Along with everyone all over Canada and across the globe, we watched as the enormous, destructive power of the Fort McMurray wildfire burned through the community and wreaked havoc in northern Alberta. And, like everyone all over, we wished there was something more we could do than simply donate. Then we learned of Elise.
From Ginny, our Toronto bridal boutique’s store manager:
“I wasn’t prepared to meet Elise.
I had come into the shop that morning expecting a relatively easy day – a few clients, a handful of emails to answer and perhaps an extended lunch break.
The first note in my inbox changed those plans. It was from a woman named Tara, reaching out on behalf of a friend who was working with a bride from Fort McMurray. The bride and groom, she said, had been planning get married in Toronto over the weekend – it was the halfway point between friends and family in Cape Breton and their adoptive home in Fort McMurray. A few days before they were scheduled to fly east, wildfires tore through the town and residents were evacuated. Much of the region was destroyed. Elise’s wedding dress, at the home of a seamstress, was gone, too.
Of course, I was happy to help. Elise came in straight from the airport, with her mum and Alex, the photographer who had set out to help her find something to wear. I did my best to make sure our appointment was just like any other, all the while knowing that I couldn’t replace what had been her dream dress.
There were a few emotional moments, but eventually Elise narrowed it down to two dresses: the Astrid and Mercedes Luna and the LBB Collection Josephine. “Why don’t you wear one for the ceremony and one for the reception,” I asked. “Take both.”
Two days later, Elise and Brandon married in an intimate ceremony on Toronto Island. Their story was shared across the country and around the world. I never expected such a response and the support we have received is overwhelming. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us and best of luck to Elise and Brandon on beginning this new chapter of your life together, whatever it may bring.”
Donations can be made here to the Red Cross’s Alberta Fires Appeal campaign in support of victims’ relief.