Free Wedding Dresses – Another Way to Reach Out

Post a Comment » Written on March 12th, 2009     
Filed under: News
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO (March 12, 2009) – A woman with three children and Muscular Sclerosis could not afford a dress for her upcoming wedding. Another woman’s father is dying, so the family was unable to purchase a wedding dress for his daughter. A bride-to-be and her fiancé are saving the money to attend Bible College in Hungary, which meant she probably would have no gown for their nuptials in two weeks.

They were among 65 women who took home a dress from Living Hope Covenant Church’s second “Bless This Dress” Bridal Gown giveaway held February 28.

Suzanne Ralston, one of the event organizers, says the giveaway thrilled the participants, including the Bible College student. “She was so excited to have a wedding dress just two weeks before her wedding that she wouldn’t take the gown off for two hours.”

Bride“We heard of quite a few women who were just going to go to a justice of the peace because they didn’t think they could ever afford a nice wedding dress,” Ralston says. “We encountered many women who were crying tears of joy, because they were realizing that their hopes and dreams were coming true, despite their circumstances, despite the economy – all because a church wanted to love on these women.”

The anticipation was evident early in the morning. Although the event was scheduled for 1-4 p.m., the first bride-to-be arrived at 9:30 a.m. and others lined up outside by 11:30 a.m. Click here to see additional photos.

Admission was $30. If women found a dress that fit, they could take it home for free, says Ralston.

This event doubled in size from last year, Ralston says. This year, there were 71 brides, 111 dresses, 30 volunteers, and 15 vendors or sponsors, Ralston says. “Of the 71 brides, 65 took a dress home.”

Ralston says the church held the giveaway to minister to the community. “We want to be a blessing to our community, especially during hard economic times,” she explains.

The church also benefitted, raising $2,400. Two television stations broadcast stories prior to the event.

Two women who previously owned a bridal shop donated the dresses, Ralston says. “When the store closed, they kept much of the inventory and were delighted to see it put to good use.”

The community also responded as people heard about the giveaway. Women in the Colorado Springs area whose weddings never occurred donated more than 30 new dresses after reading a newspaper article.

“It was a delight to see a church rally around what we could give to the community and how we could tangibly bless our community,” Ralston says. “We also found a community anxious to give.”

For more information, please call the church at 719-531-5101.

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