Monday, October 22, 2012

Brides Across America 2012

 Jinger Brinkley, our first "Brides Across America" bride ever, in a gorgeous Jim Hjelm gown and custom birdcage by Maya Couture.

As part of Brides Across America’s commitment to support our troops and veterans, the non-profit organization will host their 6th annual bridal gown giveaway at salons nationwide. From coast to coast, bridal salons are honoring veterans by giving away free wedding gowns as a thank you for their service to this country. To date, Brides Across America has donated over 8,000 wedding gowns from prominent designers.

In order to qualify, brides or their fiancé must be serving in the military; either currently
deployed or deployed within the last five years to Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Libya, Korea or Japan. Identification and deployment papers must be presented at the event to qualify. For military brides who are interested in more information and to fill-out the mandatory pre-registration form, please visit There is a $20 tax-deductible donation required of brides who want to register. The proceeds support Patriot Rovers, a non-profit organization that provides professionally trained and certified Psychiatric Service Dogs, instruction, and therapeutic group camaraderie to Veteran men and women struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury as a result of their service to our country and restore their physical and emotional independence.

In the spirit of giving Maya Couture encourages the brides who plan to attend their event to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia. Maya Couture will be collecting for the Foodbank through November.

Many military brides find it difficult to plan their dream wedding due to deployment, injury or economic circumstances. Brides Across America founder, Heidi Janson, wants to continue making dreams come true for these deserving brides. “My goal is to make sure we don’t forget all the servicemen and women overseas fighting for our freedom. It is imperative at this point for Brides Across America to continue growth and to make a bigger difference by gaining more support from bridal salons and designers.”

“I became a military spouse last month, so as we embark on our 5th year of recognizing and giving to our service members, I walk in the very same shoes as the brides we will meet at our event, said Maya Holihan, owner of Maya Couture. As a military wife, who employs military wives, we encounter the military bride day in and day out. We feel it’s rewarding as well as our responsibility to find as many ways as we can to support our troops and show appreciation for the dedication and sacrifices our military families make to support and protect our country.”

In previous years the gowns provided have been a combination of store samples and gowns donated from designers and the public. Because of the five-year term Maya Couture has committed to this cause they will be receiving 50 new gowns from one of their prominent designers for this year’s event, through the charitable foundation “Celebrate Forever”.

About Brides Across America

Brides Across America is a nationwide 501c3 that focuses on providing free wedding gowns to those military brides that have not been able to have their dream wedding. Brides Across America is connecting with bridal salons across the nation to help spread the military spirit. Operation Wedding Gown made headlines when it was featured on NBC's "Making a Difference" with Brian Williams this fall. Since 2007, Brides Across America and its partners have made a difference in the lives of many military brides. Brides Across America was just recently honored by the Joining Forces program, a national initiative to support and honor America’s service members and their families, which was launched by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden. The national charitable organizations new mission is to support wounded warriors, post-traumatic stress, and jobs for veterans. Brides Across America is an organization about helping people through building community awareness and be a leader in social responsibility.

About Maya Couture
Maya Couture is the winner of numerous awards including, named one of the Top 50 bridal salons in the nation by BRIDE’S Magazine, 2010 Best of Norfolk Gold Winner, 2011 & 2010 Pick for The Knot Best of Weddings, Wedding Wire Bride's Choice Awards 2011, Virginia Living Magazine Best of 2012, WeddingWire Rated in 2012, and Best of 757 as voted by Hampton Roads Magazine 2012. With over 400 bridal gowns in stock, Maya Couture offers wedding gowns with diverse and unique necklines, fabrics, colors and details. Featuring prominent designers; Casablanca Bridal, Ella, Essence of Australia, Jasmine, La Sposa Barcelona, Maggie Sottero Bridal, Pronovias of Barcelona, Nicole Miller and Sottero and Midgley. For more information about attending the event contact Maya Couture at 757-461-1690 or visit their website at

 Christy Williams, the first bride in line last year for Brides Across America, wearing Maggie Sottero "Kendra"

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