It’s hard to imagine anything else making so many ladies so happy at the same time– except maybe an NFL players strike.
We’re talking about Friday’s wedding gown giveaway at Morristown’s i do…i do…
For Veterans Day, the South Street shop was handing out 100 bridal dresses–some worth $3,000–to veterans, active-duty military personnel, and their fiancées. The date was 111111, which is how the military folks in our video rated the shop: No. 1.
“They were so helpful, so wonderful. There were even free cupcakes. I couldn’t ask for anything better,” said Kelsey Burrell, proudly clutching a $2,200 gown and a goodie bag that included a free corset for the dress. The Bridgewater resident said she is marrying a National Guardsman from West Orange who is scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan.
It was first come, first served on Friday, and the first gown-hopeful showed up at midnight, 10 hours ahead of the shop opening, said Laura Bianco of My Bellissima, a Morristown wedding planning service that was on hand to assist i do…i do. The Dain Shoppe was there to help with undergarments, while Enjou Chocolat provided…well, take a guess.
Air Force veteran Angel Athy drove from south Jersey to pick out a gown for a friend from the military–and left with a dress for her wedding, too.
“I drove two hours, and it was totally worth it,” said the former staff sergeant, whose tears of joy quickly gave way to a huge grin. Servicewomen often get overlooked when veterans are honored, Angel said, expressing gratitude to the Morristown shop owners.
Leia Marley of i d0…i do…, said she and co-owner Patricia Lipper wanted a way to thank our servicemen and women for their service.
“It’s just a fun thing to do,” Leia said. “It gives us a ton of satisfaction to see all these girls in these beautiful white gowns.”
The gowns were samples or discontinued models. “It’s not fair to have 100 dresses sitting upstairs that nobody gets any use of,” Leia said.
Mary Zaruma’s eyes welled with tears when she saw herself in her new gown. She has served two tours in Iraq with the Army National Guard and is getting married next year.
“What I’m getting right now is a blessing,” Mary said of her dress. “I’m very happy.”