After the wedding bells fall silent and the dancing is done, after all the food has been eaten and the gifts unwrapped, after the “I dos” and “good lucks,” there is almost always one thing that remains, the bride’s wedding gown.
By AMY WOLF | For The Record
After the wedding bells fall silent and the dancing is done, after all the food has been eaten and the gifts unwrapped, after the “I dos” and “good lucks,” there is almost always one thing that remains, the bride’s wedding gown. Some women carefully pack them away in the hopes of having a daughter who may one day dawn their beautiful dress covered in lace and memories. While others throw them back into their dress bags and shove them in a closet or tote, not thinking much of them for years down the road. Angel Gowns has now given these women a different option.
The branch of the organization based out of Casper, Wyoming is just one of many throughout the country under the NICU Helping Hands that provides the opportunity to women to make a difference with their dresses. With the donation of these bridal gowns, volunteers create beautiful outfits for infants who never make it home from the hospital. The loss of a child is something that hopefully most will never know, but for those facing such a deep loss, this is one less thing they need to think about in their time of grief. It’s a way for others, even as strangers, to let these families know that they care.
Four women from the Hettinger area have already donated to this wonderful cause. Kerry Dragoo, Sara Steiner, Samantha Zapata and I have decided that our wedding dresses no longer need to collect dust and instead would be better suited to a new purpose. I can’t speak for the other three, but for me it was about giving my dress meaning again, making it beautiful once more. I am no longer with the person who greeted me at the end of the aisle in my ivory ball gown but I still couldn’t fathom the idea of throwing it away or selling it as it once was a symbol of a perfect day.
I felt like this was a way to make something beautiful from something lost, to bring a little bit of love to someone else’s pain. This program is built solely off of donations and volunteers and is completely nonprofit. One sizable bridal gown alone can make upwards of 15 infant gowns and those who donate their time and skills do so purely out of love and caring, and in a few cases even out of understanding for what these families are going through. Kerry, Sara and Samantha were all very happy to donate their dresses. In fact, Kerry hopes that, “more people will do this instead of just getting rid of the gowns they don’t want,” and it is my hope that maybe with this article more women will choose this option as well.
Bev Lord, one of the volunteers in Casper said they are in need of donations now, more than ever and any assistance is greatly appreciated. There are no special requirements and they take the dresses as they are, doing any washing or repairing during the transformation process. She also provides pictures of the finished products if you choose to receive them. If you or anyone you know may be interested in donating, please contact me by phone at (605) 564-4444 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be taking these four gowns to Casper next month and would love to add more.