COLORADO SPRINGS — The staff at the bridal and formal wear retailer Something New appreciate what a special moment it is for a bride to choose her wedding dress. It's why they make a big announcement to the store and then clap and cheer as she sees herself in the gown.
"Any bride, anybody that comes in really deserves the joy of a remarkable moment. And so, that's what we're about. We're about creating life moments here," said Sophia Burgo, the Customer Service Manager for Something New.
The retailer teamed up with Brides Across America to make the day even better Wednesday for around 30 to 40 women from the Pikes Peak Region by giving them free wedding gowns.
"We have wedding dresses that are donated all across the country and a few from people here in Colorado Springs," Burgo explained. "Any military and first responder brides get to pick one for free today."
Because of the risks they've faced during the pandemic, the charity expanded its Operation Wedding Gown giveaway last year to include brides who work as frontline health care employees. Burgo said they're committed to helping the women have a special experience.
"They come in and one of our professionally-trained stylists will get to style us head to toe and just make her feel the most beautiful hopefully she's felt in her entire life because this is such a special day that she gets to have," she said.
It's no small gift. The average price of a new wedding dress is about $2,000. Brides Across America raises money year-round for the event. The non-profit organization was founded in 2008 and works in collaboration with bridal salons and designers, such as Vera Wang, who has donated more than 27,000 wedding gowns and 27 weddings.
Burgo said Something New is a company that values giving back. They contribute a portion of their profits from each dress they sell to Children's Hospital Colorado and the Exodus Project, which helps fight human trafficking.
"We've donated some of our dresses to the event and people here have donated so that these brides can save on that, really, a chunk of money for their wedding and have that extra gift to give them," Burgo said.
To participate in Operation Wedding Gown, a bride must be employed in one of the qualifying occupations. To register and find future events, visit https://www.bridesacrossamerica.com