The day after Ansley Evans Britton got back from a trip to Florida where she got engaged in April, she hurried to her grandmother’s home in Oxford to try on her family’s heirloom wedding dress, tucked safely away in storage.
Britton’s great-grandmother, Mary Ansley, sewed the dress in 1949 for her daughter Bim Meyer, Ansley Britton’s grandmother. In 1976, Meyer’s daughter, and Britton’s mother, Cyndi Evans wore it for her wedding.
Britton said she couldn’t wait to be the third generation to wear the dress. But the fitting didn’t go quite as planned and Britton barely squeezed into the Japanese satin wedding gown.
“I couldn’t believe how small it was,” said Britton, herself a petite woman.
That’s when she thought of the TLC reality show “Something Borrowed, Something New.”
The show offers a bride-to-be the opportunity to choose between her family’s heirloom gown, which they alter and update, or a new wedding gown. Britton sent them an email inquiry and show producers responded the next day, requesting a Skype interview.
After a month-long interview process, which required Britton to send photos and video, “Something Borrowed, Something New” producers chose her to be featured on the show. Britton’s wedding gown story airs at 10 p.m. Friday on TLC.
“I was so excited. The thing was this was my dream to wear this dress and I wanted to put it in the hands of someone who could do it justice. I knew the people on the show would be able to do that,” said Britton.
Show producers flew Britton, her mother Cyndi Evans, cousin Chantal Evans, and friend Stephanie Robinson to Los Angeles for a intensive week-long shoot at the end of June, exactly six weeks before the wedding.
Footage shows one-on-one interviews with members of the group, time spent shopping in the wedding store, Britton modeling the various gowns and reaction to the gowns from the group. Producers also shot some footage of the wedding, which took place on Jekyll Island.
The dramatic moment comes when Britton is mulling over the new and the old gowns, which are displayed on mannequins, and finally walks out of the dressing room wearing her choice.
Britton said producers have prohibited her from revealing which gown she chose.
“It was a heart-wrenching decision,” said Evans, of her daughter’s choice.
Britton said that show producers made the group comfortable and didn’t coach or lead anyone in her party about how to react to certain situations.
“It was completely real. They genuinely cared about each bride’s experience. It’s like they understood what we were going through,” said Britton.
At one point in the show, Evans said she couldn’t contain herself when her daughter put on one of the gowns and it became obvious to her as a mother that that particular one would be the winner.
“I just started crying because I knew she chose the dress,” said Evans.
Britton said the show is an honest depiction of her efforts to decide on the dress.
“It wasn’t the outcome that mattered. It was the journey to the outcome that was important,” she said.
A 1998 graduate of Rockdale County High School, the former Ansley Evans married Bobby Britton, a high school friend, on Aug. 10.
Ansley Britton holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Auburn University, a master’s degree in health and physical education, and is an assistant athletic director at Luella High School in Locust Grove where she teaches physical education and health and coaches cheerleading and gymnastics.
Bobby Britton attended Georgia Southern University and has built a career as a golf professional. Currently, he is the head golf professional at Cannongate at Heron Bay in Locust Grove.
The couple lives in a historic home they’ve renovated in Locust Grove.
Before their marriage, the couple dated for three years in their early 20s but then went their separate ways. Ansley Britton traveled the globe, as a volunteer teacher in Africa, vacationer in New Zealand, cattle and sheep farm worker in Australia and resort employee in Hawaii.
Ansley and Bobby reconnected when she came home on a break in between working in Australia and Hawaii. The couple talked on the phone every day while she spent the summer in Hawaii.
“When we dated we were in our 20s, we were still children in my eyes. We got to know each other as adults and talked about what we wanted out of life,” she said.
When she flew home from Hawaii in August 2012, Bobby picked her up at the airport.
“That’s all there was to that story. It was quick. We knew,” said Britton.
Britton said her husband didn’t have a preference for which dress she wore
“He still tells me how incredibly beautiful I was on our wedding day,” she said. “He loved my dress, but he didn’t mind which dress I wore, as long as I was happy with my decision and that I married him.”
To learn more about the show, visit www.tlc.com/tv-shows/something-borrowed-something-new.