The Enthusiasts Guide from “Yes” to “I Do”

Host Leah Longbrake is pulling back the veil to bring you honest advice and creative ideas from those in the wedding industry. From the Engagement to the Honeymoon, get all the details you need from wedding and event experts on how to make it your best day ever!

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Real Bride LeeAnn Sommers: Second Times A Charm and The Importance of Authenticity

Real Bride LeeAnn Sommers: Second Times A Charm and The Importance of Authenticity

Real Bride and Radio Personality LeeAnn Sommers discusses her journey twice down the aisle, what she learned from each experience, and the importance of authenticity. LeeAnn tells us why church played a big role in her relationship with her now husband Bob, how he proposed, and what role her son played in her second wedding. She also shares the personal details of finding each wedding dress, and why she felt compelled to donate one of them to a young bride.

Get to Know LeeAnn:

LeeAnn Sommers is a radio personality on 99.5 WGAR in Cleveland, Ohio. If you're a Clevelander, chances are you've listened to LeeAnn on one of these radio stations over the years: Jammin 92, Z107.9, 96.5 KISS-FM, Mix 106.5, WMMS and Q104. LeeAnn has worked in Cleveland television at Fox 8 and WEWS 5 as an entertainment reporter. LeeAnn is also a voiceover talent. She's been the voice of the Ohio Lottery, Ashley Furniture, the American Heart Association and numerous radio and tv stations across the country in cities like Denver, Nashville, Seattle and Rochester.

LeeAnn lives on the eastside of Cleveland with her husband and kids. They recently expanded their family as they completed the international adoption of their daughter from Bogota, Colombia.

She is an avid traveler, adoption supporter, and Cleveland fan. Listen to her online at wgar.com!

Follow LeeAnn Sommers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!




This has been a production of Evergreen Podcasts. A special thank you to Executive Producers David Moss, Gerardo Orlando, Production Director Brigid Coyne and Audio Engineer Eric Koltnow

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Leah Longbrake:
LeeAnn, I am so happy to have you on Weddings Unveiled today and to talk about your wedding journey.

LeeAnn Sommers:
I am excited to be here.


Leah Longbrake:
Well, I'd love to start by talking about the proposal. How did your husband Bob propose to you?

LeeAnn Sommers:
So church played a really big... Church was almost another character in our relationship. When we started dating, he was very committed to church and he made it very clear that unless I was also going to be willing to attend church with him that this wasn't going to go very far. So early in our dating, we were church shopping for lack of a better way... Trying to find the right church that fit us. And we ended up finding a church that just really fit our needs, fit our family. It was Cuyahoga Valley Church in Broadview Heights. So that church played a big part in the early part of our story, so he proposed there at church which was sweet. And then we got married in that church. And so that particular place has a... Like I said, it's like a third person in our relationship.

Leah Longbrake:
Were you expecting the proposal to happen?

LeeAnn Sommers:
Sort of. I think when you get married and you're in your mid to upper thirties, you talk about it. We talked about the kind of ring I liked. We talked about how much money we'd be willing to spend on everything. Because it's a couple decision at that point, versus a man trying to do it two separate homes, two separate this, two separate... Everything was together. So I didn't know when it was coming, but we had discussed getting married and I had an inkling he was probably ring shopping.

Leah Longbrake:
So how long between when he proposed to you and you actually got hitched? What was your planning time span?

LeeAnn Sommers:
Yeah. We got married in October of '14 and he proposed in July or August of '13. I'm sorry, I don't have the date memorized. So it was somewhere between a year and a year and a half of planning time.

Leah Longbrake:
That's pretty good. I mean, that's pretty average.

LeeAnn Sommers:
Oh yeah.

Leah Longbrake:
And you kept a smaller wedding, correct?

LeeAnn Sommers:
Yeah. And I always feel like we didn't even need that a year and a half. It was just the way our lives unfolded. It wasn't about, oh, well we need time to pick a venue and a dress and all that. And this was my second marriage, so we should probably talk about that.

Leah Longbrake:
Yeah.

