Local bridal surprises for military brides
HUNTINGDON VALLEY, Pa. - July 14, 2011 (WPVI) -- There's a bonanza going on for military couples planning to tie the knot. One of the essential elements of their wedding day came for free.
Under the watchful eye of her future mother-in-law, Laura Costanza found "the" dress Thursday; the dress she'll wear at her wedding to Airman Bill Leggett on November 5th.
"I love her like a daughter," said Nancy Leggett, who also says her son is going to be ecstatic when he sees his bride in that dress.
Finding that perfect dress is a big moment for any bride, but it was extra-special for Laura.
That's because "Yes to the Dress", a three-week-old bridal boutique in Huntingdon Valley, teamed up with a national charity called "Brides Across America" to provide free wedding gowns to women who've served in the military, or who, like Laura, are engaged to military men.
"He was in Iraq in 2008, that was the last time he was in there, but he's still in the Air Force," said Laura Costanza.
"Yes to the Dress" owner Madison West took the concept even further, teaming with other professionals to provide free hair styling and makeup, photography and flowers for up to 25 brides who made appointments at the bridal boutique Wednesday and Thursday.
"My father was 25 years in the navy, and I believe that we owe everything to our military," said Madison West. "So for me, military and charity goes hand-in-hand."
Laura was a bit overwhelmed by all the attention.
"I did not expect this when I came in," said Laura. "I did not."
But on behalf of her future husband, she was very grateful.
"I'm getting it, but this is for him, too, and he knows that, and this will make him very happy. I'm very happy, because it's such a nice family. They're so nice," says an emotional Laura.
The event is over for this year, but Madison says as long as she can get the gowns, she hopes to make it an annual event.
pennsylvania, military, weddings, local/state, amy buckman
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