Elizabeth Dorn is experiencing the day many girls dream of.
“It's really exciting that it's all finally happening,” Dorn said.
She's found the dress she'll marry her childhood sweetheart in, and it will cost her nothing. The dress is given to her through Brides across America, a program that provides bridal gowns to women whose fiancés are deployed overseas.
“I don't feel like I deserve recognition but its still nice to be honored and to feel special because of what he's doing for our country,” Dorn said.
Brides across America started in 2007. That first year the program gave away 50 dresses. Four years later, it has donated 6,000 dresses to military brides.
Gina Campbell will get married in a little more than six weeks. She's eligible for the program because she has served overseas. A naval petty officer, she returned from Afghanistan last week.
“I'm really proud to serve, but just to know there are people out there that care and support us, it's amazing,” Campbell said.
Close to a hundred dresses will be given out in two days at this Upper Marlboro bridal salon. It’s the second year the store has participated.
“If it wasn't for them fighting for us, could I honestly say I'd be a business owner? They're giving me that freedom, so it's a little way to say ‘thank you’,” says the store’s owner Ephonia Green.
Dorn’s wedding is still five months away, but she says this special day and the dress make it feel like her fiancé will be home soon.
“I just feel like it's perfect,” she said of the dress. “I'm happy and I couldn't ask for anything more.”