NEW YORK - It's a good thing Anne Barge wasn't wearing one of her elegantly designed wedding dresses Wednesday morning.
"We were sitting on the sofa drinking coffee," Barge said. "I think my coffee went all over the place and I screamed." A wedding dress Barge designed was chosen as one of four for NBC's "Today's Throwing a Wedding." (See it here.)
Although she was the designer, she had no prior notice her dress was the winner.
"I heard it just like everybopdy else," she said. "I just couldn't even believe they had said number three had won. The way they set it up, I was just sure one of the others was going to be announced as the winner."
"I truly almost did lose my breath. I am not sure I have gotten it back."
Barge said she was proud of her design. Confident, even. But, she never knew the impact the dress would make on the millions of viewers who took part in the contest.
"It's just absolutely incredible," she said. "Not only am I not fom New York, but I am from South Georgia. It's just incredible to put us on the map like that -- to have something like this to happen."
"I never dreamed anything like that could happen, even this morning."
The dress, whose look is described on Today's web site as 'Queen for a day,' will be worn by 33-year-old Seneca later this year when she weds Chris, 35, both of Erie, Michigan.
The regal white silk satin ball gown features a magnificently hand-beaded and embroidered bodice and full – yet not poofy – double box-pleated skirt. The bodice design incorporates a floral motif sewn with sterling silver thread, Swarovski crystals, pearls and glass beads.
The v-shaped inset at the waist accentuates a lovely figure. Its scooped neckline and tiny cap sleeves accentuate the collarbone and neck while adding to the gown's sophisticated appeal. And, because of the way it’s made, the ball-gown skirt won't be too overwhelming for a petite stature.
"I like the fact that it is not typical," Barge said. "It is cap sleeved. It's one of my favorite dresses we've ever done."
Anne Barge now lives in Atlanta where she has a shop at the Four Seasons Hotel. She also has a showroom in New York. Many of her gowns have been featured in popular bridal magazines. Barge began designing wedding gowns five years ago.
"I'm buckling my seatbelt," Barge said. "It's unbelieveable how many viewers responded to this program. I just can't imagine how it might affect my business. I'm just thrilled beyond words."
Barge said she hasn't received an official invitation from the couple but hopes she be at the wedding. "I certainly do hope I will be there to fluff her up."
She also remembered her roots, giving much credit to South Georgia for her design winning.
"I'm here for everybody from South Georgia because I know ya'll made it happen and I really do appreciate it."