Have you ever watched The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants? It’s a movie about four best friends who find a pair of jeans that fits each perfectly despite the four having different-shaped bodies. Far-fetched? I’d say. I can’t even find one pair that fits my body.
Well now, thanks to this movie, one woman is doing a similar thing with her wedding dress. Dawnetta Heinz, pictured here on her wedding day, could have left her gown to gather dust over the years. But this woman wanted to pay it forward.
And so, Heinz wrote about her wedding dress on a Facebook group to sell her dress at a discounted price. “I would like to give my wedding dress away to someone that is on a tight budget and is in need of a dress,” she wrote, along with a picture of her dress. The personal trainer expected to get on message or maybe two.
Instead, Heinz received a slew of private messages and comments. She told A Plus, “I did not expect that response at all.” The dress, which, Heinz explains, can fit women size 2 to 5, became very popular and soon Heinz got an even better idea.
Heinz chose to turn her good deed into something even better. She decided to urge the women who wanted to buy the dress to pay it forward and hand it down to the next person once they use it for their wedding day. Soon, women were agreeing to this newfound sisterhood and embracing the deed.
Now, the dress has been worn by two more women. More than that, the dress is set to be worn by 10 more women. Let’s hope this dress remains in good condition! Heinz explained how “two more women will wear the dress this year, four next year, and another four have yet to set their wedding dates.”
The first bride to wear the dress after Heinz was Arianna Pro, pictured on the right wearing the same dress. Pro wanted a dress to renew her vows with her husband. The mother of four explained why it was so special to wear a real wedding dress for her renewal.
“When my husband and I got married, it wasn't a necessity to have the big dress and the big party. We had just lost a son, and we needed a little light in our lives,” Pro explained. “When I saw the dress, all the feelings came back. It was overwhelming. She [Heinz] snowballed my dream to have a real wedding.”
For Pro, the dress was important because it made her feel like a bride. “It was so amazing to get the recognition as a bride. You are wearing this beautiful dress and everyone is gawking at you ... I shipped the dress to the next girl. I know how I felt when I wore the dress, and we get to pass that feeling on.”
Despite giving it away, even Heinz has felt the emotions of seeing other women have an amazing day in her dress. The whole thing has been “like another dream,” she explains. “A dress just really brings out the beauty inside of a woman ...”
“Seeing all these women happy and in my dress on their wedding day ... it just gives me [a] feeling similar to what I felt in my dress,” Heinz added. The dress was special for Valarie Fitzgerald too, the next person to wear the wedding dress. And it was special for more than one reason.
Fitzgerald explained how things are tight in her household and a new wedding dress would have been too expensive. “We live paycheck to paycheck, so there was no way we could find the money to get a dress… But it was very important for us because we waited so long to get married and felt like it was the right time.”
Heinz couldn’t but relate the Fitzgerald. She and her husband went through financial trouble too, even being homeless at one point. Their faith helped them get through the tough time, however, and, soon after giving their last dollar to the church offering, the Heinzes turned their lives around and became personal trainers to help others “feel good about themselves.”
So for Heinz, this move was her way of seeing someone else’s day be special too. “Just something as simple as a wedding dress can brighten someone's day,” she explained. “It's just incredible to see their emotions change about the whole day, especially when they're less fortunate and don't have money to go and do something like that.”
The dress has done more than giving these women a special day. Heinz, Pro, and Fitzgerald have formed a real sisterhood. More than that, Heinz has inspired more women to give their own wedding dress away — five other women have already reached out to her.