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NMSU employee says 'I do' on TV reality show

If you ask Michelle Bernstein, she'll say fairy tales don't just happen on TV.


In her case it did, but it wasn't scripted. This time it will be her and fiance Juan Haro playing the lead roles on TNT's "Wedding Day," a new Mark Burnett/DreamWorks reality show.

"We want to be an example that dreams really do come true for normal, everyday people," Bernstein said.

Their marriage ceremony was taped last December and their segment airs at 7 a.m. MDT Saturday, July 11.

British TV producer Burnett is behind such hit series as "The Apprentice" and "Survivor."

According to TNT's Web site, the show intends to ensure deserving couples from all over the United States get a helping hand to guarantee their wedding day is most memorable.

Throughout the show, viewers will learn each couple's story from their first date to their wedding day.

Michelle and Juan were cast after they learned the show was looking for a couple in which one or both partners are blind, or work in a field teaching the blind.

Juan was born with poor vision and by his early teens, was completely blind. He currently works as director of the New Mexico State Blindness Orientation Center in Alamogordo.

Michelle, who recently lost more than 100 pounds, is the assistant director of residential education and assessment in Housing and Residential Life at New Mexico State University.

Michelle is originally from Schererville, Ind., and Juan from the Los Angeles area. They have been engaged for six years and met through NMSU.

Most of the filming for the show took place in Southern California, where the couple tied the knot on Dec. 6, 2008, and in Alamogordo and the NMSU campus.

One of the most memorable experiences for Michelle and Juan was the way they were informed of being chosen to appear on the show.

As they arrived at the airport three days before the wedding, their family and friends were there to surprise them with the news.

"Once we had gotten over the initial shock of the incredible surprise of seeing our friends, family, Diann Valentine and Alan Dunn (the show's hosts), and tons of crew members at the airport, I was filled with a wonderful and overwhelming mix of excitement, disbelief and gratitude," Michelle said.

Juan was in the same state of shock.

"He has a very quiet wit and usually has a joke or a snappy response to everything, but he was totally silent," Michelle said.

One of the most important things about the wedding, according to Michelle, is that it brought together both families who reside on both ends of the country.

"It made our world much smaller and our support network much more tightly woven," Michelle said.

Michelle and Juan have not seen their episode yet. They, along with the rest of world, wait in anticipation for the airing of their "Wedding Day" segment.

"Juan and I hope to have the opportunity to make a difference in people's lives and share the joy we received from being on the show," Michelle said.