Spring and summer wedding planning season is in full swing. One of the toughest decisions, and most costly, is the wedding gown. That is why Brides Across America and stores like Poffie Girls of Gastonia, are offering free gowns to some very lucky brides.
I met Kim Parnell at Poffie Girls. She was engaged to Sergeant First Class Brandon Parnell who served in Iraq in 2005 and 2006. She resigstered with Brides Across America and found her perfect gown at Poffie Girls. Holding her husband's medals she described to me why the gift of a gown means so much. "This symbolizes all the integrity all the honor all the courage that all the America soldiers do for us every day. Brides Across America and Poffie Girls, they know not just my story they know everybody's story and they really made me appreciate the Army and make me appreciate what they do for every girl.," she said fighting tears.
Participating stores like Poffie Girls in Gastonia, give thanks to the men and women who serve in the Armed Forces by donating wedding gowns. To qualify, you or your fiance must have been deployed within the past 5 years to Iraq, Afghanistan, Qatar, Bahrain, Libya, Kuwait, Korea or Japan and have not had a formal wedding. Or or your Fiance will have an upcoming deployment to any areas previously mentioned. You must register and bring specific paperwork with you the day of the event.
This year it's November 17th. In the last two years Poffie Girls has dressed 88 brides saving them thousands of dollars, and giving them a gift they'll never forget. "It represents my moment to live! Poffie Girls was able to donate this beautiful princess gown to make me feel like a princess the whole day and and make me dance like Cinderella all night long," Parnell told me.
Kim was number 22 in line in 2011. In 2 years, Poffie Girls has dressed 88 brides. Manager Vicki Jefferies says the day is unforgettable, the joy long lasting. "They were camping out on the grass the porch and they stayed there all night long temperatures in the 40s and the same thing happened again last year it's excitement on both sides but such a joy to be able to give back," Jefferies said.
"It was all because of Poffie Girls and Brides Across America I could have never got a dress like this if it wasn't for them. I couldn't have had a wedding I would have to had put the money toward other things," Parnell says with a smile.
Find out if you qualify, and register. And if you plan on going to the event, consider camping out- most years ladies get there the night before!!
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