LeeAnn Sommers:
First for Bob, second for me and my first marriage was the more traditional dog and pony show; big bridal party, big reception with the cutting of the cake and the different dances and all that stuff.

Leah Longbrake:
The traditional.

LeeAnn Sommers:
It was very traditional; throwing the garter and all that stuff. When I look back now, I wasn't even being authentic. That's not who I am. I couldn't be any further from a traditional bride if I wanted to be. I think I was just doing it because I thought that's what you were supposed to do. I thought these are the things that you have to do in order to check that box of it being a legit wedding.

Leah Longbrake:
Did you feel any pressure from family to go that route?

LeeAnn Sommers:
Maybe a little. Maybe meeting people's expectations was part of it as well, but if I would have been true to myself the first time around, I would have never, ever done... And I don't mean it to impune anyone who wants that. I don't mean at all, it's just-

Leah Longbrake:
Right. It's just not your personal style.

LeeAnn Sommers:
No. So when I say dog and pony show, I literally meant I felt like we were putting on a show versus truly, truly having a celebration of two people who have made a decision to walk this out together and to build this family together. So second time I did it older, wiser, right man, a bunch of stuff like that. So with this wedding, we considered eloping. We both love to travel. We both have a love for big city life, and we actually considered having our nuptials in New York City and then having just a little after party in a penthouse, in a hotel. And we knew that that would drastically change how many people would show up, how many people would want to make that commitment, but would be comfortable. Whatever. Because our engagement photos were taken in Central Park.

Leah Longbrake:
Right. They're beautiful.

LeeAnn Sommers:
Thank you. So we thought about that. And then my husband's mother was very sick at the time. And she actually passed away from brain cancer.

Leah Longbrake:
Oh, I'm sorry.

LeeAnn Sommers:
Yeah. It was a hard time for him. Excuse me. But I think probably by her request and trying to be sensitive towards her, we decided to keep it local, but we still kept it really small. So we got married at our church and then didn't have a reception. We rented out a restaurant, Glenwillow in Solon and we rented out that restaurant for a night and then just had a dinner at this restaurant with our family and friends. So there was no limo bus. After the ceremony, we did leave and take photos but it was really cold that day. It was October 4th. It was so cold that day, so we didn't do as many as we would have had the weather cooperated. But we took a few photos and then we went to dinner, and folks, that was it.

Leah Longbrake:
How many people were in attendance? Like 50, not even?

LeeAnn Sommers:
No. I think at the church we had, I want to say 100.

Leah Longbrake:
Oh, okay.

LeeAnn Sommers:
I think it was 100 and then probably at the restaurant, I think we had 75.

Leah Longbrake:
But that's intimate still enough that you could talk to everybody throughout the day and night. It's not like you were not seeing somebody. Were they even at my wedding? You had time to actually engage with them.

LeeAnn Sommers:
That really was nice. And what I also loved is with this particular restaurant, the way that it was laid out, we had... One of my best friends was there and instead of bringing her significant other, she brought one of her best friends who I'd known through her. So they were each other's date. It's fine, I love them both. But they got to sit at a booth. It was almost turned into girls' night for them. And I loved seeing that. I loved seeing that she was enjoying her time with her friend who I also adore. I'm making that sound very separate, but I loved that. I loved that people could pick a booth and go hang with whoever they came with. Like some old radio buddies of mine, they all took the biggest center table in the middle of the room, and there was probably 10 of them at one table and I thought that was cool.

Leah Longbrake:
Like a mini reunion.

LeeAnn Sommers:
Yeah. So it was real interesting to see these different kind of threads pop out. Everyone there to support us, but it was so chill and so laid back. Some of Bob's buddies from college had come in from Arizona and South Carolina and they were all at the bar doing their thing. I mean, it was fun. It was a very small but fun thing.

Leah Longbrake:
I love that.

LeeAnn Sommers:
Yeah.

Leah Longbrake:
And it's very common now with COVID that people are doing more of what you did for your second wedding. People are now having to do, and it's now a trend. It's now the way of weddings.

LeeAnn Sommers:
Yeah. Look at me, I was a trendsetter and I didn't even know it.

