When Hannah Pratt cancelled her wedding in March, she had no idea that the loss of her big day would turn into such a gain for other brides-to-be. Pratt had purchased the $1,300 Tara Keely wedding dress of her dreams, but ended up posting the gown to Kijiji, offering it for ‘FREE to a deserving bride.’
‘Every bride deserves to feel beautiful on her wedding day,’ she wrote in her post, ‘And I have the opportunity to pay it forward to someone deserving of a gorgeous dress. Please send me a few paragraphs with your story and when your wedding is, and feel free to include pictures or any other info you think would help as I match the dress up with a deserving bride.’
Her only stipulation: ‘All I ask is that you pay it forward at some point throughout, or after your wedding, by doing something for someone else.’
The response was astounding. After receiving over 50 stories from interested brides, Pratt settled on Jasmine Doolan whose story really struck a chord with her.
Doolan told Pratt about her 11-year struggle with addiction after a violent sexual assault when she was a teenager. In February 2016, she finally decided it was time to get sober and, a week later, got even more reason to stick to that.
‘After I got sober, exactly one week after, I found out I was pregnant,’ She told CTV, ‘And I always told myself if I was ever going to get pregnant, if I ever was going to bring a child into this world, I would never, ever use drugs again — and I meant it. So fast forward to today, and I’m currently 19 months sober, I’m engaged to the love of my life, and we have a beautiful 10-month-old baby girl who’s so happy and healthy.’
Pratt was moved by the story and the honesty with which Doolan shared it.
‘I knew from the way that she wrote her story so honestly and the fact that she trusted me with her story,’ Pratt said, ‘We had a connection based on what she had gone through and what I’m passionate about, which is violence against women prevention.’
— CTV Winnipeg (@ctvwinnipeg) August 29, 2017
Pratt met with Doolan to give her the dress this week, but she’s not stopping there. She received so many responses to her ad that she was inspired to pair more brides with donated wedding dresses. Pratt has collected 14 dresses already and is going to be giving them to the women who sent her their stories. If you’ve got a dress you want to give to a bride in need, Pratt is encouraging people to donate their dresses through Facebook so she can pair them with deserving second owners. What a simple and amazing way for women to help women.