COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Several hundred brides-to-be in central Ohio are cutting spending from their wedding day budget. Thanks to a donation from a major retailer, Goodwill Columbus distributed nearly 300 new wedding dresses on Tuesday.
“Especially with the way the economy has been with the pandemic and things, it’s a great way for people to be able to have a wonderful celebration on their wedding day,” said Vicki Christian, the coordinator of the community engagement for Goodwill Columbus.
According to the wedding website The Knot, the average wedding dress can cost around $ 1,500 in the Midwest. The dresses donated to Columbus Goodwill, while much cheaper, would still cost $ 200 to $ 300 each at retail.
“Oh my God, it would help tremendously if I could find something today and not have that extra expense,” said Tia Vandivier.
She explained that the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic has made wedding planning more stressful.
“It feels like you don’t really know when things are going to come back and be a little more normal,” she said.
Danielle Stuckey, another bride-to-be, added: “If I get a free dress, it only improves the budget.”
Stuckey and her fiance are planning a destination wedding in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in July 2022.
“The hope lies in the vaccinations and whatever else we can have for the 125 people we are planning for,” she said. “Obviously if it doesn’t, we can plan what’s going to happen.”
On Tuesday, dozens of brides lined up at Goodwill retail stores on Morse Road in Columbus and Brice Road in Reynoldsburg. It was a first come, first served process. Each person was assigned a number and was allowed to shop when their small groups were called to the size 12-30 dress racks.
“As a bride, [they should] feel very special to have something that will make them beautiful and have a very special day, ”said Christian.
The event takes place during Goodwill Industries week and will continue to offer dresses while supplies last. Purchases made in Goodwill stores contribute to support services and vocational training for people with disabilities and other barriers.