Surrey woman reaches out to help brides affected by New Westminster fire

Courtesy: Facebook

Marisa Wiens says she was not sure what to do with her wedding dress that was sitting in her closet for years until she heard the news of a devastating fire in New Westminster.

The fire wiped out three dozen businesses on Columbia Street last Thursday, including Golden Brides – a popular bridal store that moved into the affected building just last year.

The fire destroyed much of the store’s merchandise, leaving many brides without their wedding gowns.

The 31-year-old child care worker from Surrey says she was inspired to help when she saw a Facebook status update from her friend, who said she would be willing to lend her dress to the brides-to-be whose wedding dresses were destroyed in the fire.

“That sort of sparked the idea that I will be willing to donate my dress for a good cause, because I am sure it is difficult if you are going to be married soon, and all of a sudden the place burns down.”

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So Wiens started a Facebook page to connect affected brides and people who are willing to donate or lend their used wedding dresses.

The page — called Gowns for Golden Brides — already has 71 “likes” and Wiens says she’s been getting a lot of response to the project.

Many members are leaving information on colour, size and even pictures of their wedding dresses on the page’s Wall.

This morning, Alex Cullen left a message on Wiens’ Facebook page, saying her wedding dress was at the store.

“Thanks so much for thinking of this, I am not in as much of a panic as some girls are, my wedding isn’t until next July, but what a blow! it is so unbelievable.”

Another comment — from Cheryl Steinkampf — reads, “I would love to help. Married happily with 2 boys so no daughter to donate. I would like to give a hope and future to a bride.”

Affected brides and people willing to donate can private message Wiens to coordinate on how to get in touch.

Wiens says she expects a lot of dresses will need to be altered or dry cleaned.

Wiens is donating her own dress, but says last time she used it, she was break dancing at her own wedding in it.

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“It would be awesome if somebody could dry clean it. Because my dress will definitely need to be dry cleaned,” laughs Wiens. “Somebody else can now have the dress and break dance in it and have a good time…It is always good to give back. I am not going to use it again, so I figured it was an awesome opportunity to give back to the community.”

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