It took a while after Jonathan Flippo of Hamilton and his wife to be, Madelon, met on Facebook before they finally went out for their first date. What didn’t take any time, though, was the two-day time frame from picking out her wedding dress to getting married in New York City for the season finale of “Say Yes to the Dress America.”
The two-hour episode, which features the Flippos and 51 other couples representing every state in the nation, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C., airs March 14 on TLC. The couple now lives in her hometown of Louisville.
The series began in January, and it features 52 brides to be who ultimately say ‘yes’ to holy matrimony in a ceremony in Central Park.
“The ceremony was one for the books. It was truly an amazing experience. Although there were 51 other couples, I still felt like it was special to Jonathan and I in our little corner. [Bridal designer] Randy Fenolia made sure that each of us felt special in our own way,” she said.
The brides to be picked out dresses at Kleinfeld Bridal in New York.
“When I entered Kleinfield, I truly thought I was dreaming. I could not believe that I was actually in the place that I had always dreamt of going while watching ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ growing up. It was event more surreal to meet Randy Fenoli, Ronnie Kleinfeld and Hayley Paige. Not only that, the designer of my dress, Martina Liana, was at the shop as well,” Madelon said. “The day of the dress shopping, it was organized chaos. When we got out of Kleinfeld’s, it literally felt like we were getting out on a red carpet. People were standing around and taking pictures of film crews.”
She said Jonathan was one of five or six grooms chosen for footage getting tuxedos from Men’s Warehouse.
The brides picked out dresses on a Monday, and the wedding ceremony was that Wednesday. All together, the Flippos were in New York for six days as part of the episode. Their time included an engagement photo shoot at the Brooklyn Bridge, a sight-seeing tour, a wedding cake for everyone made by Buddy Valastro of “Cake Boss” fame and an appearance with the other couples on “Good Morning America.”
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After Madelon went on a Spring Break trip in 2017 with a nursing school friend from Hamilton and her mother, Jonathan saw pictures and sent a friend request. From there, they messaged each other and ultimately went on their first date out to eat in Starkville, followed by a Mississippi State basketball game.
In December 2018, he proposed, and she said, ‘Yes.’ The following month, at a surprise engagement party following a birthday outing, she said ‘yes’ to her friends’ advice for applying online to be on “Say Yes to the Dress.”
“I really didn’t think it would lead to anything and then after I sent in that application, I got an email from a production company and they said, ‘We’re casting for ‘Say Yes to the Dress America’ and we thought you would be a good fit to represent your home state,’ and they asked if I’d like to proceed,” she said.
After more steps including casting videos and Skype interviews, she was selected, much to her surprise.
The episode will include all of the brides getting their dresses and a pre-wedding reception where couples dressed in their state pride outfits.
“Jonathan wore a nice outfit, and I had on a dress with magnolia cardigan. With Maine, the guy was dressed up like he had just gone fishing for lobsters,” Madelon said. “The episode also shows us getting ready and the actual ceremony.”
In addition to the New York wedding July 10 last year, the Flippos had another wedding last November at Starkville’s Hewlett Barn, a venue where she dreamed about having her wedding since she was 16.
“We’re so close to our friends and family, we couldn’t just go off to New York and not do anything here,” she said. “It was a great experience, but we got to also have our private wedding with just us and have our intimate moment and share that with everyone. It was cool to have two completely different kind of weddings.”
Even though Madelon got to keep the dress from their New York wedding, she wore a different one by the same designer for the Starkville ceremony.
“Say Yes to the Dress America” airs Saturday nights at 7 p.m. on TLC.