Bride Jenna Rose, standing with her dad and Shannon Keil, was the first wedding dress recipient.

The Regent in Riverview has announced its second annual Wedding Dress Giveaway, which will give wedding dresses to selected teachers and soon-to-be-brides.

“Educators just became the next group of people who really have had to modify how they do things [due to the coronavirus] … so we figured it would be a great appreciation for them as well,” explained The Regent CEO Shannon Keil.

The Regent has collected around 50 donated wedding dresses from local bridal shops like Satin & Lace Bridal Boutique in Riverview and Flora’s Bridal in Brandon and preserved dresses from former brides in the area. These donated dresses will be given to teachers who were nominated by their peers and selected by a team outside of The Regent.

“We have had a lot of donations from people dropping them off, so it has become a community thing for people to feel like they’re connected to it,” said Keil.

Keil also mentioned that some of last year’s health care workers who received dresses have reached out and offered to help The Regent with its second event.

Nominations were submitted through The Regent’s website throughout February and brides will be selected and fitted for their gown in April.

“I think the biggest part of it is just making sure enough people know about it … and we give as many dresses as we can away,” said Keil. “I hope that it encourages others to give back and to do little unexpected things.”

The event will conclude in May with a brunch for the brides, who will pick their dresses. 

“I love it when the girl comes in for the fitting and she puts on the dress and it fits her like a glove and her face lights up,” explained Keil. “There’s just a look on her face when she puts ‘the one’ on, and that moment is worth everything.”

The Regent is still accepting dress donations. To donate, call The Regent at 571-2494 or drop off a dress between 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. For more information on the event, visit The Regent’s Facebook page or visit its website at www.experiencetheregent.com/wedding-dress-giveaway.

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Lily Belcher is a writer for The Osprey Observer and Christian Voice Monthly. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey since completing her internship. Lily plans to attend the University of South Florida and major in Communications while writing for The Oracle.