It was a dream day for some military brides Thursday, as dozens of shops across the country participated in the Brides Across America campaign by giving out free wedding dresses to honor troops and their families.
One hundred gorgeous wedding gowns were waiting for the women who lined up outside Glitz Bridal in Bellevue. This is the third year the shop has given military brides the centerpiece for their dream day through the Brides Across America event.
"Some women, their guy gets deployed and they never get to have the wedding of their dreams," said Ann Miller, with Glitz Bridal.
That's why Aeriel Shiraef was in line at 4:30 a.m. She is a former soldier, who married another soldier between deployments, but she's finally getting to plan a wedding for this fall when he gets back from Afghanistan.
"It's hard to believe there is someone out there who would donate dresses to military wives or fiancees," Shiraef said.
"Every designer has discontinued dresses that they need to do something with, so my dress designers, Allure, Magna Cetera, they just send us box loads of dresses," Miller said.
The dresses of lace, sparkling beads and satin would normally cost anywhere from $700 to $1,700, but on this day they are absolutely free. The only requirement is that the bride show papers with past, present or future deployment orders for herself or her groom.
They modeled, hugged and cried.
"In a bridal store, we love to see tears of happiness," Miller said.
And Shiraef's moment of joy came just 20 minutes after she walked in the door.
"I love it. It is beautiful. It is everything I could dream of in a dress," she said.
The event runs until 6 p.m., and there will be another Brides Across America event close to Veterans Day.
Brides can register online, and you can find out how to donate a dress there, too. For more information, visit: http://www.bridesacrossamerica.com/.
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