Bride who lost dress in Fort McMurray wildfire gets dream wedding
A Canadian couple managed to pull off the perfect wedding day on Sunday, despite the bride's dress being reduced to ashes in a wildfire that ravaged their home city.
Elise Boissonneault and Brandon Phillippo managed to quickly pack some bags and grab their four pets as they fled the fire in Fort McMurray on May 4, alongside 80,000 other people in the city.
SEE ALSO: 'Smell-repelling' socks exist, and you'll never have to do laundry again
With their wedding scheduled for Sunday in Toronto, and Boissonneault's dress left behind in Fort McMurray, they were unsure if they could pull it off.
That's when their wedding photographer and a team of generous strangers stepped in, and helped Boissonneault pick out not one but two dresses to wear for the special occasion.
"When I heard how bad the fires were becoming, I emailed Elise to ask if she was ok," wrote photographer Alex Neary in a Facebook post. "She replied by telling me they had been evacuated and they weren't sure if the wedding would be happening anymore."
The wedding was due to be held halfway across the country in Toronto, and it seemed for awhile like it was not going to happen.
"I asked, what can I do on my end here to help and she replied by telling me they're going to still come to Toronto and would I at all be able to help her find a new dress as hers had been lost in the fire," wrote Neary. "Her dress was her dream dress and she was devastated to have lost it."
Neary quickly posted an appeal on Facebook asking if anyone could help find a new dress. Hundreds of people replied with offers to donate dresses. And just two days before the wedding, a representative from Toronto's Lea Ann Belter Bridal reached out and invited Boissonneault in to try on gowns.
She ended up falling in love with two different dresses, and the store surprised everyone by donating both for the big day — one gown to wear during the ceremony and another to change into later in the night.
"This story really goes to show how willing complete strangers are to help another person in need," wrote Neary.
On Sunday, Boissonneault and Phillippo said "I do" surrounded by a small group of family and friends.
But Neary says the couple's outlook on life saved the day just as much as the donations. She attributed the happy wedding day to their positivity.
"The wedding day was amazing," photographer Alex Neary told Mashable. "They were just so happy to be married and couldn't wipe the smiles off their face all day. They decided to not let a natural disaster ruin the happiest day of their lives and they sure didn't."
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.