Stillwater News Press

October 14, 2013

Operation Wedding Gown gives free dresses to military brides

By Elizabeth Keys
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Many military brides find it difficult to plan their dream wedding due to deployment, injury or economic circumstances. Sometimes weddings have to be expedited due to military assignments and the couple can’t wait the six months required for a special ordered wedding gown. To help military servicemen and women who have faced deployment in their careers, Formal Fantasy, 121 E. Ninth Ave., is honoring Veteran’s Day with Operation Wedding Gown.

“We want to honor all the servicemen and women fighting for our freedom,” said Stacia Smith, owner of Formal Fantasy.

Smith said the bridal salon will thank “our heroes for their service and sacrifice by giving away free wedding gowns to military brides through Brides Across America.”  The event is noon to 5 p.m. Nov. 10 and 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 11.

Prospective brides in the military and brides with a fiance in the military must register to attend Operation Wedding Gown at www.bridesacrossamerica.com.

In order to qualify, brides or their fiance must be serving in the military either deployed, have a future deployment or have been deployed within the last five years to Iraq, Afghanistan, Middle East, Korea or Japan. Brides looking for a gown must preregister for the event and bring proper identification along with deployment papers to be presented the day of the event.

Often times military brides’ economic hardships prevent a fairy tale wedding. Brides Across America was born on a realization that the country needs to do more to support our troops and their families. If you are in the military, you have the option of wearing the traditional white dress or the military dress uniform just as your soon-to-be spouse will be required to wear his.

The Brides Across America’s program has donated more than 10,000 gowns to military brides. First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden recognized Brides Across America in the Joining Forces program, a national initiative to support and honor America’s service members and their families.

Formal Fantasy wants to make a difference and give military brides the opportunity to find the wedding gown of their dreams as well as alleviate the financial stress of purchasing a wedding gown, said Smith whose father and brother both served in the military.

“We have all styles and sizes including plus gowns up to size 30,” Smith said. “From ultra formal to modest or informal in both whites and ivories – just a large selection of beautiful gowns available for free to military brides.”

Smith earned a degree in apparel design from Oklahoma State University and can help a bride with a custom fitting, offering alternations if needed.  Her downtown Stillwater store has all new clothing, accessories, jewelry and shoes for weddings, proms, cruises and semi-formal events. More information is available at 405-780-7720 or www.formalfantasy.com.