Hamilton bride gets Bada Bling treatment
Before she knew it, Charlene Esposto-Scheibler was belting out an aria in the middle of a bridal shop.
There was something about being a bride that made her want to sing. She's got the voice for it. The 28-year-old Hamiltonian is a trained soprano. She was gown shopping for her September nuptials at a Woodbridge boutique.
"My mom, being the Sicilian mother that she is, is bragging about my singing abilities, so the next thing you know - in my wedding gown - I'm singing Ava Maria and the whole store, and stores next to them are coming in to see what's going on," Esposto-Scheibler said.
That performance landed Esposto-Scheibler a cameo in TLC's new reality show Bada-Bling Brides.
The series revolves around the D'Agostino family's Italian bridal shop. It's the place to for over-the-top, couture gowns meant for extravagant brides.
The shop owner, Leah D'Agostino, suggested a few brides to TLC. Esposto-Scheibler was the one she remembered. "They're from the same town with us in Sicily, and there you go, you've got an instant family," she said.
Esposto-Scheibler had to go through an audition. TLC liked what they saw and heard. Then she returned to the shop to film her first fitting for the show.
"It was funny because I was originally supposed to be there to find my gown and the owner was showing me my dress... of course I was clearly in love with it and she took it out right away and said, 'Try this one on," she said. "I'm used to being on the stage and acting through things but I thought, 'How can I act through this? This is my dress! How can I pretend that I don't want this one. This is mine!""
She's no stranger to showbiz. Esposto-Scheibler had an accomplished singing career by the age of 7. By 11, she was singing with the Hamilton's Children's Choir, and eventually took on the role of head chorister.
She has sung for stars like Celine Dion, at Dion's Toronto stop of her Let's Talk about Love tour. And, she even sang for Pope John Paul II at World Youth Day in 2002. But, for the last few years her singing career has been on hold. Her singing voice has been silent while her mind focuses on school.
"For me, academics are huge," she said. "It's an important part of my family."
That means Esposto-Scheibler is not just the bride with the golden voice. She just graduated with a Master's in psychology. She plans to put her education to use in the field of market research. But her need to sing still calls.
"I do have a passion for singing and I love being in front of everyone, it's what I was born to do," she said. "Eventually my career will have to involve me being in front of people, me guiding people, me inspiring people... That's why I enjoy singing so much.
Esposto-Scheibler is now taking on singing opportunities in the community, trying to become more known. She recently performed at the Good Shepherd Centre's harvest dinner.
"I'm so excited to have people inspired by my voice, it's so humbling," she said. "It's a beautiful experience. I look forward to it every time it happens."
All Esposto-Scheibler knows about TLC's Thursday night show is she'll have a short appearance and there will be a clip of her singing. She'll watch at home with her new husband and her mom.
"It'll only be for a few minutes, but that's great for me," she said. "It's an amazing opportunity."
The show airs Nov. 8 at 10 p.m. on TLC.