Leah Longbrake:
I know. It's very aeries of you.

LeeAnn Sommers:
Always ahead of the curve, Leah. It's what I do, girl.

Leah Longbrake:
I love it.

LeeAnn Sommers:
And I don't have any regrets. One of the things that when the night was over we both looked at each other and were like, "Why don't people do weddings like this? Why are they still drawn to that big traditional... Oh, you think you have to do it this way in order for it to be qualified as a real wedding." And I don't know what that is, but we loved it.

Leah Longbrake:
I guess it really is up to the individual, what they find to be a real wedding. But you thought your first go around that that was a real wedding, and then you come to find out once you're getting to know yourself more as well as a person. You're like, "You know what, that really isn't me." It didn't really click at the time, but I mean, hindsight.

LeeAnn Sommers:
Yeah. No, I definitely think that the first time... And what's funny is both of us kind of drag our weird expectations and what we thought had to go into that day. And I actually remember distinctly remembering... I was like, "This is weird. This is supposed to be this beautiful joyful day, and yet I feel like I'm just checking boxes." Did that dance happen? Did that moment happen? It was so far from who I really was that I remember being like... At the end of the day I was like, "Oh, that was nice." But I didn't feel like, oh, my gosh, that was the greatest day of my life, which I think brides should feel. You should feel that way. This was really a special day.

Leah Longbrake:
Absolutely. Speaking of special, you have a beautiful son from your first marriage. Talk about him being incorporated with your second wedding.

LeeAnn Sommers:
He's 13 now. Isn't that crazy?

Leah Longbrake:
That's crazy.

LeeAnn Sommers:
It is insane. So Bob and I, when we were making decisions about our wedding and obviously I just let it all hang out with him. I'm like, "Look, this is what happened." He already knew what had happened, but I was like, "I'm not going to feel that way again." So with our wedding, like I told you, we considered the eloping, we considered doing something small just for us in New York. Then at one point I even said, "I'm down for courthouse. Are you?" The only request Bob made, he said, "You know what, I would do anything because it's really not about the wedding to me either, but I do have one request, and that is to see you come down the aisle in a white dress. I really would like that moment just for me, just for my memory, just for whatever."

LeeAnn Sommers:
Because I was like, "I can go to Nordstrom or Macy's and buy a white dress off the rack and we can call this a day." And he was like, "Well, it's just kind of my one request to have that one memory for me. For the rest of my life to have that's my moment." And I was like, "Okay, done. You get to have that because we're not really asking for other things or wanting other things."

Leah Longbrake:
That's so sweet of him.

LeeAnn Sommers:
Yeah. So that is even why we said, "Okay, well, then let's do it at our church." If we're not going to go away, the church is the only option because it has such a special place in our story. And now I was like, okay, so since we know we're not doing bridal party, how do we include Roman? How do we do it? And I was like, "I don't want to have Roman walk with me down the aisle." He's my little boy at that... I mean, what is he? Like three or four at that time? How old is he? Holy cow, I have no idea. I think he's little at the time, seven years ago. So was he six? Whatever. Little guy. I'm sorry. I'm like, "I don't want him walking me down the aisle." If he was a teenager or a young adult, it might've been kind of sweet, but I'm like, "Yeah, no." So how do we use him? So almost game day decision.

LeeAnn Sommers:
About a week before the wedding, one of my best friends who is married to my cousin, her daughter, and my son are almost the exact same age. And she was like, "Well, we could have Ruby and Roman just walk down right before you, and she could throw petals." And I was like, "I would love to have her in it, I just don't want a bridal party." But we went back and forth and in the end, Roman's like, "I'm not walking alone. So yeah, Ruby's walking with me." So the kids kind of made the decision that they would have that cute moment where whoever's tiny and pint size in your life gets that ooh, aah factor. That's what happened for the kids.

LeeAnn Sommers:
But it was hilarious because even the video, you see them walking down and Roman's stone face, he's about to poop his pants holding the... Or he doesn't even have the rings, he just has a pillow with fake rings tied to it and Ruby's got her petals and they literally walked down the aisle and then they sit down in the front row so fast you would think that... It's adorable and hilarious all at the same time.

