COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Several hundred Central Ohio brides-to-be are cutting one expense from their wedding day budget. Thanks to a donation from a major retailer, Goodwill Columbus gave out nearly 300 new wedding gowns Tuesday.
“Especially with the way the economy has been with the pandemic and things, this is a great way for people to be able to have a wonderful celebration on their wedding day,” said Vicki Christian, the community engagement coordinator for Goodwill Columbus.
According to bridal website The Knot, the average wedding dress can cost around $1,500 in the Midwest. The gowns donated to Columbus Goodwill, while significantly less expensive, would still cost $200-$300 each at retail price.
“Oh my gosh it would help tremendously if I could find something today and not have that extra expense,” said Tia Vandivier.
She explained 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, that just makes the budget all the better.”
Stuckey and her fiancé are planning a destination wedding in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in July 2022.
“The hope is with vaccinations and everything that we can have the 125 people we’re planning for,” she said. “Obviously, if not, we can plan on going forward with what’s going to happen.”
Tuesday, dozens of brides lined up at the 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 allowed to shop when their small groups were called to the racks of dresses size 12-30.
“As a bride, [they should] feel very special that they got something that’s going to make them look beautiful and have a very special day,” Christian said.
The event comes during Goodwill Industries Week and will continue to offer dresses while supplies last. Purchases made at Goodwill stores help support services and job training for people with disabilities and other barriers.