Image Credit: Chris Ragazzo/WE tvI don’t know wedding planner David Tutera personally, but after many a nights spent watching My Fair Wedding on WE tv, I certainly feel like I do.

Our non-relationship started in 2008 when I watched my first episode of Fair Wedding. On the show, David (we’re on a first-name basis) takes a bride’s doomed wedding and turns it into her dream affair using the utmost care and thoughtfulness.

But what drew me most to David as a reality personality was not the lavish parties he throws or even his amazing eye for style. It was that in the course of a few weeks, he builds his bride’s confidence, teaches her about self-worth (“Dream big,” he often says), and shows each one of them genuine-looking compassion. And many of the women on the show truly need those lessons and gestures.

It’d be easy for Tutera to swoop in and create a giant event dripping in glamor, but he spends time with these girls, who he calls “my brides.” Often, at the end the show, they’ll give teary speeches about what he’s done for them and taught them (while I cry on the other side of the TV screen like a loser). He becomes their friend. Watching this time and time again has had a strange effect on me. I feel almost like David Tutera is my friend.

Before you ask, yes, I’m aware of how demented this sounds, but it’s true. If I ever saw him in person, I fear I would to go up to him and start chatting like I’ve known him for years — and, of course, he’d probably run away in horror.

On one level, the show is certainly an addition-feeding entity. (I’m not and never have been engaged but have purchased wedding-related publications for longer than even I am willing to admit. ) But having jumped ship from wedding TV shows before — I’m looking at you, Bridezillas; your ungrateful, horrid brides deserve smacks in the face and not dreams-come-true — I know it’s more than the thrill of the event. I’ve stuck with Fair Wedding because of David. We share a passion for nuptials, and I appreciate his female-empowering message about having dreams and making them happen. For that, David Tutera is my best friend by way of reality TV. (I don’t know if that troubles me or not… probably not).

What about you, PopWatchers? Is there someone you feel like you’ve come to know (and love!) because of reality TV? (A.k.a.: Your reality TV BFF?)