Fort McMurray bride-to-be given wedding dress after losing hers to fire
Published Friday, May 6, 2016 3:05PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 6, 2016 3:11PM EDT
As flames engulfed Fort McMurray, Élise Boissonneult frantically packed her belongings and pets into her car. But one item she needed – an elegant strapless dress for her wedding in Toronto on Saturday – was left at the seamstress where it was being altered.
“My fiancé called me and he was in the south part of town,” Boissonneult told CTV News from Toronto. “He couldn’t get to me. He said, ‘You need to pack everything and just get out of there and go north.’”
The seamstress’ shop, Boissonneult learned, was soon gutted by fire. All the time and effort spent picking out that perfect dress turned out to be in vain. And with her wedding scheduled for the leafy Toronto Island on Saturday, the 29-year-old massage therapist turned to social media for help.
Within hours, hundreds of offers had come in from across the country from former brides and bridal shops.
“I’m just overwhelmed by the responses that I’ve been getting,” Boissonneult says. “It’s just unreal.”
Soon after arriving in Toronto on Thursday, Boissonneult visited Lea-Ann Belter Bridal on Broadview Ave.
“The first dress that I had tried on was similar to the other dress, and it just kind of overwhelmed me with emotion,” Boissonneult said. “I just started crying, to be honest. And I think that it was best that I didn’t go with the dress that was similar.”
Boissonneult now has two new dresses to wear: one for the wedding and another for the reception.
More good news has come from Fort McMurray: Boissonneult’s friends have told her that her house is still standing.
“They’re so brave,” she says of those who remain in Alberta. “I can’t even imagine still being there.”