Acts of Kindness
Woman gives away $3K wedding dress and others are following in her footsteps
She wanted to help make a dream come true for a bride who couldn't afford a gown. Now, other women are donating their dresses too.
D.G. Sciortino

It was the dress of her dreams. It cost her a pretty penny too. But Gwendolyn Stulgis gave it away for free just the same.

All so she could make someone else’s dream come true too.

Now Stulgis has inspired other brides to also donate their bridal gowns to others who can’t afford to say “yes” to their dream wedding dress.

Just like most brides, Stulgis went to several boutiques before finding “the one” at Evaline’s Bridal & Tuxedo in Warren, Ohio.

She chose a champagne-colored gown by Allure Bridals with long sheer sleeves, beautiful beading, and elegant lace.

Everything about this dress was perfect, except the price tag. It was $3,000 which was triple her $1,000 budget.

“I got emotional looking at it because it was everything I really wanted,” Stulgis told Insider. “I don’t think I could have pictured myself in anything else. That dress was just made for me.”

Stulgis did herself a favor and bought the gown she truly deserved. She looked stunning on May 6, 2022, when she married her husband Frank Stulgis.

Stulgis spent the days after her wedding staring at the dress in her closet.

She would never wear it again. It would either be packed away and preserved or sit in that closet for her to stare at. That thought didn’t sit well with her.

“I want someone else to feel the way I did on my wedding day—to look beautiful,” she explained. “I want the person to feel like they are worth something. I want them to get the dress of their dreams without worrying about buying one. A wedding dress shouldn’t just be kept in a closet.”

Stulgis thought about it for a while and ultimately decided that she would give her wedding dress away.

She would give it to a woman who couldn’t afford her dream dress or had to settle for something in her price range.

She just wanted the person she gave it to, to promise that they would give it to someone else as well and keep the chain going. She took to Facebook to see who she could offer her dress to.

Stulgis ultimately gave her dress to a woman named Margaret Hyde. Hyde’s sister-in-law saw Stulgis’ post and reached out to her.

“Margaret is just an amazing person. She is the type of person that will give you the shirt off of her back. She’s always the one doing the giving.”

Hyde said that she felt “extremely loved” after winning the dress and was looking forward to being “a princess for a day.”

Hyde originally planned on making her own dress.

She promised to pass the dress on when she was done with it.

Stulgis went on to create a Facebook group called “Shared Dream Dresses” inspiring other women to donate their dresses, shoes, accessories, and even mother-of-the-bride dresses.

Unsplash - Dan LeFebvre
Unsplash - Dan LeFebvre

“I want to help as many women as I can find their dream dress,” Stulgis said. “I honestly didn’t think it would get this much traction but I am excited to see it blossom. Everyone should feel the magic and beauty I felt the day I married my best friend.”

Learn more about this amazing movement in the video below!

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By D.G. Sciortino
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D.G. is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at [email protected]