LeeAnn Sommers:
But that's how he was used before the ceremony started. And then during the ceremony, Bob said his vows to me, and then he brought Roman up and said vows to him. And I know you've seen some of those beautiful moments where the stepmom or the stepdad are making the promise to the child in the same way. Oh my gosh, it is so emotional. I cried harder at that than probably anything, but they were so close. I mean, they were best friends. By the time we got married, they were best friends. I was the third wheel at that point. So that was really a precious and special moment and that's really, all Ro was involved. He didn't do much.

Leah Longbrake:
But he did a lot. That's impactful.

LeeAnn Sommers:
Oh yeah. I'm just saying he wasn't involved.

Leah Longbrake:
Right.

LeeAnn Sommers:
Oh yeah. By the way, just so you know, before the wedding, he used to tell people we are getting married and he was talking about the three of us like it was our wedding. It wasn't Bob and I, it was the three of us. It's our wedding. And people are like, "Roman, what are you doing this weekend?" "Oh, we're getting married this weekend." Okay, Ro.

Leah Longbrake:
That's so awesome. I love it.

LeeAnn Sommers:
So cute, right?

Leah Longbrake:
So you talked about the white dress and how important it was for Bob. Both of your experiences with each wedding, the dress was obviously different.

LeeAnn Sommers:
Yeah.

Leah Longbrake:
Tell us about your experience with shopping for that dress because it's a big moment.

LeeAnn Sommers:
Yeah. So the first time I got married, I struggled. Again, more clues, LeeAnn. Just get it through your head, sister. But I've really struggled with finding a dress and I went back and forth again, what I thought you were supposed to wear versus... Being a girl that's looked at bridal magazines forever and I was more risky than the dress that I actually chose for the first wedding, because that dress was so much more traditional and it was beautiful, but it was traditional. And I have a little more risk to me than that. I think knowing what your dress looked like I know you understand what I'm saying.

Leah Longbrake:
Yes.

LeeAnn Sommers:
It wasn't like I was looking for a dress that nobody had ever seen or nobody else ever wore, I just needed it to fit my personality. So I didn't do that with the first wedding. I bought a very conservative, very traditional... You probably saw this dress.

Leah Longbrake:
Like the big, poofy dress?

LeeAnn Sommers:
No, I never did princess. Princess was not me, but it was definitely more... We need a dress expert on here.

Leah Longbrake:
Was it strapless? Was it fitted?

LeeAnn Sommers:
It was strapless and it had the thing that goes over the shoulders like he little shawl thing that goes over the shoulders and very minimal beading. I believe I had almost like a headpiece, almost like a tiara looking thing. Like if a tiara and a headband had a baby. That thing, whatever that is. That's what I mean.

Leah Longbrake:
I know what you're talking about. I don't know what the actual term for it is but I know what you're talking about.

LeeAnn Sommers:
I looked at it, I'm like I never in my life wanted to be princessy on... It's so far from who I am, but again, just stupid, stupid, stupid. Now, a beautiful story about that dress is that it was such a pretty dress and I had tucked it away for what, 10 years? I think 10 or 15 years had gone by and a coworker of mine who was looking for a way to have a beautiful dress on a budget. She had made this known to me just in passing and it turns out that I was like, "Oh, I don't know if you'd be interested, but I have a dress that you could actually have. You could have it." And she was like, "Shut up." And I'm like, "You can totally have this dress."

LeeAnn Sommers:
So she came over to my house and tried it on, it fit her like a glove. It was her dress. There's tears. It's a whole scene and she can't believe that she's getting the dress that she dreamt about for free. And so it was very serendipitous how it came so full circle and then she got her dream dress, I got to give that away and it was great. I loved that.

Leah Longbrake:
I had the good fortune of actually being at that wedding. I didn't realize it was your dress from your first wedding. I thought it was the one from with Bob. It is a stunning dress and she looks perfection in it.

LeeAnn Sommers:
She did look pretty.

