Let's be honest: From worrying about staying within your budget to contending with pushy salespeople, the process of stalking down and eventually saying yes to your wedding dress can be extremely stressful. It can also completely be the time of your life. Heidi Janson, a bridal salon owner in Georgetown, Mass. and founder of Brides Across America, felt that if anyone deserves some extra insurance that the experience be the latter, it's military brides.
U.S. Air Force Captain Kim French is one recent, perfect example. People reports French was in Afghanistan last year, "sitting in a dusty, sweltering pick-up truck," wearing a "sweat-soaked uniform," and fantasizing about her dream wedding dress. She and her fiancé, Marine pilot captain reservist Bo Biddle, were on a tight budget, so she had planned on finding the dress second-hand.
While a second-hand dress can be amazing and much more affordable, there's something about having your very own, a "something new" dress that can help make your day especially memorable and personal. After the "very hard year of deployment" French had been through, not to mention the "depression and stress that follows," she notes, French was a prime candidate for Brides Across America ...
And just last month, on May 18, she walked down the aisle in a gorgeous, new A-line halter bridal gown courtesy of the organization. Her dress was one of more than 10,000 gowns the nonprofit has given away as part of their plan to help military brides and grooms fulfill their wedding dreams. If there was any doubt that BAA did just that for her, French confessed, "I felt more beautiful than I have ever felt." Awww!
Janson explained her motivation:
It's like a Cinderella moment, where just for a little while, you can help them smile and forget their struggle.
Sure, there's that escapism/fairy tale factor, but I'd argue the mental and emotional weight Janson's org lifts off of her brides is just as, if not more, important. The worry of the cost, the fit, the alterations, not to mention finding The One can be overwhelming. But thanks to Brides Across America, it doesn't have to be for so many deserving servicewomen and men.
Was there someone who helped alleviate some of your stress when it came to The Dress?