Not all heroes wear capes. But thanks to the Something White bridal boutique, some locals will be wearing wedding dresses.
The Heroes collection, an initiative to provide healthcare workers with free wedding dresses, was first launched by Pronovias, a bridal and wedding dress brand in Spain.
When Something White owner Rebecca Somnitz saw an advertisement for the Heroes collection, she immediately made a special request to bring five of the dresses in a variety of sizes and styles into her shop and give back to the many brides stationed in the Cleveland Health Care Center. Among the requirements, brides-to-be had to work in a hospital setting, deal with the pandemic, have a hire date no later than March 2020 and, of course, get married.
Of the nearly 20 brides who signed up for the waiting list, seven hooked fittings and five hardworking women returned home with the dress of their dreams designed by Pronovias and one less thing to fear. (The other two couldn’t find any dresses they liked.)
“[The brides] were so grateful, ”says Somnitz. “It’s almost magical how well it worked.”
Margaret Wilcoxson, a registered nurse at Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center and herself a veteran, first heard about the gift on Facebook. When she tried on the first dress – a vintage high-necked sheath dress with a long train – she broke down in tears.
“As soon as I saw it on me, I knew it was my dress,” she says. “This dress was made for me.
Carrie Kolk had a similar experience with her gown, a princess-style gown with sequins on top and a full skirt that flowers from the waistline. After rushing to register and worrying about running out of dresses, Kolk, a registered nurse at the Cleveland Clinic, wasted no time in making up her mind.
“I actually saw a picture of the five dresses [in the Heroes Collection], and the one I really liked in the photo is the one I tried, ”she says. “I knew straight away that this was the wedding dress I wanted to wear.
Todd Corley, Lisa Pizzillo’s fiance, actually found out about the promotion and told her. The Southwest General Health Center RN hadn’t even done any clothes shopping yet when she had a date at Something White.
“When you put it on and feel like it’s that one, it was actually quite special,” she says of the sleeveless A-line dress with beautiful lace details all the way down to her. neck. “I mean obviously who wouldn’t love to have a free dress?”
The enthusiasm spread beyond the brides, who all had to push their wedding dates back to next year in hopes that life would be a little more normal. As someone who has worked with healthcare workers and been part of a nursing family, Somnitz also found joy in alleviating any of the stress brides faced, not only in their professions, but in wedding planning during a pandemic.
“I think [my excitement] was a level above what I normally am when a bride finds her dress, ”laughs Somnitz. “I feel like you can glean any kind of goodness [COVID], it makes you happy.