOWS co-owner Leslie, “We had hundreds of people in line. They were wrapping around the building. People were camping out.” When asked why they started this event, Rick explained, “Filene’s Basement used to have these once or twice a year crazy “Running of the Brides” blowout sales. When they closed their store 3 or 4 years ago, and we thought, how can we keep that Boston tradition going? We start our gowns at $49 and everything is under $1000 that day.” With more than 800 gowns lining the racks, the dedicated brides and their entourages rifle through the dresses in hopes to find their dream dress. As a special incentive, the three lucky brides who find dresses with gold coins sewn into them get to walk away with their gown for free.
Beginning on April 25, I Found The Gown viewers can enter online for a chance to win their very own dream dress.
I Found The Gown premieres on April 25 at 10pmET on TLC.