"We are thrilled to once again salute the military by connecting with Brides Across America and helping military brides to realize their dream wedding," said Lorraine Fulks, owner of Treasured Moments.
Due to deployment, timing and economic circumstances, many military brides get cheated out of having their dream wedding. Treasured Moments owners Lorraine and Mark Fulks said they believe this is a way to "give back" and say thanks to the troops.
"Military brides who received dresses in the past have expressed their heart-felt appreciation to us. Many admit they would never would have been able to have afforded a dress so beautiful,” Fulks said.
She is one who knows what it is like to have a wedding when one of the couple is serving.
"My husband and I married while he was in the Air Force and lived the difficulties those in the military experience when planning a wedding,” Fulks said.
At the time, Mark was serving in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Colorado Springs, Colo. The couple tied the knot in a military wedding in the base chapel.
Once in the bridal gown business, they both agreed it was time to give back when they were first contacted by Brides Across America.
Since the initial contact, the Fulks have held a giveaway for military brides every November and July. This Friday’s event will be their fifth gown giveaway.
To qualify, brides must be engaged, be on active duty in the military, or have a fiance on active duty in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Libya or Japan. All military brides must show ID, copy of deployment papers, orders or other qualifying proof. Brides do not have to reside in the area where the giveaway is taking place.
Fulks said this year's event will feature 25 gowns. Some came from the business’s vendors while others are donated by the Fulks. The gowns range in price from $500 to $1,800 and will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis.
Treasured Moments will open at 10 a.m. Friday and each bride-to-be will have to wait outside to be paired up with a consultant before heading into the store to check out, and hopefully, select a gown.
Brides who show up with their fiance will get to meet Mark Fulks, who is now a commercial pilot that enjoys taking the day off to visit with the couples.
The Fulks are also expanding on this promotion this year by offering 25 percent off bridal gowns to military brides who may not meet these guidelines.
“We like to help promote military spirit with this promotion," Fulks said.
Those in attendance will also enjoy refreshments and opportunity to bring home prizes donated by supporting vendors.
For more information about the program, visit www.bridesacrossamerica.com.
Photo special to the Town Crier
Anne Hough drove in from Dublin, Ohio, to claim her free wedding gown for military brides during last year's Veterans Day celebration event at Treasured Moments Bridal in Boardman. Now in its third year, this event has continued to grow.