UW-Stout News Story

Two students land dream internships with TV bridal show

March 27, 2013

Karli Courrier and Lindsay Frank said “yes” to the internships, and they couldn’t be happier.

The University of Wisconsin-Stout students are in the midst of a Cooperative Education program experience that seems almost too good to be true: They have been traveling the country this semester getting real-world experience in their major and working alongside a cable television celebrity, Randy Fenoli.

Fenoli is the star of the TLC hit reality show “Say Yes to the Dress.” The high-energy, bridal gown guru helps brides-to-be and their entourages select wedding dresses in New York.

Fenoli also has a spinoff show, “Randy to the Rescue,” which is in production for its second season and is scheduled to air this spring and summer. In “Randy to the Rescue” Fenoli leaves New York and hits the road, criss-crossing the U.S. to help the betrothed.

Karli Courrier, left, and Lindsay Frank with Randy Fenoli.Courrier and Frank, as production assistants, have been or will be on the road to 10 cities with Fenoli this semester during “Randy to the Rescue” filming. They fly out, all expenses paid, together on Thursday or Friday and return to UW-Stout, Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University, the beginning of the following week.

The trips have included Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Oklahoma City, Savannah, Ga., and Washington, D.C.

Courrier and Frank were Fenoli fans before they landed the internships, having watched his shows. They’re even bigger Fenoli fans now.

“On the eighth city of the tour, he still had the same enthusiasm as he did on the first one. He gives every bride more than enough of his time,” Frank said. “He’s high energy. It’s amazing to see. He couldn’t be any more likable or down to earth.”

Working behind the scenes for “Randy to the Rescue” has been a honeymoonlike but also highly educational experience for Courrier and Frank, who are majoring in hotel, restaurant and tourism management with an emphasis on event planning.

“Randy to the Rescue” weekends are highly organized events, starting when the show’s semitrailer loaded with dresses rolls up. “You can hear people screaming like crazy when the truck shows up. When we were in Oklahoma City I’d never seen so many excited people,” Frank said.

In each city four brides-to-be are chosen to meet with Fenoli for dress consultation and filming. They are chosen from a pool of up to 200 women looking for that special dress in an elaborate salon set up at a hotel or convention center.

“From one city to the next, you never know what’s going to happen, so be prepared for anything,” Courrier said.

Courrier, a senior from St. Cloud, Minn., helps set up dress displays, change sets and dress extras for filming. Frank, a sophomore from Ellendale, Minn., coordinates appointments for brides-to-be and assists the TLC camera crew.

Courrier and Frank were hired by the Wedding Guys, a Twin Cities company that holds major bridal shows around the country. The Wedding Guys provides the bridal show infrastructure for “Randy to the Rescue” and TLC.

The Wedding Guys has hired UW-Stout students in the past and, as a result, interviewed members of the Stout Events Society for the “Randy to the Rescue” jobs, Frank said.

Courrier and Frank, as part of the university’s Cooperative Education program through Career Services, are paid and receive academic credit, which Frank called “icing on the cake.” They have enjoyed the excitement of being with a national show, have learned lessons about how to balance their studies with the job’s time commitment and likely will appear on TV as extras and in the show’s credits.

“I’m getting to see the side of events I want to experience, such as setting up larger events for weddings or corporate,” Courrier said.

Frank said she hopes to work in the hotel industry and may use this experience to someday start a wedding planning business.

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