With the radiance of a bride who just found her dream dress, Maria Coria is helped in the dressing room by Jessenia Jimenez, a 20-year-old Sacramento State student wearing a pink ribbon costume in support of breast cancer awareness.
As romance lingers a day after Valentine’s Day, hopeful brides-to-be crowded the courtyard at the Vizcaya event center in Sacramento to pore over racks of new and “gently worn” wedding gowns donated by boutiques, designers and former brides during the Brides Against Breast Cancer’s Nationwide Tour of Gowns bridal show. The tour’s next Northern California stop will be March 7 in Emeryville.
Dress sales – which average $600 each – help fund the Health Support Network, a free online resource offering programs and services for people who have been affected by cancer.
Volunteers are solicited in each city to assist the brides in making their experience special. Jimenez said helping the organization was meaningful to her because two of her cousins died from breast cancer.
Embracing her volunteer role as a personal shopper, Jimenez finds a beaded sash and veil to exquisitely complement Coria’s chosen gown. As Coria says “yes” to her dress, bells go off and applause breaks out. Jimenez said seeing Coria’s smile made everything worth it. “It feels good helping them look for a dress for their special day and making these brides feel beautiful.”