Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


December 13, 2012

Businesses band to create perfect military wedding

Military couples planning to tie the knot don’t always get the wedding they dream of. But because of The Bridal Center at Elm Square, one military bride and groom will have the fairy tale they envision.

Over a dozen businesses around The Bridal Center in Andover’s Elm Square are coming together for the “Military Dream Wedding” giveaway. They are looking for military couples who have been denied a full wedding experience by their call to serve our nation.

“They make a commitment to our country, and they may be out on base. They don’t have the money to have a big, lavish wedding,” said Michael Edwards, owner of AllStar Entertainment & Uplighting. “With the tremendous sacrifice they have given to the country and how [people] are giving their lives every day, it’s the least we can do to pay back a little bit.”

Many military couples face “a rush wedding, where they’re being deployed, and we may not even be able to order anything,” said Steve Kalman, co-owner of Cristina’s Bridal.

Over a dozen businesses are participating in the effort, donating everything from a wedding gown and adjustments, a set of tuxedo rentals and a limo to tanning, fitness training and a justice of the peace. The wedding bands are also included.

When asked why she was donating her services, Photography By Linda owner Linda Jennings said she started tearing up, just thinking about her experience with military weddings.

“We’ve all done some military weddings here,” she said. “It has always been a special experience, even to just see a mother-son dance, where the son is scheduled to ship off after the wedding.”

In some cases, “they find out that the military bride or the military groom is coming home just for a brief time, and they don’t have the time or know-how to put the wedding together so quickly,” Jennings said. “We can band together and put the wedding together for them.”

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