Brides Across America

It is not Wednesday, but when Laura Novak posted about this event/organization I hadn't yet heard about, I simply couldn't wait until Wednesday to share.

Brides Across America is an organization founded by Heidi Janson. It is a non-profit organization that unites military brides and bridal salons through an extraordinary event to support troops and their families.

In conjuncture with Veterans Day, participating salons will be giving away a designated number of wedding gowns to women who are engaged and are on active duty in the military or who have fiances serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The gowns, available in sizes 4-22, will be given away on a first come basis; most dresses are samples and overstock ranging in price from $500-$3000 from designers such as Watters and Watters, Allure Bridals, Impression Bridal, and Marisa Bridal.

I am in awe of the generosity of this organization and the participating shops and designers. What an extraordinary acknowledgment of the service and sacrifice that men and women in the military and their loved ones make, most especially during an oversees deployment.

This is a topic near and dear to my heart. For those of you who have been reading for a while, you might have gathered that my husband is in the military. While I haven't elaborated greatly on this before, he was Active Duty until this past June, and he is now in the Reserves.

We married two years ago in a civil ceremony before he deployed to Afghanistan, and we had a wedding and reception for family and friends this past March, after he returned home from his deployment.

The shop Laura posted about is in Delaware, but there are participating shops in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.

I don't know how many readers out there are military brides, but if you are or if you know any, this looks like an event worth checking out. To participate, all military brides must show proper ID, copy of deployment papers, orders or other qualifying proof.

Now, if only they'd had this event last fall when I was planning my wedding ;)

Our March 2008 Wedding. Image by Alison Portis Photography

**All gowns shown above are simply examples of the mentioned designers' work, not necessarily dresses that will be available at the events.


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