Graduate Student Wins Designer Wedding Dress, Trip to NYC

Her appearance in “On the White Carpet” on NBC's National Digital Network airs Oct. 10

Oct. 10, 2012

Nicole Buckreis

Nicole Buckreis chose this dress at the bridal boutique Pronovias.

Nicole Buckreis’ wedding is still a year away, but the UT Dallas graduate student has already collected a big gift.

She won a national contest that brought her a designer wedding gown and an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City. The online contest was sponsored by On the White Carpet, a TV show airing on NBC’s national digital network. The program offers advice on wedding planning and shopping.

Buckreis, who is earning her master’s degree in speech language pathology at UT Dallas’ School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, got engaged in June.

She was just starting to prepare for her big day planned for next October in Azle when she decided to enter the contest on a whim. She was shocked when NBC called to tell her the good news.

“Everyone was thrilled for me,” she said. “The reaction of Phillip, my younger brother, was the most surprising. He's a mellow, laid-back, down-to-earth guy. It was funny to hear him so pumped up about me winning a wedding dress.” 

In addition to the wedding gown from high-end bridal boutique Pronovias, she won round-trip air travel to New York, two nights in a Manhattan hotel and the excitement of being featured in the episode.

Nicole Buckreis with Angelina Vivolo Cicala, executive producer of On the White Carpet.

Buckreis (left) went to New York with her sister Kristen (right) as part of her prize. They are shown here with Angelina Vivolo Cicala, executive producer of On the White Carpet.

Before she flew to New York with her sister, Kristen, Buckreis sent her measurements and style preferences to the store director, who selected five dresses for Buckreis to try on.

“We stayed in an awesome hotel very close to Times Square. A stretch limo picked us up from our hotel and took us to the Pronovias Store,” Buckreis said.

She said she felt a bit awkward with a cameraman capturing her every move for the show. While working hard to appear natural, she was constantly wondering whether she should be smiling or looking in a different direction. After trying on dresses and then twirling around in her gown of choice, she answered questions about her fiancé and their engagement.

“When it was finished I had a hard time remembering what I said,” she said. “My sister had to reassure me that I didn't sound like a complete dork.”

The dress she selected is from the Manuel Mota 2013 collection. It has a v-neckline, with an open back and is covered in lace.

She and her fiancé, Jaime Andres Burgoa, plan to have simple wedding with a rustic feel. His family will fly in from Bolivia, and many of her relatives are planning to travel from Pennsylvania.

Buckreis earned her bachelor’s degree from UT Arlington and she is due to complete her master’s degree next May. She is now working as a graduate assistant at UT Dallas’ Callier Center for Communication Disorders in the Preschool Language and Development program.

Nicole Buckreis in front of NBC.

Buckreis’ appearance in “On the White Carpet” is scheduled to air Oct. 10.

“I find communication disorders to be a fascinating field, and I love how there are a variety of settings one can work in – a school, hospital, rehab center, etc.,” she said. “Communication is a basic human need, and it can be rewarding to know you are helping people.”

She is now completing an internship at an elementary school in Frisco.

Molly Augustine, a speech-language pathologist who oversees Buckreis’ work at Callier, said her “incredible skills and instincts” ensure that she will succeed in her career.

“I was thrilled when I heard she had won the dress,” Augustine said. “She is so deserving and has such a humble spirit. I can’t wait to see what dress she picked.”

Buckreis’ appearance on On the White Carpet is scheduled to air Oct. 10. She said her fiancé won’t be watching. “He can’t see my dress before the wedding day!” she said. “We’ll just have to record the show and let him watch next year.”


Media Contact: Emily Martinez, UT Dallas, (214) 905-3049, emily.martinez@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
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