Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wedding Wednesdays: Brides Across America

Last week I had the privilege of attending the Boston Bruins Military Appreciation Night game with my family. My grandfather, who is a World War II vet, had the best time watching the game and meeting Dorchester's very own Jimmy Hayes afterwards. As part of these events, the Bruins invited a number of military support groups to attend the game and raise money or handout marketing materials about their organizations. One group I was able to speak with is Brides Across America. I told them I would feature them on my blog because of course they fit in perfectly for a Wedding Wednesday segment!

Deployments, financial hardships, and other challenges unique to servicemen and women can make it difficult to plan a wedding. Military brides, just like brides everywhere, dream of having the perfect gown for their wedding day. Brides Across America plays a role in making their dreams come true by giving them the opportunity to receive a free wedding gown during a Brides Across America's Nationwide Gown Giveaway. The giveaways take place twice a year, in July and November, to honor our troops around Independence Day and Veteran's Day. To attend, brides must first make sure that they meet all of the qualification requirements.

Brides Across America was founded in 2008 by Heidi Janson as she was inspired to do something special to express gratitude for the dedicated men and women of the United Sates Armed Forces.   Brides Across America began its work with a small network that donated time and resources to head up the inaugural program. In that first year, fifty gowns were given away to military brides.

The organization garnered the attention of ABC's Nightly News in 2011 and 2012, and People Magazine article in 2013. However, the highest honor was received during a 2012 White House event by Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden. The event recognized twenty organizations for their contributions to improving the lives of military families, Brides Across America being one of them. How special is that? The organization continues to support wounded warriors, post traumatic stress and employment for veterans.

There are three specific ways to get involved. You can host an event--meaning a gown giveaway if you are a bridal salon. You can donate to Brides Across America directly in which your contribution will go towards giving a military bride her dream wedding. Lastly, you can give a new or slightly-worn wedding gown to Brides Across America to use in their gown giveaway events. They accept gowns less than 5 years old, veils, tiaras and accessories. All donations help! The goal each year is to give over 2,000 dresses to military brides and your generosity makes it possible.

Recently, Brides Across America and have partnered to create a special collection of engagements rings with a portion of proceeds donated back to Brides Across America. From designer gowns to financial contributions, this organization's mission could not be possible without the help of the BAA sponsors including: Microsoft, Allure Bridals, The Ritz-Carlton and many more. Since Brides Across America is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, all donations are tax-deductible so I encourage you to consider donating today.

I know a number of couples who are both in the armed forces or just their significant other is serving and they face these challenges all the time as their relationship moves forward. It is amazing to see such initiatives as Brides Across America and people willing to contribute to this important cause. I want to personally thank this organization and wish them the best of luck as they continue to help our servicemen and women. Please devour the details of a donation today!

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