Leah Longbrake:
And I thought it was one of the kindest, most generous things I've ever seen and heard someone do with you passing that off to her. And she has made it known that she plans on passing it down to someone else in need as well.

LeeAnn Sommers:
I love this.

Leah Longbrake:
So your kindness, you're paying it forward. I know for a fact from this particular bride, she has plans on passing it forward herself.

LeeAnn Sommers:
I love that. I love, love, love that. And yeah, I felt like it was a no brainer. What was I ever going to do with that dress? I didn't feel like goodwill or whatever. I didn't feel like donating it was the right thing. I think I considered... I forgot the name of the organization that takes the prom dresses. Because I thought, man, some seamstress might be able to cut that sucker, hem it up and make it a fly prom dress or something. But it was an honor. It was my privilege to give it to her. To be honest with you, it was great.

Leah Longbrake:
And that's something great to encourage fellow couples that if they don't want to hold on to the dress, they can always pay it forward that way too. Hopefully you'll influence others to maybe do that.

LeeAnn Sommers:
Yeah. And I can tell you about my second dress, which was so much more me. I bought it at Brides by Demetrios at Legacy Village, which is no longer there. I met this amazing woman named Kim Ford who worked there at the time and this woman got me. She was like, "I think we should try this." And she pulled the dress out and I was like, "Wow, that dress is special. I don't know what it is." It wasn't white, it was like champagne. Even though-

LeeAnn Sommers:
... it photographed white. I don't know why, but it did photograph really white, but it wasn't. It was like a true champagne which I loved for my skin tone. And it was more fitted through my torso and then it wasn't a mermaid. It wasn't that, but it was like... Gosh, I don't know how to describe it. It wasn't a mermaid you guys. I don't want you to think it was a mermaid dress. But it was not as princessy as that other one.

Leah Longbrake:
Was it like an A-line or a trumpet?

LeeAnn Sommers:
I think maybe A-line is the best way to describe it. I'm not hip on all this bride lingo. You're going to have to help me out. But it was so special. And then on my decision day, I brought my girls with me and everyone's like, "You're not going to not get that dress. That is your dress." And you know about your dress, when the bride finds that dress, it's not necessarily this, oh my gosh, I found it the moment you find it. But there does come a time somewhere in the process, maybe not at the very beginning when you first, first see it. Because that's another thing, I think I watched entirely too much Say Yes to the Dress.

Leah Longbrake:
I feel you. You second guess yourself.

LeeAnn Sommers:
Exactly.

Leah Longbrake:
You know you love it, you know it's probably your dress, but I still do that.

LeeAnn Sommers:
Yeah.

Leah Longbrake:
I love my dress, it was my dress, but I still I'm like, "I really could have done something different."

LeeAnn Sommers:
Yeah. I did do that. And I mean, I took probably three or four months to make my decision, but they needed eight or nine months to get it ordered in and all that stuff. But I took my time making that decision. So we got engaged in July or August, whatever. Everybody said, "You need nine months." So I think it was probably February or March that I actually pulled the trigger on it and they came in faster. I still look at it. I can't imagine giving that dress to someone else. But what's funny about that is as you know I now have a daughter.

Leah Longbrake:
I just have to say, now you have your little girl.

LeeAnn Sommers:
Yes, now we have a daughter and now I'm like, "You know what, I'm kind of glad I held onto it." Because even if she doesn't want to wear that dress, if she wanted to take pieces of it. I wish I would have had that from my mom. I didn't, but I would have done it. I would have been traditional in that sense with using a piece of mom's dress or her dress. But I could never give this dress away. I hope she uses it somehow. It's hers, is my point. It's her dress. If she wants to, great. If she doesn't, great. Whatever. But it would be there.

Leah Longbrake:
I'm sure she will.

LeeAnn Sommers:
We'll see.

Leah Longbrake:
So what other advice do you have for couples planning their big day based off of your experiences?

