Every bride should be beautiful on her wedding day, and one local organization deserves applause for its tireless work to ensure those days are, indeed, special.

Reporter Madeline Hughes last week wrote of Brides Across America, which has been fitting military brides with free wedding dresses for nearly 13 years. Since 2013, in response to the Boston Marathon bombing, the organization has also helped first responders. Now, it’s reaching out to support brides who are medical professionals working with COVID-19 patients.

“We felt it really lined up with our mission to help those health care workers on the front lines because they are putting their lives on the line, too, just like military and first responders,” Heidi Janson, the organization’s founder, told Hughes.

You needn’t be a romantic to acknowledge that every bride deserves a dress befitting her wedding day, but some find it especially difficult to make that happen for a host of reasons, which could be financial, logistical or an issue of aesthetics and fashion.

Brides Across America clears away those hurdles, and not just for local brides. The Andover-based nonprofit also works with boutiques and bridal shops across the United States.

Its assistance is especially timely now. Planning any event in a pandemic is taxing, beginning with the uncertainty of whether local rules will even allow a gathering in the first place. Then, there’s the matter of guests’ safety and comfort levels. Layer on top of that the complications that come with wedding planning.

“It’s so nice to have someone take care of you,” Dr. Mariama Runcie, a resident in the emergency room at Mass. General and Brigham and Women’s hospitals, told Hughes.

Runcie is planning a wedding on a resident’s salary, which is not the big paycheck that doctors might get later in their careers. She’s also planning it remotely; her wedding is scheduled in Chicago, near her family.

But at least she no longer has to worry about finding the perfect dress — a match that happened on her recent trip to the Andover boutique.

Best wishes to Dr. Runcie and her betrothed, as well as all of the other brides who give so much in their service to others.



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