TLC to Premiere THE TOILET PAPER WEDDING DRESS CHALLENGE
Here comes the bride...all dressed in... toilet paper??
For nearly 15 years, creative designers from around the world have convened to show off their spectacular two-ply bridal creations in hopes of being crowned the "toilet paper wedding dress champion." For the first time ever, TLC has chronicled the challenge for television, giving viewers an exclusive look into this fascinating world that has captivated the nation in an all-new special, THE TOILET PAPER WEDDING DRESS CHALLENGE. Premiering on Monday, September 30 at 10PM ET/PT.
"At TLC, we were so blown away by this community of passionate designers who transform toilet paper into stunning bridal couture, that we had to explore this event and bring it to our viewers," said TLC President and General Manager Howard Lee. "THE TOILET PAPER WEDDING DRESS CHALLENGE is the perfect marriage for TLC, reinforcing our network as the #1 destination for wedding programming while embracing our commitment to sharing unique worlds and talent with our devoted audience."
It all began in 2003 when two sisters with a dream, Susan Bain and Laura Gawne, owners of Charm Weddings, transformed a folksy bridal-shower game into an annual world-wide competition. Fast forward to today, thousands of aspiring designers clamor to enter with only 12 lucky finalists getting the opportunity to share their beautiful creations, and TLC is there for the first time to capture all the action. From the bathroom to the craft room, the contestants compete to create a wedding gown and headpiece using only four unconventional materials - tape, glue, thread and toilet paper - with the dream of winning fame and a cash prize. With more than 116,000 sheets of Quilted Northern®toilet paper and over 5,514 hours of toiling over every detail, these unbelievably delicate designs are nearly indistinguishable from gowns made with more traditional materials. The jaw-dropping creations span the style spectrum, with the designers bringing as much variety and pizazz to their dresses as one might find in a bridal salon.
Viewers are guided through this unique world of tears, triumph and tissue by host Paige Davis (TRADING SPACES) along with three celebrity judges from the world of bridal design and fashion: bridal expert Monte Durham (SAY YES TO THE DRESS: ATLANTA), fashion entrepreneur Jeremiah Brent (NATE & JEREMIAH BY DESIGN) and Zanna Roberts Rassi, Fashion Editor at Large of Marie Claire magazine. Critiquing the dresses based on creativity, beauty, workmanship and the overall use of Quilted Northern toilet paper, the judges select one designer from each category - cultural, modern and traditional - to move on to the final round. After the top three finalists are nominated, one toilet paper wedding dress champion is crowned.
Meet the contestants:
Ronaldo, 52 (Chesapeake, VA)
Ronaldo has been competing since 2014, won the competition in 2018, and has remained a fan favorite ever since. Coming from a large Filipino family, Ronaldo hopes to honor his heritage in this year's submission with his modern Filipina wedding dress.
Donna, 63 (Brentwood, TN)
Reigning as Miss Mississippi 1980 and serving currently as Miss Tennessee Senior America, this crafty gal intends to go for the crown once again. This year she is entering her intricate white, gold and silver floral dress in the traditional category.
Leonor, 34 (Santa Rosa, CA)
First-time competitor Leonor has sacrificed a lot for this time-consuming hobby. As a newly divorced mother, she wants to win so she can be a positive role model for her toddler. Leonor's entry falls into the modern category and features a bodice, detailed with sequins and small lace features.
Mimoza, 42 (Surfside Beach, SC)
Mimoza relies on crochet and design as a form of therapy when she misses her home country of Albania. Making dresses allows her to tap into her creative side and helps cure her loneliness. Mimoza's modern dress takes a unique approach and is entirely crocheted using thread, made from toilet paper of course!
Frank, 30 (Palm Springs, CA)
Proudly representing the Latino community, Frank is back for the sixth year in a row with even more determination. Frank came from humble means and was once even homeless, but nevertheless he has always made do with what he has. This year, he draws inspiration for his modern dress from the Costume Institute's annual fashion exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Suzi, 57 (Atlanta, GA)
This South African home executive and hairdresser discovered her knack for crafting when she began making her granddaughter mermaid costumes and creating epic works of art out of the shrubbery around her home. Her modern submission took a total restart the night before the entry deadline, in order to create a dress that combines aspects from steampunk and her love for over-the-top hats.
Ashley, 34 (St. Louis, MO)
Ashley owes her affinity for sewing and creating fancy vintage-inspired dresses to the women in her family. As a recent divorcee, she vows to prove her independence and pay homage to her mother and grandmother. Ashley created her traditional dress by working tirelessly for two months, incorporating 1,636 ruffles and glitter glue "jewels."
Susan, 33 (Ventura, CA)
As a multi-time entrant and winner, nothing will stop Susan from competing. This competition has her hooked and she knows there is a reason for her to be here. Susan's modern design includes glitter glue zippers, snaps, applique flowers and a personalized moto jacket piece with the word "wifey" on the back.
Gale, 63 (Chesterfield, MO)
First-time entrant Gale took a risk with her modern entry and created a dress that incorporates whimsical and fairytale elements inspired by her love for nature.
Van, 29 (Brooklyn, NY)
A repeat contestant, Van is studying to be a software engineer and works part time teaching kids how to sew. Her dream is to simultaneously have successful careers in technology and clothing design. Using a macramé technique for the overskirt and constructing 300 stars to create a feathering effect, Van is hoping to honor her recently departed mother and win the modern category.
Carol, 67 (Pompano Beach, FL)
Carol and her boyfriend have been together for 22 years, but have never tied the knot. She hopes to win the competition so they can finally have the wedding they truly deserve. This will be her seventh year competing and this time, she's shooting for the stars with a dress inspired by a Dior gown.
Lindsay, 29 (Queens, NY)
Lindsay is a strong believer in the "bigger is better" philosophy and her traditional submission demonstrates just that! Being a professional Broadway designer has largely influenced her creations and her ultimate professional dream is to make movie costume replicas to sell online. She wanted the width of her dress to be about the same length of the person wearing it, the most intricate part being the ruffles that she spent 100 hours working on.
THE TOILET PAPER WEDDING DRESS CHALLENGE is produced by Critical Content in association with Legacy Productions and Roberts Media for TLC.