Much can be said about the big, bad, greedy wedding industry, determined to separate brides and grooms from their hard-earned money. So it’s nice to know that some wedding vendors out there are showing a softer side, providing services free of charge to those who deserve it most.
Bridal salons, photographers, florists, and ordinary citizens who want to do a good deed… there are more of them out there than you might be aware of!
Photo from Jamie Collins Photography
Free Gowns for Military Brides
Want to help support our troops and their families? Bridal salons are uniting across America to donate and give away wedding gowns to qualified military brides. Brides Across America is giving away free wedding gowns in the month of November on a first-come-first-serve basis. For a list of participating designers and locations of the National Giveaway Event, visit Brides Across America!
… and a Free Wedding!
Colorado’s 9News reports that Post 11-11, a group of military moms, sisters and wives, has put together a free wedding package for anyone engaged in active military duty, in need of a free wedding. They will draw a name on Nov. 11, Veteran’s Day, to decide on the lucky couple. To enter, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a story about the couple, a picture, contact information and their Commanding Officer’s contact information. For additional info, contact Cindy Borrego at 720-971-2271. Time is running out, enter before November 11!
Photographers Fighting Cancer
Blush Photo & Films in Massachusetts offers women undergoing cancer treatment up to 6-hours of free wedding photography. “One less expense can go a long way for women in cancer treatment who are planning a wedding. For people experiencing cancer treatments, their money and time should be spent on healing.” (Thanks to Manolo for this info) Contact Blush at (617) 970-2993.
In a similar story, British wedding photographers have pledged to give a day in October, November and December 2009 for any deserving couples who are willing to raise money for Cancer Research UK. Photographers4charity will chose one couple per county, who pledge to raise as much money as they can via the liaison officer’s “just giving” page. This program was initiated by Andrea Lane, herself a cancer survivor, to help those who’s lives have been “touched by cancer or other illness” and perhaps can’t afford a professional photographer.
Brides Against Breast Cancer
While not a free service, Brides Against Breast Cancer is another program that enables brides to “FIND THE GOWN OF YOUR DREAMS AND MAKE A WISH COME TRUE.” Bridal gowns are donated to the Nationwide Tour of Gowns (with over 32 yearly shows) by designers, manufacturers, bridal shops, and individuals. These gowns are available to brides-to-be at remarkable prices, ranging from $99 – $799, including designer gowns valued up to $8,000. The proceeds from these events bring a moment of joy into world of someone for whom a cure is too late.
If you are looking for something to do with your gown, consider donating it to Brides Against Breast Cancer. This gift, including shipping costs, is tax-deductible. You can also help in the fight against breast cancer by hosting a “Pink Envelope Bridal Shower” on behalf of the Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation.
A Wedding Gift in Challenging Times
In light of the challenges facing so many of us today, a group of small business owners from the North Shore have come together to present one deserving couple with a free wedding. Reason to Give was created to help one couple who has undergone challenges (be it financial, health related, etc.) celebrate their love and commitment to one another. Reason to Give is not simply a random contest; it is meant to “honor one special, deserving couple who would not otherwise be able to afford a wedding.”
Similarly, one deserving New England bride and groom will be awarded the free services of Jessica’s Country Flowers and Jamie Collins Photography (up to 5 hours) in Jessica’s 2010 Deserving Couple’s Contest. This is a need-based giveaway for one couple undergoing economic hardships and/or special circumstances. You can enter this giveaway via the Contact Form at Jessica’s Country Flowers website. (Mention that you found out about it from Style Me Pretty… click over to find out more!)
Wedding planner Liz Guthrie, owner of San Jose Wedding Consultants, feels that giving back to the community is one of the most amazing gifts she can think of as a wedding planner. The 2010 San Francisco Dream Wedding Giveaway is an upscale destination wedding valued at $100,000.00! Over 40 premier Bay Area wedding vendors will work together to designing the most unforgettable Wedding of the Year, for one very lucky couple in love. Contest closes November 25, so if you feel you are deserving of this amazing wedding, or know a couple that is, please enter soon!
The incredibly talented wedding photographer Caroline Ghetes wants to get in on the giveaway action too! She is looking for a deserving couple who has been through amazing obstacles just to be together… or are are struggling financially and could use a break… or have done so much good for others, it’s about time they had something good done for them! This lucky couple will receive unlimited wedding day coverage, plus a wedding package valued at over $3000! To enter, email your story and a picture by November 12, 2009 to both email@example.com AND firstname.lastname@example.org.
Couples Campaign for a Cause
From October 1 through December 31st of each year, couples can enter to win the $50,000 New Mexico Dream Wedding Giveaway. Five finalist couples will campaign in the New Mexico Community, conducting several fundraisers for the benefit of UNM Children’s Hospital. New Mexico residents are then are invited to log on to NMDreamWedding.com to vote for their favorite, most deserving couple. The winning couple is determined by the number of votes received, amount of charitable contributions raised, and over-all good sportsmanship during the campaign.
I’m sure there are many more great wedding giveaways available to deserving couples. If you have anything to add, please let us know in the comment section below!
“Good luck!” to all those who are tying the knot, and “Way to go!” to all those wedding vendors providing a lucky break to those who need it!