'As big as the hearts of Winnipeggers': Unused wedding dress donation grows to include more donors, recipients

When Hannah Pratt posted her unused wedding dress for free on Kijiji, she only intended to help one bride-to-be. But after dozens of compelling stories came in from people hoping to wear it, Pratt is hoping to find other donors to do the same.

Hannah Pratt is hoping more brides donate gowns after posting her own for free on Kijiji

Hannah Pratt is giving away her designer wedding dress. (HannahRosePR.com)

When Hannah Pratt posted her unused wedding dress for free on Kijiji, she only intended to help one bride-to-be.

But after dozens of compelling stories came in from people hoping to wear it, she's calling on others to donate their dresses, too.

"I think it could get as big as the hearts of Winnipeggers are, which is massive," she said.

Pratt says she called off her wedding last year, after she'd already found and purchased a designer gown on sale for $1,300 — about half its original retail price, she said.

She considered selling it but chose to post it for free to avoid hassle and "put some good karma out there," she said. In her post, she asked brides to include a little information about themselves and why they wanted the dress.

"They didn't have to be anything crazy or earth-shattering, but I just wanted to know a little about them and when their wedding was," she said. "I got dozens of submissions, all that were incredibly heart-wrenching and compelling."
Hannah Pratt is giving away this designer wedding dress to a deserving bride. (Kijiji)

Pratt chose a bride whose story touched her, but on Friday morning she received a submission from a 28-year-old mother of two battling breast cancer.

After a double mastectomy and in between chemotherapy treatments, the woman learned she was pregnant, Pratt said.

"For her to be around the same age as me and going through chemotherapy and losing her hair, I couldn't imagine a better thing than a day to hopefully help her forget all of that and make her feel beautiful," she said.

Pratt put out the call on Facebook for another dress, and within a few hours she received messages from five of her friends hoping to donate their dresses to brides who had submitted their stories, she said.

"It was a really surprising thing," Pratt said. "It was just simple thing that I was trying to do to help somebody else and now it's become a lot larger than me. It's exciting."

Donating a sentimental item like a dress could be tough for some former brides, but Pratt said hearing the submissions of brides-to-be helps.

"They're all very willing to share their story, and I think just hearing a few of them kind of makes things a lot easier," she said. "It puts things in perspective."

If you want to donate a dress, you can reach out to Pratt through Facebook.

With files from Kim Kaschor and Julie Dupre