Almost one year after Georgie Martens, of Georgie’s Bridal shop, decided to give away a huge batch of her floor-model dresses to brides who could not otherwise afford one, the inquiries keep coming.
Although she has moved her store from Springfield Road to Pandosy Street (beside Frock Consignment Clothing and A Woodside Design Gallery), she still has women coming in to ask if she will ever do the giveaway again.
She also has people stop her to say thank you.
“I was in Superstore and one woman came up to me,” said Martens.
“Both of her sisters had gotten dresses and one had had a baby since. She was in tears telling me this story.”
Indrig de Groen’s public thank-you came in the form of a news story.
When she contacted the Capital News last year, she and her fiancé had known each other for seven years and were thrilled to be engaged, but had put off setting a date because they simply couldn’t afford the small backyard wedding they wanted. She is a care aide and he is on disability.
Their story brought brides from far and wide to pick up the last remaining dresses on the rack, and Martens said the experience taught her a few things.
On one hand, some were so honest that when she mentioned the dresses were for people who truly couldn’t afford them, they turned the garment down, saying they could likely scrounge the money.
On the other hand, a few did slip out the door without really even showing her how the dress looked on them.
“The dress will have to be fitted quite tight,” said Martens.
“If they truly can’t afford one, then they’re not going to be able to afford alterations. So this time, I think I’ll just make sure I spend time with each person.”
With a little experience under her belt, she’s booked someone to help her out, come giveaway day, this year on Thursday, May 5.
Ultimately, though, she says giving the dresses away has really taught her that there are so many people out there in need.
“I’ve always thought it would be really neat to be a hockey player or a movie star, to be a somebody who could really help people,” she said. “This way, I get to do that.”
As Martens pays for each sample dress she showcases, the 20-dress giveaway amounts to thousands of dollars out of her own pocket.
Last year, she also held a small wine and cheese and had a wedding photographer take pictures of all the girls in their dresses as they came to pick them up.
Framed on the brick wall of the store is a picture of the reason she’s willing to put in all the time and expense.
Though she doesn’t even know if de Groen has ever had her wedding, the beautiful smile that brought so many comments, questions and hopeful brides through her door gleefully shines out above the dress she tried on for the photo.
Her real gown was never revealed in the story so her fiancé would not see it.
Anyone who truly cannot afford a dress is asked to come to Georgie’s Bridal on May 5. The store opens at 10 a.m. and she will be in all day.
Sizes 8 to 20 are on the rack. Dresses are kindly given on the honour system; no questions asked.