If you’re a bride-to-be — and let’s face it, even if you’re not — you’ve probably seen at least a few episodes of TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress. The show features the goings-on at Kleinfeld, one of the premier bridal salons in New York City, where staff members assist brides in their quest to find the perfect wedding dress.
Imagine our surprise when we tuned in to watch the show, and caught a glimpse of a beautiful lawyer searching for a wedding gown. But this was not just any lawyer — this lawyer used to have an action-packed career as a stunt woman. These days, though, she gets all of her action inside of a courtroom.
So who is this stunt woman turned lawyer? Why did she decide to make such a drastic career change? And how did she snag her husband, the general counsel to a Fortune 500 company?
All of this and more, including some glamorous wedding photos, after the jump….
Our derring-do bride is none other than Christie Vetter (née Sanders), who has more than 50 film and television credits to her name according to her IMDb profile. She’s appeared alongside Michelle Williams in Dawson’s Creek, and has performed as a stunt double for actresses like Linda Cardellini (ER), Rachel Bilson (The O.C.), Hilary Duff (Joan of Arcadia and Material Girls), Jessica Simpson (Major Movie Star), and Kiele Sanchez (A Perfect Getaway).
Vetter got her start as a stunt double when she moved back to Florida with an acting degree in hand from the University of Texas at Austin. Her father had insisted that Florida was supposed to be the “new Hollywood east,” so Vetter got a SAG card and started singing and dancing in a live show at Universal Studios.
During breaks from the show, Vetter saw some stunt men socializing together on the Universal Studios lot. After a few meetings, they invited Vetter to learn their trade. As a former cheerleader, Vetter was very excited about the opportunity to use her skills in a new specialty. Vetter quickly learned the ropes, and eventually got her big break on the show Dawson’s Creek in February 1998. Following her appearance on the show, Vetter’s career as a stunt woman took off, and she’s had many memorable moments, from Billy Bob Thornton playing with her hair, to saving Jessica Simpson’s life.
But Vetter soon realized that she wouldn’t be able to work as a stunt double forever — so she decided to apply to law school. Vetter applied to nine law schools, and got into eight. She decided to attend the University of Florida Levin College of Law, and began school in the fall of 2007. Little did Vetter know that she was entering the legal profession in a time where her background in stunt work might prove useful. After all, she’d been set on fire before. She was better prepared than most for when the legal hiring market went down in flames.
FlaLaw Online has more on Vetter’s decision to leave her stunt career behind for law school:
“I’ve always been intrigued by law and thought it was interesting; I just never saw myself doing this as a career,” Sanders said. “After 50 films and 13 years in the business you kind of know [it will end] one day. You’re being hit by cars and thrown through windows; I’ve been set on fire, I’ve jumped off cliffs.” …
And although she said coming to law school was one of the hardest decisions she’s ever made, she has no regrets with her choice to come to UF Law.
“It’s something they can never take away from me. I can get older, break in half and not be able to do stunts, but you can do law forever,” Sanders said. I was really excited and it’s great to learn again. I took a break from school so it’s a lot different from when I first went to undergrad, but I think I made the right decision.”
Vetter is now an associate at Wetherington, Hamilton & Harrison, P.A., a small firm located in Tampa, Florida, where she handles commercial litigation actions.
So how did Vetter wind up on TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress? We reached out to her for comment on her unusual career path, and for all the details about her appearance on the show. We’ve even got the scoop on how she met her husband, David Vetter, general counsel to Tech Data, a Fortune 500 company.
As it turns out, someone was a little hot for teacher….