A wedding day is one of the most significant events in a woman’s life. Every detail must be perfect. The location, the flowers, the wedding cake, the guest list, the reception and entertainment all must occur in flawless execution. Yet amidst all these details, none is more important to a bride than her wedding dress.
Many brides spend hundreds of hours trying on dresses, going through catalogs, getting advice from friends and reviewing online to find their dream wedding gown. Once found, it becomes to symbol of beauty and purity for a bride that will be capture in pictures for memories for years to come. Yet, after the wedding, the dress goes back into its slip bag and is pushed into a closet. Some women save their dress as a keepsake, pulling it out every few years to try it on, or just to look at it and touch the lacey fabric in remembrance of their special day. Some brides hold on the dress in the hopes that some day their daughter will wear it as she walks down the isle to meet her future husband. Some women sell their dress for a fraction of what they paid just to recoup some of the cost.
Justi Boroff was a bride who did something much different with her wedding dress. Justi adored her wedding dress. She loved it so much that she did not want to shove it to the back of her closet where it would sit and get old and stale. One day as she sat staring at her beautiful dress, she decided she would send it to Sandi Fasano, a delightful grandmother residing in Colorado, and have the dress cut up into pieces and remade into something much different.
Wedding dresses are a symbol of purity, unity and love. Justi wanted her dress to live on within these representations and bring someone else a small piece of the tenderness that it had given her. Sandi Fasano cut the beautiful dress up into 17 pieces and transformed the gown into 17 tiny angel gowns. Once she had finished sewing the beautiful angel gowns together, she sent them back to Justi.
Justi took the 17 little gowns and decided to donate them to her local Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Vanderbilt. The angel gowns would be given to grief-stricken families who had lost their babies. Justi and Sandi had found out that mothers, broken with the loss of their infant babies, would go to stores and purchase doll clothes in order to have something to bury their children in. The women decided to take action and make funeral gowns that would be donated to these families so that in their time of great sorrow, they would have something beautiful; something that was designed with love for the ultimate act of harmony, to bury their babies in.
Now, women from all over reach out to donate their wedding dresses to be reborn into angel gowns. Many of these women have lost children during pregnancy and understand the pain that accompanies it. Some donate just because they want their dresses to be apart of something that lives on in generosity and beauty. Whatever the case, these wedding dresses have taken on a new identity will bring peace, protection and serenity to hundreds of families.