Say Yes to the Dress' Randy Fenoli is talking about the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on both his bridal business, and brides tying the knot during such a tough time.
ET's Rachel Smith recently spoke with the fashion designer, and he shared the specific precautions that the wedding dress store that's featured in the hit TLC show -- Kleinfeld Bridal, which is located in New York City -- has been taking in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Well, I have to say, Kleinfeld has really taken a lot of steps to make sure that both the consultants and the customers are safe," Fenoli says. "They've taken so many precautions. I think you have to sign something that says that you have not been sick or whatever, they do temperature checks at the door, they have hand sanitizer all over the place, they're operating at 50 percent capacity, you're only allowed one guest now instead of a whole entourage."
'I mean, you can Zoom other people in if you want, you can bring other people in on the internet if you want -- or on your phone -- but only one guest allowed," he continues. "They've actually built up, like, plexiglass walls that surround all of the pedestals so that each bride kinda has her little area to try on her dress and she's not being exposed to other brides."
Brides are also only allowed a limited amount of dresses to try on and everyone in the entire store must wear a mask.
"After the dresses have been tried on, they go to a certain area in the salon where they're then disinfected and then moved to another area where they dry and then they're moved back into the stock," he shares. "So, they're really taking this seriously ... the health of their customers and the staff, you know, is top priority for them."
Of course, Fenoli hasn't been able to do some of the things he has been accustomed to.
"I mean, I've been in quarantine now for five months and just, you know, to not even be able to hug someone for five months has been really just hard, you know, emotionally, 'cause I'm a hugger," he says. "I wanna hug my brides, I wanna hug people. I want to interact, and to not have that interaction has just been really tough, and I think everyone is really struggling with that right now."
Fenoli says he especially feels for brides getting married during this time.
"My heart goes out to them because, you know, some of these girls have been planning this day their entire lives or since they were little girls," he points out. "They've been looking forward to this day, their wedding day ... and you spend a year, whatever, planning it and you know, the invitation and the flowers and the venue and the food and the music and everything. And then suddenly, boom, the brakes go on. Everything stops and there's so much uncertainty."
Fenoli says the best advice he can give to couples getting married is to still stay true to themselves.
"You know, my advice is always the same, to really be true to yourself and who you are as a couple and I like to think of the couple as a brand and when I say that, what I mean is, what do you do in your spare time?" he asks. "Do you go out every, you know, weekend and party until four in the morning? Are you big partiers? Or do you like to, you know, hike outdoors? Are you really athletic and want an outdoor wedding, or are you traditional and understated? You know, or even kind of boho and whatever, or are you a princess and want a princess dress? So, I think that you need to be true to yourself and the great thing about today's weddings, is that ... there's literally a dress out there for every type of bride."
When it comes to the dress, he says it's wise to make sure it matches the venue.
"I think you need to think about where your wedding is going to take place," he shares. "You do have to be mindful of the venue. Like, if you're getting married in a small space, you don't want to be walking around in a big poofy ball gown that's going to knock the glasses off the tables."
As for Fenoli's own aspirations, he reveals that he's wanted to compete on Dancing With the Stars for over a decade now. He's also pretty confident that he would bring home a win!
"I've spoken to the producer," he shares. "As I said, I've been on set. I've dressed people that are on Dancing With the Stars, the dancers. I've met them and they're like, 'Randy, we're going to get you on.' And I love to dance. I really always wanted to be on the show. And this has been going on, as I said, now for probably years. Somebody even created a Facebook page, 'Get Randy Fenoli on Dancing With the Stars.' So, I don't know what's going on, because I would win that mirrorball trophy. I'm telling you, I would take it all."
He even already has a dream dancing partner in mind.
Fenoli says being in the spotlight would definitely be a change for him, and he insists that he's not the star of Say Yes to the Dress.
"People are like, 'Oh, you're the star of the show,'" he shares. "And I'm like, 'No, no, no. The bride is the star of the show.' And the moment she walks into that salon, she's the star. She's put up on a pedestal and it's all about her. I'm just there to help facilitate. I'm kind of the commentator that, you know, makes the show run and asks the questions. But it's really the bride that's the star. So, yeah, to be able to dance and be showcased, it would be fabulous."
Fenoli also says he's especially proud of Say Yes to the Dress these days for providing much-needed feel-good entertainment.
"I have to say that I am so proud of this show and what it does and what it says, and I think that's what makes the show so great and so incredible is that we tackle really difficult and topical subjects," he explains. "It makes you realize that no matter what you're going through and no matter what happens, that there's hope and that there's other people out there going through the same thing, and I think that's the great thing about our show is it offers hope."
"I feel so blessed and so lucky that we're able to showcase these things that are going on in the world in such a way that we can kind of make people feel like they're not going through this alone, and in the end, leaving with a smile on their face," he adds.