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Fort McMurray bride whose wedding dress burned in wildfire gets her happy ending in Toronto

Toronto Star Toronto Star 9/05/2016 Laura DaSilva - Staff Reporter

Fort McMurray bride-to-be Élise Boissonneault was forced to flee town — without her wedding gown. Just days before her nuptials, the 29-year-old’s dress was destroyed by the out-of-control wildfire. Her dreams of a perfect day went up in flames with it.

Torontonians stepped up and vowed to find the flustered fiancée a new dress. After Toronto-based photographer Alex Neary put out a call for help, hundreds of offers poured in. After some tear-filled try-ons, Boissonneault walked away from Lea-Ann Belter Bridal shop with a donated dress and a large sigh of relief.

On Saturday I have a wedding. My couple are from Fort McMurray and yesterday they were evacuated from their home. I asked Elise what I could do to help her on my end here and she asked me if I could possibly help to find her a new dress as hers was lost in the fire. I posted on Facebook and within an hour hundreds upon hundreds of strangers had reached out, offering to give her their dress to wear. Designers, bridal stores and fellow photographers all did what they could to help her find a new gown. Elise arrived in Toronto at 3pm, I picked her up at 5:30pm and we went to @leaannbelterbridal where the ever so generous and gracious, Ginny, lent Elise not one but two dresses. One for the ceremony and one to change into for the reception. Elise was so overcome with emotions by everything that has happened and I can safely say that the kindness shown by strangers has touched her more than you will ever know. Thank you SO much for all of your help! You really don't know how much it means to her and her family. ❤️❤️❤️ #BeKindToOneAnother @vsco

A photo posted by Alex Neary (@wildeyed) on

People cheered as Élise Boissonneault exited the Toronto Island ferry en route to her wedding Saturday afternoon.

Boissonneault and groom Brandon Phillippo exchanged their vows at the Rectory Café surrounded by family and friends.

Champagne was in order after a stressful journey to Toronto and scrambling to find a dress.

Boissonneault, originally from Cape Breton, and Phillippo chose to wed in Toronto since it’s a sort-of halfway point from their new home in Alberta.

Elise Boissonneault said yes to the dazzling donated dress from Lea-Ann Belter Bridal shop.

The newlyweds are enjoying some well-deserved rest and relaxation before heading back to Alberta to begin a new chapter, together.

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