Military Brides Get Free Dresses at Annual Event
July 20 event is part of national event.
Yvonne McCollough’s parents married quickly as her father deployed to fight in the Vietnam War.
Like so many wartime couples, planning the wedding and shopping for a dress was a rushed affair. Today, McCullough sees brides in the same situation at her business, Bridal House of Charleston on Johnnie Dodds Boulevard.
And so on July 20, when she gives away 30 free dresses to military wives, she’ll think a lot about her mom and dad and hope to give a reward to military brides.
“Something like this would have been really helpful for my parents,” said McCullough, who is one of a handful of dress shops across the country participating in the Brides Across America effort.
This is the second year Bridal House has taken part in the program. It was enormously popular last year, and neighboring businesses chipped in.
“We had a line of about 10 women waiting when we got here at 7 a.m. that morning,” said McCullough, whose shop opens at 10 a.m. “Publix donated a cake and we had tons of coupons and other items.”
It might be worth the trip from Fort Bragg, or to plan your vacation in Charleston, the beaches are great there and think of the money you'd save on a free dress!
The shop had a raffle at the end of the day. This year, McCullough has both upped the number of dresses being offered and more businesses have donated to add to raffles, she said.
The dresses are overstocks, typically, but are still worth between $500 and $3,000, according to a Brides Across America news release. Gowns are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and supplies are limited.
There are some rules. Brides or their fiancé must be active-duty service members. They must either be deployed or have been deployed within five years to Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Libya or Japan. Identification and deployment papers must be presented on July 20 to qualify.
Inevitably, some dresses won’t fit or a bride won’t find something that suits their tastes. Bridal House is also planning a storewide sale on July 20. Some dresses will be marked down as much as 50 percent, McCullough said.
Last fall a Gastonia location near Fayetteville and Fort Bragg had this exact giveaway.
For more information, visit Charleston Bridal House or Brides Across America.