LeeAnn Sommers:
Hopefully if I've made anything clear it's this, whatever you do, be true to yourself. And sometimes that can be hard. There are some loud voices out there; the in-laws, maybe sisters, your mom, best friends. Everybody's got an opinion. One of my best friends and I always joke. We're like, "Oh my gosh, weddings and babies, they bring out the crazy in people. They bring out the crazy."

Leah Longbrake:
Yes.

LeeAnn Sommers:
And I would say, just really be authentically true to you. I mean, take it from me. Yes, of course I married the wrong person the first time, but the truth was I was making all of these decisions trying to please everybody else but myself. Because I felt like what I really liked and what I was really drawn to, it wasn't bridey enough. I apparently didn't have enough of the feminine gene to make those decisions, to make myself look bridey or be girlier and I resented that. I did, I resented. I'm like, "I should have not have listened." Even the people who threw my... I was living in Denver at the time and these two girls threw my bachelorette party and it was coming from such a beautiful place of them wanting to celebrate me, but they picked Vegas. And I was like, "I like Vegas. I like spas and pools and an occasional show in Vegas." I'm not going to lie, going to a Vegas nightclub and getting smashed and woo-hoo! Not my scene.

Leah Longbrake:
And wearing the male genital necklaces and straws.

LeeAnn Sommers:
Yeah. All that stuff. I was like, ah. But again, I think they were so well-intentioned, but it was kind of what they wanted and I was kind of like, "Okay, whatever." And I kind of went along with it now. Now I would be like, no. Even with my second wedding, I made it kind of clear to my friends. I'm like, "I feel bad because I already had a bachelorette party so I don't feel like I should do that again." They're like, "No, we're doing it." I was like, "Okay. Well, just so you know, I have rules. So if you want to throw it, you got to abide by my rules and my wishes." And they're like, "Absolutely."

LeeAnn Sommers:
So we ended up having a spa weekend in Chicago. We went to Chicago and we rented this three bedroom hotel and all of us smashed into this one room together. And we had a weekend being at this spa and shopping and restaurants. And it was basically a girl's weekend. And then for my friends who could not go to Chicago, we made one night of it Downtown Cleveland. And we went to Hilarities and the Chocolate Factory. The one that plays right across from... Is that the Chocolate Factory? The chocolate something.

Leah Longbrake:
Yes. All chocolate martinis and chocolate pastas and chocolate everything.

LeeAnn Sommers:
It was so much fun. It was perfect.

Leah Longbrake:
The Chocolate Bar.

LeeAnn Sommers:
The Chocolate Bar. Thank you.

Leah Longbrake:
Yes.

LeeAnn Sommers:
Goodness. And I love that place. I miss that place.

Leah Longbrake:
I feel those are familiar. I mean, Hilarities is a gorgeous comedy club and has different shows and acts and it's very old school Vegas looking, but without the Vegas.

LeeAnn Sommers:
Yeah, right there on East 4th Street. And it was perfect. We got together and what was really nice was for my friends who were able to go to Chicago and we indulged a little more luxury and a little more, whatever. It was super low key. And then for the Cleveland party, it was like, let's just go have chocolate martinis and laugh our butts off. This is going to be hilarious. There was no dancing on the bar and shots and all that stuff that I know girls love so much. Remember, I was a little bit older at this time. I don't know. I just felt like everything fell into place. The first time was just a disaster and the second time was truly me.

Leah Longbrake:
So I guess the key takeaway from your experiences for couples to know is just authenticity. Be authentic to you.

LeeAnn Sommers:
Yes. It's so easy coming out of your mouth, but when you're in that planning process and you are trying to wrangle all of these thoughts and ideas that you had from growing up as a little girl and what you thought it was supposed to be and what you think... You've been maybe to enough weddings at this point in your life where you're going, "Ooh, I love that they did that. Oh, I didn't like that so much. Oh, I love they did that."

LeeAnn Sommers:

And I understand, in this IG world, man, you got to have the perfect pictures and there better be all kinds of FOMO and everybody just wants... It's such a competition to make it look this way. That is not how we felt. And that probably makes us sound even older, but whatever.

Leah Longbrake:

Not at all.

