One Cent Wedding Dress
11/11/11: Amy got the dress! She looks STUNNING!
10/11/11: CONGRATULATIONS to Amy Harper from Rogue River, Oregon for winning the One Cent Wedding Dress! Here’s her incredible story:
“My name is Amy Harper, I just turned 24 and have been married to my husband for almost five years. We had planned our ‘dream’ wedding for December 3rd 2007, but there were other plans in store for us. In April 2007 we found out we would be welcoming our first child, with a due date of November 30th 2007. I had bad health care plans through my work, and the only option was for us to get married sooner than planned. With very little money saved we had to go to a justice of the peace and get married in shorts/pants. Not ideal at all, but it was best for the three of us.
Fast forward to March of this year 2011, my husband and I had started making plans to do a 5 year Vow Renewal in Hawaii. We’ve invited family and friends, and started looking at places and dresses. We had set the date, April 25th 2012 the day of our five year wedding anniversary. We were finally getting our wedding after five years of waiting, or so we thought.
I was sick the entire month of April 2011. We thought I just had a cold bug that my husband had. The last week of April everything shattered. I had my mother in law take me to urgent care because I had coughed and it felt like I had broken a rib. At urgent care I was told there would be a two hour waiting period before I would be seen by a doctor. A nurse came out to take down my symptoms and check my blood pressure, my pulse and my oxygen levels all the while not saying a word to me other than ‘I’m glad you came in.’
After taking my vitals, she told me she was going to see if a doctor was available. They quickly rushed my back into a room and said ‘You have pneumonia.’ They gave me a steroid shot in the bum, and put me on oxygen immediately. A lab tech came in and helped me walk to their x-ray room. At which point he told me I HAD to stand and hold on to the machine, doing so caused me so much pain I was bawling my eyes out like a baby by the time the x-rays were over.
The doctor looked over the x-rays and confirmed pneumonia. They gave me some medicinces, and waited it out. After about three hours of being there, they gave me another steroid shot then told me they would wait one more hour but if my oxygen levels did not come up they would be calling an ambulance as they were closing soon. The ambulance was called, and I was taken to the emergency room at a local hospital at which point the on call emergency doctor knew I was in horrible shape and had me admitted in to the hospital.
I stayed there for four days, while the doctors tried to get me better. On the first morning there one of the doctors taking care of me discovered that the air ways in my lungs are not properly formed. This was confirmed by a second doctor on my third day there. Both doctors told me I need to start seeing a lung specialist at least two times a year. I also have to stay away from sick people, and have to go in to an emergency room or doctors office any time I get a bad cold.
I was lucky enough to have the state cover most of my hospital stay, but we are now left with around $3000 in medical bills that we are struggling to pay. My husband just got a new job, he starts tomorrow in fact. This new job will allow me to have better health care.
With everything that happened we have had to postpone once again our wedding. As we simply can not afford every thing right now.
I had plans to buy a dress from David’s Bridal for $175, my husband knows when we have our vow renewal I want it to be our ‘wedding’ that we never got to have. As of now, our wedding is on hold until late 2012. It’s not when we wanted it, but it is what it is and at least I’m still here.”
10/1/11: This contest will officially close at midnight EST tonight. Please get all your submissions in before then. Winner will be announced and contacted by 10/10/11! Good luck everyone!
8/20/11: I made a quick video! Please share it!
8/18/11: Check out all the recent press covering this story! Thanks for spreading the word! (If you are press, please contact me here)
8/17/11: A sweet suggestion: let’s make this “the dress that keeps giving.” It would be great if the winner will consider passing this dress on to the next deserving person, and so on…
8/16/11: I received a generous offer from a fashion student in Colorado to alter and style the dress for the winner!
August 6th, 2011. It’s a rainy afternoon in NYC and my college friend, Vanessa, is in town. Whenever we hang out, we like to try on over-the-top formal gowns. It’s just our thing, don’t judge. We decide to duck into Nordstrom Rack in Union Square. I mean, where else can you find one-of-a-kind formal dress castoffs worthy of screen time on Telemundo.
As we flip through the racks picking out anything that is bedazzled with sequins, feathers, or fringes, Vanessa pauses at the sight of a beautiful wedding dress. First of all, who knew Nordstrom Rack carried wedding gowns, and second of all, I know exactly what she’s about to say next. “Yue, try it on.” I figure, why not. As a very single woman in NYC, I know that it would be a long time before I have a reason to try on one of these babies. I grab this heavy heap of material and head to the dressing room. For shits and giggles, I pull out the price tag and search for the dollar amount that I know I’m not about to spend. As I slowly focus on the final marked down price, I fuzzily see a $0.01. Writing it off as a mistake, I proceed to the dressing room.
A couple minutes later, Vanessa comes out in a hot pink, one-shoulder, ruffled silk chiffon gown that I jokingly claim to not have enough “pop.” She is then astonished by my simple yet elegant wedding gown that looks so nice that we can no longer giggle about it. I exclaim, “If this is $0.01, I’m getting it.”
We rush to the nearest employee and she of course says, “This is a mistake. I will get the price for you right away.” She disappears for about 5 minutes while I’m thinking how ridiculous I look right now standing in the middle of the store cradling a wedding gown in my arms. “You can’t carry a wedding gown like a pair of Levi’s.” The associate finally comes back, walks briskly to me and whispers, “Yeah, it’s a penny” and bolts out of my sight.
Absolutely bewildered, I still don’t completely believe it. I carry the gown to the cashier and not surprisingly I hear, “This has to be a mistake.” Before I know it, 5 employees are gathered around me repeatedly scanning the price tag that repeatedly displays, “$0.01.” After much debate, a manager shows up, susses out the situation, and deliberates, “This was a price discrepancy and should have never been on the floor, however a customer caught it before an employee did, so per policy, we have to honor the price.”
I immediately open my wallet and get out the shiniest penny I could find. I feel like I’ve won the lottery. The friendly cashier, still in awe, gently folds my wedding gown and hands me a receipt for $0.01. She follows up with, “Are you getting married?” Me: “Nope.”
Jessica McClintock Bridal poly satin bustier gown with a sweetheart neckline, princess seams and bubble skirt. Size 4. Retail price: $275. It’s beautiful, classic and flattering.
The Fairytale Ending:
Listen, I’m a single gal and though I see a wedding in my future, it’s not in the near future. I have no use for this beautiful dress. Not to mention that it’s taking up room in my tiny studio. And hello, how scary would it be to bring a guy over with a wedding gown hanging outside my closet?! So, I would love to give it to someone more deserving. Maybe you have a wedding coming up and haven’t budgeted enough for a dress, or you want to dye it and turn it into your dream prom dress, I want to hear about it. Contact me (below) and tell me your story (or nominate someone) by 10/1/11, and I will choose one person to ship the dress to.
The Girl (About Me):
Hi! I’m Yue and I am a dating coach in New York City. Kind of ironic, right? You’re currently on my dating blog, Singlefied.com (it contains offensive language so don’t read it if you’re easily offended). As a dating coach, I’ve heard it all and seen it all. Sometimes, it seems like a miracle to me that two random people will meet and decide to spend the rest of their lives together. Living in a world of cynicism, I do believe in one thing: love. I believe in finding a teammate we truly can’t live without.