LOVELAND, Colo. — A line of women wrapped around a Loveland bridal store on Sunday for its annual wedding dress giveaway.
The event went from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Loveland Wedding Center, formerly Wed Wisely, at 680 E. Eisenhower Blvd.
"The ones I've helped so far have all gone home with a dress," said Marsha Hardy, who operates a dress alteration space within the wedding center. "This is too much fun."
By 2:30 p.m., the list of people waiting and those who already took home dresses had reached 50.
"When I got here at 7:15 this morning, the first car had just pulled in," said owner Dianne Carpenter.
Her husband Bryan Carpenter said the first year they did the giveaway they handed out more than 150 dresses. This year they had around 60 wedding dresses and 60 dresses for bridesmaids, flower girls and others to select from, as well as a selection of dresses that will remain on sale for the rest of October.
"We have some pretty happy people here," Bryan said, sporting a tux to promote tux rental as another service offered at their location.
"We're very excited. We haven't set a day yet, but we're hoping for next August," said bride-to-be Liz Pierson, who arrived at noon with her infant and future mother-in-law and waited for around two hours.
Diane Seville, her groom-to-be's mother, said she was happy to be able to save on some of the wedding costs. The business potentially gained from the event as well, as she said she had never noticed the store before and that she was going to tell all of her girl friends with daughters about it.
"Wow. You didn't think shopping for a wedding dress would be so fast, did you?" Dianne Carpenter said to Pierson after she found one she liked almost immediately.
The dresses were given out on a first-come, first-served basis with no proof of financial standing required. Any alterations to the dresses needed could be handled in house at cost.
Gasps of joy could be heard from the changing rooms and in front of the mirrors as many found dresses for their special days -- at a more-than-reasonable price.
"It's a great price. You can't get any better than this," said Christen Mandrack of Loveland.
"Her boyfriend completely surprised her in the best way. I'm so excited for her," said Mandrack's friend Tiffany Fast of Fort Collins, who was also trying on dresses.
She quickly fell in love with one. She said her wedding will take place next fall or summer and the colors she has picked out for it are purple and yellow.
"Oh my gosh. I feel like a princess. This exceeds any hopes I could have had," Fast said.
James Garcia can be reached at 970-635-3630 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @JamesGarciaRH.