LeeAnn Sommers:

We didn't care about that kind of stuff. I'd rather you have a great meal, which by the way, Glenwillow in Solon, the food is so good. I'd rather you have a great meal and sit and talk with people that you truly want to sit and talk to and spend that time going, "That was amazing. It was like having date night with my husband or wife at their wedding." Or I would love for you to have that as opposed to being like, how do I entertain you? How do I wow you? How do I make you go, "Wow, that was the greatest wedding ever."? I'm not out to impress you, but you're welcome to be there. We want you to be there.

Leah Longbrake:

The most wow is sometimes just the most simple gesture.

LeeAnn Sommers:

Yes, absolutely. We didn't have favors. We didn't give away favors. We didn't have a wedding cake. We had a table of desserts because we're both sweet freaks, but we did not have that traditional cake and we didn't have anybody giving speeches. That was another thing. Now, my husband did pray. He prayed before everybody sat down and ate. We stood up together and he said the prayer over the meal before we all ate. But other than that, there was nothing. That's why you were like, "Come on and talk about your wedding." I'm like, "Yeah, I'm not sure I'm your girl because it's so untraditional."

Leah Longbrake:

But that's what's great about it. I mean, there's so many different types of weddings out there and perspectives, and I think you bring a fresh perspective. Because there's going to be a lot of couples out there that don't want flash and the big pump and they want to keep it simple, and it's good to hear voices like yours saying, "Hey, it's okay. We had the best time ever and we kept it simple."

LeeAnn Sommers:

Yeah. No, we both agreed we would have never changed a thing. The only thing I would have changed was I had been sobbing during the ceremony and because... and we even said no reception line. Listen, you guys, if you can think of a wedding tradition, blow it up because we were not going to do it. So we were like, "Okay, we're not doing a reception line at the church. We just want to get out of there." Something happened, an aunt, a friend, somebody stopped one of us for a hot second after the ceremony, forget it. The reception line started. And I was sobbing because when Bob was saying his vows to Roman, I got choked up. So I literally had black raccoon mascara down my face.

LeeAnn Sommers:

And so the photographer is trying to capture these moments of this reception line and you can just see these black streaks of makeup going down my face. Clearly I did not have all waterproof stuff on. And I will say to your brides too. I mean, if I would tell you one thing to not skimp on it is professional hair and makeup. You will feel like a million bucks. I felt really pretty that day. I felt beautiful. I mean, achieving that look wasn't the cheapest, but I-

Leah Longbrake:

You looked stunning.

LeeAnn Sommers:

Oh, thank you.

Leah Longbrake:

I mean, you are stunning naturally.

LeeAnn Sommers:

If only.

Leah Longbrake:

I mean, these photos you guys, flawless.

LeeAnn Sommers:

Well, that took professionals and airbrushing, but thanks.

Leah Longbrake:

That's a fun experience as well though. When you have your hair professionally and your makeup professionally done, you're sitting there in your robe and you're being pampered. It's your day.

LeeAnn Sommers:

Yeah. It really is. And I'm glad you even said that because the one thing I felt like I really tried to do is not allow people to say that, to say that it was my day. I really wanted it to be Bob and mine. It was our day.

Leah Longbrake:

Yeah.

LeeAnn Sommers:

But I think that gets lost a lot. I think it does. It turns into, this is the bride's day and it's actually, no, it's not. It's both of their days. So I would definitely say, be aware of your fiance's experience. This is also his moment and his wedding. God willing, there's just one. But you just want to, I don't know, make sure it's special for him too, that he's loved on and showered on that day. Showered over.

Leah Longbrake:

I love that. All right. Last thing, LeeAnn.

LeeAnn Sommers:

Okay.

Leah Longbrake:

What is your all-time favorite celebrity or royal wedding?

