That's the holiday spirit! Newlywed reveals how dress she offered for free, was claimed by fellow bride who couldn't afford her own
16:02 GMT, 20 November 2012
Getting into the holiday spirit, one newlywed has given her bridal gown to a bride-to-be who can't afford one of her own.
Alissa Walter, from Washington D.C. wore the $800 silk creation at her nuptials in September, but two weeks later she decided to post it online and advertise it for free.
After sifting through dozens of responses she decided to donate her dress to New Jersey-based student, Rene Stroinski, 25, who has racked up thousands of dollars in student debt.
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From me to you: Alissa Walter (pictured left on her wedding day in September) has donated her bridal gown to Rene Stroinski (right) who said her dream of a perfect wedding dress seemed totally out of reach
Describing what inspired her donation, Mrs Walter told the Today show: 'Our wedding was so special.
'We had been
given so many different things, we had invested in beautiful decorations and
this beautiful dress.
'I long for that special moment when my fiance first
sees in my gown… That memory will
last long after the wedding'
'What better way to use these now than to help them bless someone else.'
Miss Stroinski, who is also a U.S. size
4, is planning to wear the dress in the fall of 2014, when she weds her
boyfriend of five years, Zac Follmer.
Both have collective debts as Mr Follmer graduated with an MBA from Seton Hall in South Orange, New Jersey in June; while Miss Stroinski is set to graduate with a five-year accounting degree next spring.
Helping hand: Mrs Walter said that her and her husband had been given so many different things that 'what better way to use these now than to help them bless someone else'
She said her dream of a perfect wedding dress seemed totally out of reach and she had resorted to shopping for evening and prom dresses.
So when she saw an advert on The
Huffington Post website titled Free Wedding Dress From A Bride Who Wants
To 'Pay It Forward, she said that she clicked on it immediately.
She wrote in a letter to Mrs Walter: 'I long for that special moment when my fiance, and my father first
see in my gown.
Generous spirit: Mrs Walter wore the white silk dress at her nuptials in September, but two weeks later she decided to post it online and advertise it for free
Internet buy: Mrs Walter purchased her dress, made from Cambodian silk, from the family-owned Cocoon Silk store in Portland, Oregon via Etsy
'That memory is one of the few things that i know will
last long after the wedding.'
She told the The Huffington Post,that when she discovered she had been selected weeks later 'I screamed! I was so happy – I couldn't believe it.'
Mrs Walter, who initially chose to remain anonymous, asked brides-to-be who felt their wedding experience would be 'truly transformed' by the dress to send in their stories.
Happy occasion: Mrs Walter said that when she planned her wedding, she wanted to have fun
Hand-me-down gown: Mrs Walter with her silk white dress on the Today show
She knew she'd found the right bride for
her dress when she read about Miss Stroinski's desire to give the dress
away after she'd worn it.
Overjoyed: Miss Stroinski plans to wear the dress in the fall of 2014
Miss Stroinski also noted in her letter: 'I would definitely
continue the bride's tradition of offering the dress for free.'
Mrs Walter explained: 'Rene, perhaps more than anyone else… seemed to embrace the spirit and the vision of paying it forward.
'It was clear from her letter that the impact of the dress won’t stop just at her.'
The dress, made from Cambodian silk, was purchased from the family-owned Cocoon Silk store in Portland, Oregon via Etsy.
Miss Stroinski, who was presented with the design during an episode of the Today show, added: 'I don’t know what made me feel happier, that I’m gonna get to wear the dress or that I’m gonna give it to someone else after I wear it.'
Offering advice to Miss Stroinski in the run-up to her big day, Mrs Walter said: 'When I planned my wedding, we wanted to do good and to have fun and I think that genuine spirit carries through the day.'
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