Manhattan, Kan. (WIBW) -- To mark the Veteran's Day holiday, a Manhattan business is giving back to local military couples who are preparing to say "I do."
It's part of a nationwide effort to show appreciation for our troops and their families.
Celebrations of the Heart, a Manhattan bridal salon located on Poyntz Avenue, has teamed up with a national charitable organization to provide military brides the opportunity to make their wedding dreams come true by receiving a free wedding gown. The giveaway is called "Operation Wedding Gown."
As part of the partnership, Celebrations of the Heart will be hosting a Brides Across America event on November 11th, 2012 from 1-5 P.M.
The store will be donating at least 20 designer wedding gowns to military brides who qualify for the program.
To date, Brides Across America has donated over 8,000 wedding gowns across the nation from prominent designers.
"With Fort Riley basically in our backyard, this is just a way for us to say thank you and to give back for all that they’ve sacrificed for us so we just really wanted to make a difference and thought it was a great opportunity. They’re designer gowns. They’re samples so they’re one of a kind. I have sizes from 2 on up. I just hope that we can find the perfect dress for each bride," said Melanie Gruber, owner of Celebrations of the Heart.
In order to qualify, brides or their fiancé must be serving in the military; either currently deployed or deployed within the last five years to Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Libya, Korea or Japan. Identification and deployment papers must be presented at the event to qualify. For military brides who are interested in more information, please visit www.bridesacrossamerica.com or www.shopcelebrationsoftheheart.com on how to qualify. Brides must pre-register for the event by logging on to Brides Across America’s website.
"I can’t wait to hear everyone’s stories and see the tears and the smiles. I’m really looking forward to that," Gruber told WIBW. She says each of the gowns she will give away is worth at least $1000.