EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- A local bridal store celebrated Veteran’s Day today, by giving away free bridal gowns to military brides.
This is the second year the Bridal Shoppe in Eau Claire is holding the military giveaway. And after three hours of trying on gown after gown, one local bride did not go home empty-handed.
"It feels so good, my mom and I had a moment jumping up and down and almost crying,” said military bride Ashley Pliscott.
This fall has been a very exciting season for the 18 year old Ashley Pliscott: she got engaged this October to 20-year-old active duty airman Bryan Smetana of Black River Falls, and just a month later she got her dream gown completely free.
"What are the odds of me marrying somebody that's active duty air force and they are giving away the dresses right around the same weekend I was going to go shopping for it, it's been great, more than I can ask for,” said Pliscott.
Pliscott and Smetana met when he was already stationed in Florida. The couple has been dating long-distance since they met, and haven't been together for more than a few days at a time for a whole year. Smetana just signed another two-year contract, and could be deployed anytime.
"It's hard enough with someone being gone, and planning a wedding can be a lot of stress, so it's just one last thing they have to worry about,” said the owner of the Bridal Shoppe, Shannon Lindquist.
The shop has given out up to 5 dresses in the past, but since Pliscott was the only military bride at the doors this morning, she even got upgraded to the more expensive gowns to choose from, all of which were donated by the store.
"Giving a gift like that to a family that sacrificed so much to our country is just wonderful, they aren't words to describe it,” said bride’s best friend Rachel Mortel.
Because Pliscott was the only bride at the store, she received a package deal give-away which is a brand new addition this year. That includes, hair, make-up, cake, photography, alterations, flowers, spa and tanning...all free for her wedding day in August.