LeeAnn Sommers:

Oh my gosh. Obviously when I was a little girl I was obsessed with Princess Diana. Obsessed. And my mom would buy me all the books, all the magazines. I did not have a Disney princess that I loved. I loved that princess. So when I think back, she's immediately the wedding I think of. And again, look, there's another example. She was miserable. Remember she made comments about how dreadfully heavy the dress was and she wasn't marrying the love of her life. Oh my gosh, people, don't get caught in that nonsense. But when I think back just that iconic scene of her in that dress in that church in London. And then I'll follow it right up with, whenever her son Harry marries Megan, oh my gosh, I was glued... That wedding to me was so romantic and so... It truly was a fairy tale. It was so nice to get swept away watching them.

Leah Longbrake:

Did you watch the recent... The Crown because they have incorporated Diana in the wedding.

LeeAnn Sommers:

I'm at the point in The Crown where Diana is just being introduced to the storyline. I'm not watching in real time like everybody else is. It's like, oh my gosh, working mom of two. Can't do it like everybody else does. But yeah, I got up to the point where she's being introduced. I can't wait to see what happens. And the actress really looks a lot her, and it's pretty darn close.

Leah Longbrake:

She does. It's uncanny.

LeeAnn Sommers:

Yes.

Leah Longbrake:

Yes. And then this little fact for you, if you haven't caught up on Say Yes to the Dress the UK version on YouTube-

LeeAnn Sommers:

Just tell me.

Leah Longbrake:

The Randy Fenoli of the UK version is Mr. Manuel, who created Princess Diana's dress.

LeeAnn Sommers:

No way.

Leah Longbrake:

He owns a bridal shop in London, and yeah.

LeeAnn Sommers:

Wow!

Leah Longbrake:

I hope I didn't say his name wrong, but yeah, it's the guy that's behind her dress.

LeeAnn Sommers:

Yeah. Have you told your brides yet that they will probably even a year or two after they get married, will still watch Say Yes to the Dress because it goes-

Leah Longbrake:

I have mentioned to them. I mean, we do. You can't not. It's just happiness.

LeeAnn Sommers:

Right. Well, I think leading up to your wedding, you're information gathering. You're taking mental notes and you're like, "Oh yeah, no, I love that. Oh yeah, no." But then afterward, now you're comparing, oh no, girl, don't do that.

Leah Longbrake:

Or I wish I would've had this dress available.

LeeAnn Sommers:

Have you seen a dress afters where you're like, "Ooh, I would've got that one."

Leah Longbrake:

Well, I still have subscriptions to bridal magazines and I watch everything online and stuff that I'm constantly... Actually one of the episodes. It was the second episode actually with Claudia from Galleria gowns. We talk about how there's just so many dresses available now compared to 20 years ago that you can't not constantly want to shop.

LeeAnn Sommers:

Yeah. I know I'm only what, six or seven years out, but I still have yet to see a dress that I would be like, "Oh, I would've done that one over mine." I still feel that way. But I can still get sucked into those shows and sometimes giggle. Sometimes just delight in the moment with the bride and other times just be like, "Girl, you don't know. Just give it time."

Leah Longbrake:

Don't spend 20,000 on that dress.

LeeAnn Sommers:

Or how about 20,000 on two different dresses?

Leah Longbrake:

Yeah.

LeeAnn Sommers:

I mean, that was also not really a thing. I guess it was probably just becoming a thing because someone did ask me, are you doing two dresses? And I was like, "For what?" And they're like, "The ceremony and then the reception." I'm like, "Yeah, no. I wore my one dress all day and loved it."

Leah Longbrake:

And It's great that you still treasure it, still cherish it.

LeeAnn Sommers:

I do. I'm sorry. I'm not giving that one away.

Leah Longbrake:

LeeAnn, how can we get more information on you if couples want to contact you or learn about your radio show?

LeeAnn Sommers:

If you are a Clevelander who loves all things Cleveland, including country music, you can listen to 99.5 WGAR. I'm on afternoons from 3:00 to 7:00 PM. But yeah, you can go to the station's website and contact me there or find me Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. I'm not on TikTok. Sorry. But all those other ones @leeannsommersradio. Sommers is with an O by the way. S-O-M-M-E-R-S.

Leah Longbrake:

Thanks LeeAnn so much for being here and sharing your wedding journey.

LeeAnn Sommers:

Thanks for letting me talk about it. It's been fun.

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