Fresno woman featured on 'Say Yes to the Dress'

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- "How is she going to shop for a wedding dress?"

An important question Fresno native Shaela Warkentin was ready to answer.

The 26-year-old took her mom and matron of honor to New York City, becoming the first blind bride-to-be stepping into Kleinfeld's iconic gowns on the TLC hit show.

Shaela says she's been a fan of the show for years.

The chance to go from her couch to joining the cast happened on a whim.

"I'm going to see if I can apply for 'Say Yes to the Dress.' Found an application online and filled it out, got it sent by midnight and then she responded the next morning."

The glitz and glamour coming over a decade since a horrific crash caused by a DUI driver, taking her eyesight and sense of smell.

Back in 2011, Action News spoke to Shaela's family about the severe injuries their daughter suffered.

"Looking back, they saw her head was stuck in the roof," says her dad, Ken Warkentin. "That's all they could see from the jaw down."

For years, Shaela persevered through the life-altering accident -- graduating from Fresno State, now preparing for a new master's program.

Through nine hours of filming and rows of dresses, three selections offered Shaela's dream sparkles and a sweetheart neckline.

"Even that Shaela can't see herself in this dress, I tell every bride to ask how they feel in the dress."

Advice from Randy paid off when the third and final gown fit like a glove.

"Despite what your dress looks like, despite what color it is, what shape it is, whatever," Shaela said. "You feel good in it."

Now comes the question. we've all been waiting for.

"Shaela, are you saying yes to the dress?"

Shaela and her fiance Tyler will tie the knot at the end of October in Madera.

If you missed the "Say Yes to the Dress" episode when it aired last month, you still have a chance!

You can find the full episode on TLC's website or several on-demand and streaming platforms, including Hulu and Youtube TV.
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