Gloria first became aware of The Brides Project from another volunteer, Fiona Nowlin. Fiona worked for Gloria’s company, Humantech, last summer, and they instantly bonded over their love of music, fashion (J Crew!), and new restaurants. Prior to working at Humantech, Gloria was traveling frequently to Florida for her old job. Now that she is settled in Ann Arbor, Gloria has been searching for a way to become more involved in the community.
Thanks to Fiona, Gloria learned about The Brides Project, and has been involved in consulting as well as with the recent fashion show at Briarwood Mall. While Gloria is blessed not to have had a family member touched by cancer, the mother of one of her best friends unfortunately passed away at only 54 due to breast cancer. To this day, Gloria vividly remembers the night she took her friend’s long-distance phone call and heard her voice break when she shared the tragic news. Due to her experiences, Gloria admires and supports The Brides Project’s initiatives. It encompasses so many people: brides who can donate their dresses for cancer support, brides-to-be who can purchase gowns that might have been out of their financial reach and/or who want their funds to go a great cause, and the people who are able to participate in the thoughtful programs developed and provided by The Cancer Support Community of Ann Arbor.
Gloria has spent the majority of her career in reference publishing, including stints as a Macmillan Reference editor, and as a product manager for online newspapers and the National Security Archive. As a word geek, Gloria is looking forward to providing writing and editing support at TBP, and selling gowns to happy brides-to-be!
Cara says getting married to her husband Gary was one of the easiest decisions in her life. On the other hand, buying the dress, shoes, make-up, flowers, you name it was a completely different story. She claims she “didn’t have winsome childhood dreams of big white wedding marquees and flowing gowns to guide me.” The good-doer bride also did not have much time, considering she had just 30 days to pick out a dress after having returned from a year of rebuilding communities in Afghanistan.
That’s where The Brides Project enters the scene. A close friend told her about the Project and Cara loved the eco-friendly twist, and was even more excited to find a dress when she heard that the proceeds were donated to the Cancer Support Community. Like love at first site, the first dress she saw in the show room was perfect for Cara. It was as if it was made for her, what she says is a “rare and delightful find.”
Gary and Cara got married on October 27th, in autumnal Virginia amongst blaze orange leaves and a sprinkle of rain!
Katie first heard about The Brides Project through one of her friends who is a volunteer there, Michelle Barbaresso. She was aware of this long before she was engaged, so when she did get engaged, she knew exactly where she would get her wedding dress. In fact, The Brides Project was the only store she even visited to try on gowns. The dress Katie ultimately decided on was only the 4th dress she had tried on, and it was a simple Casablanca strapless gown with the fit-and-flare style.
She loved the option of taking the dress home that same day, not to mention that the lower price tag was also an appealing factor. Katie and her husband paid for their wedding, so they wanted to do it affordably. Finally, knowing that the money she spent on the dress went directly to CSC made the whole experience extra special for Katie.
Katie and her husband got married in July of 2012, and it ended up being one of the hottest days of the whole year. It was around 103 or 104 that day (plus humidity!), and they had an outdoor reception at Gandy Dancer. Katie was very thankful she did not choose a ballgown with layers and layers of tulle! Katie’s husband is in the Navy, so he wore his summer white uniform instead of renting a tux, which ended up keeping him a little bit cooler that day as well. They also provided hand fans for all of their guests to help them try to keep cool. Luckily once the sun went down, the temperature was not unbearably hot anymore and we had a perfect night. One of Katie’s favorite moments from her wedding when a train pulled up to the station next door and the events coordinator let Katie and her husband go out and take fun pictures next to it and on the railroad tracks after the train left. They got some awesome photos out of it!
Katie’s husband is stationed in Texas and had we not have had to move to Texas right after the wedding, she would have loved to become a volunteer at TBP and stay involved with the project. However, Katie has recommended TBP to all of her friends in Michigan who have gotten engaged recently. She hopes that their wedding dress search is as easy as hers!
May met Tom, her husband, while they were in teaching school in Chicago in 2008. Although Tom had a girlfriend, they became fast friends over their love for beach volleyball, warm weather, eating healthy and their similar sense of humor. They began dating in 2009 and got engaged in 2011.
While working for her brother’s cart in the Mark’s Carts food cart area, May witnessed The Brides Project moving into the space next door. This was the first time she had heard about it. May says she “wondered what was going on because there were so many wedding dresses in such a small space!” She later found out more about the project and really appreciated their purpose and wanted to help support the cause. Her engagement to Tom allowed her to help. She went immediately to the store with her mom and sister-in-law to shop for dresses. She fell in love with Adele Wechsler’s Zoe dress and bought it the very same day.
The two wed on August 18, 2012 in St. Joseph, MI at The Heritage Center. The guests came to enjoy the weekend on the beach where they all played Frisbee and ate at a big beach potluck the day before the wedding. There was also a roast to the couple, where 10 roasters could say whatever they wanted about them. It was really fun for the couple and the guests.
The actual wedding went perfectly. Pictures were taken on the beach, fun games were played to see who knew the couple best and winners’ tables got to eat first. May says “it was very entertaining (and funny to see who got answers correct)!” The night was fun and lighthearted and guests were dancing until the venue closed. Afterwards, Tom, May and a group of friends went skinny dipping in Lake Michigan. Talk about an after party.
Tom and May live in Ann Arbor and are expecting their first baby this April.
The Bride’s Project and the Cancer Support Community of Ann Arbor are participating at the Elegant Winter Bridal Show on Sunday, January 20, 2013 12 PM to 4 PM. Experience the takeover of Briarwood Mall Center Court with more than 60 of the wedding industry’s top vendors. Three fashion shows, live entertainment, workshops, prizes and giveaways all day for thousands of brides, grooms and shoppers. Call 734-335-7103 or 313-207-6445.
Hey! We’re Arielle Weingast and Emily Lisner and we are the newest addition to The Brides Project Team. We are currently sophomores at the University of Michigan.
Arielle, from Tenafly, New Jersey, is double majoring in Communications and Psychology. Outside of the classroom, she is a student representative for Rent the Runway (a website that allows students to rent dresses for cheaper) and is on the Public Relations committee for Shei Magazine (the largest student-run Fashion Magazine in the country).
Emily is from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and is also majoring in Communications with a minor in writing. With a creative passion for writing, Emily is a member of Michigan’s Marketing and Advertising Club and and is the social media representative for Rent the Runway.
Together, we plan on having a featured bride story and community based story every other week. We also launched a Brides Project Instgram! Follow it at: @thebridesproject for your viewing pleasure. We are excited to be a part of the team!