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Stranded brides saved by last-minute dress swap

Posted October 12

When a Louisiana bridal shop abruptly closed its doors, it threatened to leave a dozen brides stranded before they even made it to the altar. (Deseret Photo)

NEW ORLEANS — When a Louisiana bridal shop abruptly closed its doors, it threatened to leave a dozen brides stranded before they even made it to the altar.

But thanks to some magic from a fairy godmother — whose day job happens to be a wedding planner — the brides were treated to an experience that would make Cinderella herself green with envy.

The joy that came from the discovery of the perfect dress quickly turned to panic for bride-to-be Nhi Ashburn when she learned that the bridal shop from which she’d ordered her wedding dress was closing down, Today reported.

“I had no idea what I was going to do,” Ashburn said.

The frazzled bride raced to the shop — Linda Lee Bridal in Metairie — on the off chance her dress was there. Ashburn was devastated when she was told they didn’t have it in her size. A remaining salesperson managed to dig out a size 12 — Ashburn wears a 0 — and forced her to pay full price for the replacement, Today reported.

Adding to the stress, Ashburn’s grandfather was diagnosed with cancer and the couple was worried he wouldn’t live long enough to see their March nuptials.

“Both my fiancé and I think it’s important that he be there, so we were talking about moving the wedding up and then I found out I no longer had my dress,” she told Today. “It was a lot at once.”

Ashburn wasn’t alone in her nightmare. Dianca Thompson also lost her dream wedding dress along with 12 bridesmaid dresses. An additional 10 other women found themselves scrambling after they learned they wouldn’t have anything to wear on their big days.

Enter the fairy godmother, otherwise known as Samantha Capone. The wedding planner caught wind of the gaggle of devastated brides and knew she had to do something to help.

Capone began making calls and within hours had arranged for a dress swap that would grow to include more than 200 dresses, veils and accessories for the scorned brides to peruse, Today reported. She even secured champagne donations so the brides could feel pampered.

Thompson hunted down another dream dress quickly, checking a big item off her to-do list for her February wedding.

“Without this dress swap, I wouldn’t have a dress to wear on my wedding day,” she told Today.

As for Ashburn, that size 12 dress turned back into her dream come true.

“The ladies were so kind and offered to alter it for me, which I know is no easy task,” Ashburn told Today.

Capone was thrilled with the way the swap came together, and while it may seem difficult to believe, the pop up was a bridezilla-free zone.

“I got hugs every time someone left,” Capone told Today. “You’d think it would be really stressful and sad, but it was actually a loving environment.”

Jessica Ivins is a content manager for KSL.com and contributor to the Motherhood Matters section.

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