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TLC’s Bride By Design Premiere: How Does Wedding Dress Designer Heidi Elnora Keep the Peace?

Heidi Elnora
On Heidi Elnora's new TLC show, Bride By Design, the Project Runway alum designs custom wedding dresses for brides. TLC

No challenge is too big for wedding dress designer Heidi Elnora! On her new TLC show, Bride By Design, the Project Runway alum designs custom wedding dresses for brides with very unique tastes — or sometimes no opinions at all.

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“It just depends on the particular bride,” Elnora told Us Weekly of the challenges she faces when designing gowns. “I have some women who come in and they know exactly what they want. They have a vision, they have a plan, and there’s just no stopping them. Other brides are like, ‘Can you help me? I have no clue. I don’t know what I want.'”

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The latest addition to TLC’s bridal show lineup follows Elnora each week as she customizes wedding dresses for two clients. Sometimes the brides’ requests are, to put it politely, unique, but the designer, who competed in season 2 of Project Runway, said she doesn’t mind a challenge.

Heidi Elnora
Wedding gown designer Heidi Elnora makes custom dresses for brides in the new TLC series Bride By Design. TLC

“Honestly, I love it,” she dished. “It helps me as an artist and a designer to really think outside of the box and to interpret something that they have in their head, what they’re really wanting.”

If you’re a fan of TLC’s hit Say Yes to the Dress, you’ll recognize many of the same stock characters on Bride By Design — the pushy relatives, the women who are dead set on a style of dress that doesn’t suit their body type.

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“I am very much a peacemaker,” Elnora said. “I like to make sure that everybody’s happy, especially my brides. Every appointment has different personalities, but I always try to keep the focus on the bride no matter who’s there.”

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Bride By Design also has that happy, tearful reveal at the end that makes the struggle worthwhile. “I would say 75 percent [of the brides cry] for sure,” Elnora confessed. “It’s when the veil goes on. Something about a veil just takes it to a whole other level. It’s just that moment where you really realize, ‘I’m getting married! I’m going to be someone’s wife!'”

Bride By Design airs Friday nights at 9 p.m. ET on TLC.

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