Free Wedding Gowns for Military Brides; Brides Across America Is At It Again

For military brides, and fiancés of deployed military men, a fairy tale wedding is usually only a dream. Being stationed across the world for months or years at a time can hinder any grand wedding plans that a bride has imagined her entire life. 

But not all her fantasies will necessarily go by the wayside. In fact, she can get the perfect wedding gown, thanks to Brides Across the America, a six-year-old organization that supports military brides. 

In Oakville, Connecticut, the organization will team up with The Wedding Embassy to roll out their annual drive on July 12 and 13, to offer these brides a free wedding dress.

Brides Across America founder, Heidi Janson, stated that the event helps remember the sacrifices fiancés make when their husbands-to-be get deployed, as well as when engaged military women are sent overseas for duty. 

“A wedding is something everyone loves and to give a wedding gown to support our troops makes perfect sense! This is our gift to them, to say thank you for their service and sacrifice,” Janson says. 

The Wedding Embassy is also just one of over 60 bridal salons working with Brides Across America to fit military brides with the perfect gown for their big day. In Ankeny, Iowa, the Bridal Connection will host its annual red carpet event for military brides on July 3. The company expects that 20 designer gowns will reach the hands of these brides during the soiree.

Brides Across America was founded in 2008 by Janson, who wanted to do something to help men and women that serve in the armed forces. The first year of Janson’s efforts saw at least 50 gowns distributed to military brides, but the campaign has ballooned in recent years, with 2013 garnering 12,000 dresses. 

The organization was also featured in People Magazine last year, and in 2012, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Dr. Jill Biden, recognized the company during an event to celebrate organizations that help military families. 

These bridal giveaways could be the key to helping fiancés of deployed soldiers, and military women, save money on the expenses a wedding incurs. Studies show that couples spend an average of $28,000 on weddings in the U.S

In order to qualify, brides must either be currently deployed, have a future deployment scheduled, a fiancé serving the military, or have been deployed to Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan, or Korea in the last five years. Brides will also need to prove their eligibility with deployment papers and proper identification.