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Military brides get free gowns for Veterans Day
By Madhu Krishnamurthy | Daily Herald Staff

Deanna Dean, vice president, shows some of the wedding dresses at Volles' Bridal & Boutique in Lake Zurich that will be donated to military brides. The dresses range in value from $1,000 to $4,000.


Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

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Published: 11/10/2008 12:12 AM

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For a bride, what could be better than finding the perfect wedding gown?

Getting it for free.

That's what one Lake Zurich bridal shop is offering to all military brides this Veterans Day.

Volle's Bridal & Boutique on Rand Road joins bridal shops in 18 other states in a national effort launched by Brides Across America, and will give away more than 100 designer gowns to military brides-to-be Tuesday.

Military personnel who served in Iraq or Afghanistan, or whose fiancé's are in active duty, are eligible.

It is a way to show appreciation for the troops and families for their sacrifice, said Volle's owner Deanna Dean.

Volle's is the only bridal shop in Illinois selected to be part of the effort, partly because it has been a family-owned and operated business since 1971.

"We felt very strong about supporting military families," Dean said. "People need help at this time, financially. With this economy nowadays, it's just like a double whammy for these brides. We felt that this is one way we can help. It just was a cool way of doing a good thing."

Prospective brides will be able to choose from among more than 100 select designer wedding gowns in various sizes and colors. Bridal consultants will be on hand to help.

"They are beautiful silk gowns. Some are valued up to $4,000," Dean said. "There's only two things you really need to love when you're planning a wedding: your fiancee and your wedding gown. Everything else is secondary."

Brides Across America, a nonprofit group based in New Hampshire, contacted military bases across the country to spread the word about this effort.

Though appointments are encouraged, walk-ins are welcome Tuesday.

Military brides must show proof, such as identity cards, copy of deployment papers, orders or other qualifying documents. To qualify, brides must be engaged, on active duty in the military or have a fiancé on active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan. Brides do not have to live in Illinois.

Gowns will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis during the shop's regular business hours, noon to 9 p.m.

"I'm not going to turn anybody away," Dean said.

For more information about Tuesday's bridal event, call (847) 438-7603 or visit the Web site Volle's Bridal & Boutique is at 53 S. Old Rand Road.