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Update: Janene's Bridal in Alameda, California found a replacement dress for Armstrong just in time for her big day. They even waived all costs, including alterations!
Melissa Armstrong, 23, panicked when she learned that the bridal shop holding her dress, Wine Country Bride in Santa Rosa, California, had gone up in flames.
Just days away from her wedding on Oct. 14, she posted multiple appeals on social media, looking for anyone who could help her find another dress in the same design: a mermaid-silhouette lace gown from Allure Bridals.
“I am a size 6 but would take an 8 or 10. It was ivory with a gold/ champagne underlay,” Armstrong, who lives in Rohnert Park in Sonoma County, wrote in one Facebook message. “Please help … This is my absolute dream dress and I’m struggling with walking down the aisle in something else. Pray for my community.”
She and her fiancé, Vince, are also searching for a new wedding venue because “the air quality is horrible” in their original outdoor location in Ukiah, California.
In her frantic search for a replacement dress, Armstrong and her family have been reaching out to bridal stores, but with her wedding less than a week away, timing is tight.
“My mom called local bridal shops late Monday night and left messages looking for my gown,” Armstrong told TODAY Style in an email.
One bridal shop is trying to overnight her a dress, “but it's still unsure if it will make it in time," she said. "It's also not the right size and would still need alterations."
In the meantime, Armstrong has been touched by all the people answering her pleas for help on Facebook.
"The responses have been amazing," she told TODAY Style. "People have been offering me their wedding dresses, sending me links to second-hand dresses that are similar, looking to find my dress on websites, and making suggestions on who to reach out to."
Now, she is just hoping something will pan out.
"It would mean the world to me to find this dress again,” she told TODAY. “I saw this dress online and immediately knew it was the one ... As soon as I saw it, the tears came. It makes me feel so beautiful and confident."
Despite her ordeal, Armstrong is keeping her situation in perspective. The multiple wildfires sweeping across California’s Sonoma and Napa counties have killed at least 17 people, injured hundreds of others and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses.
Armstrong and her family voluntarily evacuated earlier this week, and she, her fiancé and their 17-month-old daughter are now back home safe.
“We are counting ourselves lucky so far,” Armstrong wrote on Facebook, “and praying for families who have lost everything.”