Elise Philippo left her house on May 3 and she did not anticipate that she would not be able to return a week after that. Unfortunately, there was a wildfire that hit the area and all residents were forced out of their homes, including the seamstress working on her wedding dress.
“It took me a while to find the right dress, which is what added to my devastation. I know it’s just a dress, just material, but when you’re a bride who can’t wear the dress you love on the day you’ve been dreaming about for forever, it’s hard.”, Philippo said.
She asked her Toronto-based photographer, Alex Neary if she knows anyone who can lend her a dress so Neary decided to put a Facebook post.
After the post, 200 offers came to Philippo and she ended up in Lea Ann Belter Bridal where she was able to try any gown she wanted.
“I started crying when I put the first dress on. I said I can’t wear it because it reminds me of my other dress and that just breaks my heart. I couldn’t believe she was allowing me to take two dresses. I figured I’d have to bring both back, but she let me keep the reception dress.”, she said.
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On Saturday I have a wedding. My couple are from Fort McMurray and yesterday they were evacuated from their home. I asked Elise what I could do to help her on my end here and she asked me if I could possibly help to find her a new dress as hers was lost in the fire. I posted on Facebook and within an hour hundreds upon hundreds of strangers had reached out, offering to give her their dress to wear. Designers, bridal stores and fellow photographers all did what they could to help her find a new gown. Elise arrived in Toronto at 3pm, I picked her up at 5:30pm and we went to @leaannbelterbridal where the ever so generous and gracious, Ginny, lent Elise not one but two dresses. One for the ceremony and one to change into for the reception. Elise was so overcome with emotions by everything that has happened and I can safely say that the kindness shown by strangers has touched her more than you will ever know. Thank you SO much for all of your help! You really don't know how much it means to her and her family. ❤️❤️❤️ #BeKindToOneAnother @vsco
Truly, even in the midst of chaos, there is still a lending hand. After securing two dresses for her wedding, all she had to do was focus on the wedding itself.
What a wonderful way to overturn a tragedy.
Images via Today.