Maya Couture giving away wedding gowns for military brides

Posted at 8:19 AM, Nov 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-11 16:58:52-05

This Veterans Day, military brides here in Hampton Roads are getting the royal treatment.

We're talking about free designer wedding gowns!

NewsChannel 3’s Juliet Bickford went by Maya Couture Bridal Salon and met some inspiring brides who are now seeing their dreams come true.

For every bride, planning their wedding can be stressful.

Military brides have unique challenges.

“When's the big day?” asked Juliet.

“We don't know yet.  My fiancé is getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan,” says Jessica McHugh, a bride-to-be.

She may not have a date yet to marry her Army Staff Sergeant fiancé, but now she does have a dress thanks to Maya Couture.

As part of their "Brides Across America" celebration, the shop is giving away nearly 100 designer wedding gowns.

“It really is a fairy tale.  And I have to say this year I have seen more brides walk out with a gown that fits them perfectly that they really, truly are in love with,” says Maya Holihan.

Holihan was a military bride last fall so she understands what they're going through.

“I feel like we replace sometimes with their fiancé and other family members not being here.  And we really become family.  And I love that,” says Holihan.

Luckily Jessica had her mom with her today.

“You picked the dress!" says Juliet.

“By accident.  I saw the lace and she wants lace, lace, lace.  And none of the dresses she tried on had lace on them,” says Jessica’s mother.

And it looks like mom got it just right.

“Speechless. She's so lovely,” says Jessica’s  mother.

It's hard not to get choked up on such a special day.

Sara Weeks brought her friends to help pick a gown.

She's in the Air Force and planning an April wedding.

“Actually my job is your job.  I am an Air Force broadcaster,” says Sara.

She's assigned to the Air Combat Command Public Affairs Office at Langley Air Force Base.

But a day like this can leave even a professional broadcaster speechless.

“I am completely overwhelmed and humbled. This is awesome. I don't even know what to say!  I have a wedding dress for free,” says Sara.

“We are celebrating Veterans Day.  We are saying thank you to our troops. Yes, they get a free gown out of it, but there is a sentiment behind it.  And we want it to be a memorable and enjoyable day for them,” says Holihan.

And in the end, her goal is for each military bride to look beautiful walking down the aisle.

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