Indiana bridal shop offers military brides free wedding gowns - FOX 32 News Chicago

Indiana bridal shop offers military brides free wedding gowns

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Some military brides-to-be are getting a little patriotic blessing as they prepare for their weddings.

It’s part of a national program called Brides Across America and it’s making it possible for those young ladies to get wedding dresses for free.

Tuesday, Kayla Jellison drove from Indianapolis to Highland, Indiana to search for her perfect dress. Elegance Wedding & Evening Wear is the only store in the state taking part in the program.

“I like this one,” she said as her parents snapped cell phone pictures and looked on from the side.

Jellison is planning her wedding long distance. Her sweetheart, Clayton, is serving in the Army National Guard and is stationed in Afghanistan.

“I told him I would tell him about a couple of different ones, and let him decide for himself which one I actually get. I'm not going to tell him which one I get,” Jellison said, wanting the dress to be a surprise.

She is among several military brides choosing dresses from about two dozen possibilities being made available free of charge. The dresses normally would cost from $600-$1600.

“You need to have either you be in the military or your fiancé in the military, and have been deployed to a war area in the last five years or will be deployed in the future,” said Stefanie Fliter, the Elegance store manager.

Kayla and Clayton Jellison actually got married in a civil ceremony earlier this year, but are now planning a formal wedding for when he returns home next summer.

“We got married because of his deployment orders and so it was a quick kind of thing, we did it in February, he was leaving at the end of March,” she said.

For Jellison this is a great chance to have the wedding she really wanted to, but couldn't.

“I really like it I think it's really good that they're helping military brides especially ones in our situation where we are having to rush to get married,” Jellison said.

For her parents, the free dress is a blessing as well.

“It's going to make us be able to do more for her and her husband and just the overall wedding should be a whole lot nicer, bigger, better all because of this,” said Kayla’s father Lewis Gray.

And seeing his daughter's face light up as she tried on the wedding gowns…

“Just priceless, it's awesome,” Gray said.

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