Killeen: Military and first responder brides get free wedding gowns

KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) Some brides are getting the Cinderella treatment after a national organization connects with a shop in Killeen.

Photo By: Chelsea Edwards

The organization Brides Across America has come to Central Texas.

The group has gifted more than 20,000 dresses to military and first responder brides.

Thursday some got buttoned up and bedazzled in hopes of finding the perfect gown at Cinderella Couture Bridal.

"It's nice that I’m actually helping somebody find the dress that actually served our country which is pretty awesome," says bridal consultant Iliana Mojica Lara.

"I really, really hope they find the one for them," she says.

The partnership with the store will provide fourteen military and first responder brides with free frocks.

“It's just amazing- a great feeling. We're super grateful,” says Jessica Carter.

She is renewing vows with her wife who has been in the army for 21 years.

They met while ‘Don't ask, Don't tell’ was in effect and later wed in Iowa in 2013, but same-sex marriage was still illegal in Texas.

“Not having anybody there is horrible,” Carter says only a court clerk was a witness to their ceremony.

“When you're so happy and you cannot wait to share it with everybody- we were really sad we missed out on that.”

With eight kids, six grandkids plus military buddies, she's planning a "do-over" for next June when family and friends can attend.

“It's going to be hard to narrow down that guest list,” she laughs.

And this time, instead of a gown off the rack, she's got the one she's saying "yes" to in the bag.

Brides came from as far away as Oklahoma to get their dress at Cinderella Couture.

Although all appointments for the free gowns have been booked, active duty military personnel, veterans and first responders who are getting married may visit the Brides Across America website to find another event.