Elise and Brandon are originally from Cape Breton and have been living and working in Fort McMurray for the past six years.
On Wednesday May 4, 2016, they were evacuated from the city due to the wild fires that have been ravaging the area.
Elise managed to quickly pack her bag, get their four pets into the car and drive to where Brandon was to pick him up and get out of the city.
When I heard how bad the fires were becoming, I emailed Elise to ask if she was ok.
She replied by telling me they had been evacuated and they
weren’t sure if the wedding would be happening anymore.
I asked, what can I do on my end here to help and she replied by telling me they’re going to still come to Toronto
and would I at all be able to help her find a new dress as hers had been lost in the fire.
Her dress was her dream dress and she was devastated to have lost it.
I placed a call for help on Facebook, both on my personal page and on Bunz Wedding Group, a Toronto trading group where brides reach out and exchange items with each other.
Within an hour, the post had been shared over 700 times and tweeted which resulted in hundreds upon hundreds of former brides offering their gowns for Elise to wear.
It was truly overwhelming and incredibly heart warming.
Among the offers were bridal stores and designers.
On Thursday, Ginny Monaco from Lea Ann Belter Bridal called me and told me
she’d be more than happy for Elise to come into the store and try on whatever she wants.
Elise arrived in Toronto at 3:00pm, I picked her up at her hotel at 5:30pm and drove her and her mum to Lea Ann Belter where she tried on countless gowns.
She narrowed it down to two and while trying to decide between them, the ever so gracious and generous Ginny told her she could wear both of them.
One for the ceremony and the other to change into at night.
This story really goes to show how willing complete strangers are to help another person in need.
And while some may think a wedding dress isn’t that big of a deal to lose,
any bride can tell you how long they’ve dreamed of their wedding day and how important it is to feel beautiful in their dress.
To have any part in helping Elise have the wedding she dreamed about before disaster struck is an honour.
Elise and Brandon are two of the most happy, kind and humble people I have met.
They planned to have their wedding in Toronto because it is a half way point between Cape Breton and Fort McMurray and the day went off without a hitch.
Surrounded by their closest friends and family members, they celebrated life, love and new beginnings.
Here is Elise and Brandon’s story.