Who Is Heidi Elnora? 'Bride By Design' Isn't Her First Reality Show Rodeo

Full disclosure: I am a total sucker for bridal shows. If you met me you would have no idea, but from Four Weddings to all iterations of Say Yes To The Dress, I just love to watch gals try on meringue-like white princess dresses and cry into delicately embroidered handkerchiefs (I also love the crazy fights that always happen on these shows, but that’s a story for another day). You can imagine, then, that I’m thrilled for Heidi Elnora’s show, Bride By Design , to premiere on TLC.

Say what you will about the problematic and patriarchal tradition that is a wedding, but there are still people who imagine their wedding days from a young age, choosing flowers and lace and colors while still in elementary school. What’s wrong with making someone feel beautiful on one of the most important and special days of their lives? Nothing, from what I can see. Dress me up! That’s what Elnora is here to do: Her show focuses on finding the best dress for the featured bride, and I hope that Elnora is still around when I get hitched so she can outfit me in white lace. In preparation for Season 2 of Bride By Design, let’s meet this charming Alabama-born-and-based fashion designer and learn a little bit more about her journey thus far. Here are some things you didn’t know about Heidi Elnora.

She’s Pals With Tim Gunn

So jealous, right? I would love to be besties with Tim Gunn (I swear I have a bobblehead doll of him on my desk as I type this. No lie). Elnora knows Gunn because she was a contestant on Project Runway’s second season. Even though she was eliminated from the competition fairly early on, Elnora still made her mark on Gunn. In a recent Instagram post, she cites Gunn as one of her mentors. Aw, Tim!

She Loves Love

Bridal designers are obviously in the business of relationships, but that doesn’t mean they all love love. Elnora adores affection, and she features the photos and relationship stories of both her brides and submitted couples on her social media. Who doesn’t love a good love story?

She’s Been A Bridal Designer For Nearly A Decade

Though she originally designed children’s clothing for Carter’s, Elnora launched her eponymous brand of wedding gowns in 2006. Her gorgeous designs can be found not just in her own flagship store, but also in 32 boutiques around the world, as well as 14 Nordstrom locations. She’s also been featured in Lucky, The New York Times, Martha Stewart Weddings, and more.

She Has A Sweet Tooth

Elnora’s Instagram is filled with pictures of desserts: This lady sure has one heck of a sweet tooth (my kind of woman!). From French macarons to coffee drinks fluffed with a layer of whipped cream, Elnora’s photos make me hungry for something sweet. Perhaps she gets inspiration for her charming bridal designs by channeling the lighter-than-air feeling of meringue or the soft, luscious peaks found in buttercream frosting? Let’s call it research.

She Loves Her Hometown

An Alabama girl through and through, Elnora is the mastermind behind Birmingham Fashion Week. She loves to highlight Southern fashion and is a big proponent of giving back to the local community.

Now that we know a little bit more about the lady behind the designs, it’s time to get those tissues ready, bride lovers, and tune into TLC on March 27 for Bride By Design.

Image: Paul Johnson/TLC