COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Hundreds of future brides in central Ohio are cutting an expense from their wedding anniversary budget. Thanks to a donation from a major retailer, Goodwill Columbus distributed nearly 300 new wedding dresses Tuesday.

“Especially given the way the economy has dealt with the pandemic and things, this is a great way for people to have a wonderful celebration on their wedding day,” said Vicki Christian, the engagement coordinator Congregation at Goodwill Columbus.

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According to bridal website The Knot, the average wedding dress in the Midwest can cost around $ 1,500. The clothes donated to Columbus Goodwill were significantly cheaper, but retailed at $ 200 to $ 300 each.

“Oh my god, it would help a lot if I could find something today and not have these extra costs,” said Tia Vandivier.

She said the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic made wedding planning more stressful.

“It feels like you don’t really know when things will come back and get a little bit more normal,” she said.

Another bride-to-be, Danielle Stuckey, added, “If I can get a free dress, it’ll make the budget that much better.”

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Stuckey and her fiance are planning a wedding in Gatlinburg, Tennessee in July 2022.

“The hope is in vaccinations and whatever we can have for the 125 people we plan,” she said. “If not, we can of course plan to continue with what will happen.”

Dozens of brides lined up in the Goodwill retail stores on Morse Road in Columbus and Brice Road in Reynoldsburg on Tuesday. It was a first-come, first-served process. Each person was assigned a number and allowed to shop when their small groups were called to the size 12-30 clothes shelves.

“As a bride, [they should] I feel very special that you have something that makes you look beautiful and has a very special day, ”said Christian.

The event will take place during Goodwill Industries Week and will continue to offer dresses while supplies last. Purchases made in goodwill stores help people with disabilities and other barriers to support services and provide professional training.

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