When a member of the military gets married, it can be a bittersweet moment. Amid the joy is the understanding that the bride or groom could be deployed and the new couple would face separation, worry and danger. Brides Across America wants to thank military families and add a little to the sweetness of the occasion by offering brides free wedding dresses. Participating bridal shops across the country will hold special one-day events between November 6th, 2012, and November 24th, during which qualifying brides can choose a wedding gown – first come, first serve. The only cost for brides is a $20 tax deductible donation.
Locally, Poffie Girls, at 512 South New Hope Road in Gastonia, is participating. The event will take place November 18th, 2012, 12:30pm to 4pm. Some people do camp out or get there early in the morning to get a good spot in line. At the bottom of this post I tell you how to pre-register, which is required.
The program is intended for couples in which one of the members has recently been deployed or will soon be deployed. In order to qualify, the participant must be engaged, or must have had a civil ceremony and is planning a wedding within the next 18 months. The participant must not have had a formal wedding yet. The bride or groom must have been deployed within the past 5 years, or will be deployed, to Iraq, Afghanistan, Qatar, Bahrain, Libya, Kuwait, Korea or Japan.
On the day of the event, brides must bring a driver’s license or military ID for verification and must also bring a copy of deployment papers for bride or fiance that states the time of deployment and location.
Brides must pre-register. The registration includes the name of the bridal salon, your approximate dress size and the $20 donation. You can find a list of participating bridal salons, by state, on the front page of Brides Across America’s website.