Over the last 20 years, Rick and Leslie DeAngelo have made a name for themselves in the Boston area as the place for discount designer wedding gowns at their Watertown store, , and now they are going national with a primetime show on TLC network.
The network known for “Say Yes to the Dress” will kick off a new series on Aug. 24 featuring VOWS, called “I Found the Gown.”
The store on Galen Street has been filled with cameras and crew for the new series over the last several weeks.
“We just finished shooting all the brides for the first season,” Leslie said Tuesday.
Each episode will feature three brides searching for their wedding gown.
The DeAngelos started the business 20 years ago on Watertown Street in Newton when they saw a need in the wedding business.
“We got married 21 years ago. I was looking for designer wedding gown, really nowhere offering designer wedding gowns at discount,” Leslie said.
Designer wedding dresses can retail for $2,500 to $20,000 and VOWS offers discounts of 50 percent to 80 percent, Rick said.
“So depending on the dress, a bride can save thousands of dollars,” Rick said. “We may have a $10,000 dress for $3,000, so they save $7,000. There’s a lot of money to be saved, given the price of wedding gowns.”
Brides come from around the area and sometimes from way out of town to shop at VOWS, Rick said.
“People will even fly in here,” Rick said. “It is worth the price of the plane ticket.”
The couple had talked about starting a business so they started VOWS. They moved to Watertown about three years ago, Leslie said.
Brides will research online or come into the store and let them know which dress they want. Then the DeAngelos need to find it for them.
”We liquidate other bridal stores, and go to designers to get inventory,” Leslie said.
They travel around the state to get dresses, as well as travelling occasionally to Canada or as far as Europe. The Internet has made it easier for them to get dresses from places like California without making the trip.
The idea for the show came from the store's customers.
“A lot of brides mentioned TLC as the big wedding network,” Leslie said. “A lot have been watching ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ and said you should have one at Vows because of the discount designer dresses.”
They called TLC to pitch the series, and network officials gave them the thumbs up. It has taken about a year from then to the time when the first season completed shooting, Leslie said.
The DeAngelos said they do not see themselves becoming household names.
“I don’t think we’ll be stars,” Leslie said. “We hope the store becomes more well known. Good to get word out to people who want designer dresses at an affordable price.”
Rick added: “We are a smaller part of the show. The brides’ stories are the bigger stories.”
“I Found the Gown” premiers on Aug. 24 with back-to-back shows at 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on TLC.