Bridal Designers Giving Back

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Making it ‘fashion’ to gift every girl the wedding dress of her dreams

As young girls, many of us have played ‘dress up’ with a toy chest full of costumes or even just our mother’s old dresses. I for one have childhood photos stumbling around in my Cinderella-style ensemble with mom’s heels that I stole from her closet and were way too big for my feet, paired with costume jewelry and plastic tiara…who else can dig up these gems from the family photo albums?

Twirling around and daydreaming about being a princess...these daydreams often coincide with being a bride⁠—getting to walk down an aisle in front of all your loved ones, in a dress that makes you feel the most beautiful, both inside and out. 

We’re brought up to dream of this day, this whole entire process of finding ‘the one’ (I’m talking the one and only wedding gown! Once you’ve already found your Prince or Princess Charming). There are entire TV shows built around this fantasy—we were even part of TLC’s very own Say Yes To the Dress with our bride Ally.  

But unfortunately, there’s too many women in this world who don’t ever get a chance to have that moment of pure bliss when they look in the mirror for the first time donning the wedding dress they’ve dreamt up since they were little. 

Be it finances, circumstance, illness, you name it, there are too many things that can get in the way of this occasion that every bride should get to experience. 

On the flip side, fortunately there are bridal designers who recognize this and make it a priority in their business to give back, gifting dream dresses to brides in need. 

Take Martina Liana Bridal for instance. We reached out to their atelier, Essense Designs, last year with the story of our pro-bono wedding couple, Marty and Lauren. Without any hesitation, they dug into their warehouse to find that they only had one left of Lauren’s size for her favored $2,999 wedding dress. Considering it serendipity, Essense Designs and Martina Liana Bridal rush-ordered the dress for Lauren—completely free of charge. It fit so perfectly, she only needed to hem the length. 

Inspired by this kindness from the bridal fashion industry, we decided to try and make a girl’s dream come true again this year with our upcoming pro-bono wedding for Jillian and Max. After enduring such physical and emotional hardship being diagnosed with breast cancer, it was thrilling to hear that Jillian knew exactly what wedding gown would make her feel like a princess on her special day. 

The Kenneth Winston, style BE454, wedding gown in ivory, sent Jillian into a reverie of happiness; yet she couldn’t afford it and still be able to cover her medical bills. 

Sharing this with the bridal designer, we were greeted with immediate action and gratitude to take part in the creation of such a special pro-bono wedding. 

“Wow this is just absolutely beautiful...we would absolutely love to provide the dress for Jillian! We are honored we are her selection! I am absolutely so thrilled. This fills my heart with so much joy for these two beautiful souls!” said Avery Niernberger, PR & Social Media Marketing for Kenneth Winston. 

We recorded Jillian’s reaction to this news, that she would be receiving her dream wedding dress free of charge, and it gave a warmth to every person in the room. “Every woman deserves to feel that beautiful all the time, but it's so nice she gets to feel so so special on her big day!” responded Avery.

Recently, we’ve seen more and more bridal fashion designers incorporating philanthropy into the business, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. 

One of the biggest announcements comes from Vera Wang, who partnered with Brides Across America to give military and first responder couples a VIP bridal fashion experience. 

Vera Wang Bridal’s New York City headquarters, who has created gowns for celebrity brides such as Victoria Beckham, Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Lily Aldridge and more, will gift 10 couples a private appointment to fit them with their wedding attire. Even the grooms will receive a BLACK by Vera Wang tuxedo. 

“To those that give so much, it is a privilege to help make their dreams come true," Wang told Brides of the new partnership.

Even the bridesmaids and groomsmen will be donated wedding attire from David's Bridal and Men's Wearhouse.

Stay tuned for more coverage on the gifts of wedded bliss with our pro-bono wedding and Vera Wang’s contribution, both debuting this October.