The massive Valley Fire burning across three counties in Northern California has ravaged 73,700 acres and destroyed 585 homes so far, including the one belonging to an engaged couple planning their wedding.
Rachel Lemon and her finance Dan Tyrrell lost their Middletown rental home along with everything they owned as they were forced to flee the fire in a burning truck, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Rachel almost cancelled her wedding dress appointment at a Santa Rosa bridal shop, but her fiancé convinced her to show up.
“I felt silly thinking about our wedding when we had just lost so much. I wasn’t sure what, if anything, we would be able to afford.”
As she was trying on dresses Hargrave-Barnard, the owner of Starlet Bridal, announced she would be donating Rachel’s wedding dress free of charge, reports the Chronicle.
“She had that look Sally Field got as she was walking down that hospital corridor in Steel Magnolias. I could see she was determined to make this a good day despite all the heartache they’d faced.”
Then, she went into the backroom and started calling colleagues and coworkers in the wedding industry to see if they would be willing to donate their products and services to help make the wedding happen. Then she went on Facebook and put her request out on social media.
Donations came flooding in, including a wedding band, a cake, champagne, flowers, photography service, musicians, a hair stylist, makeup artists, DJ’s, and wedding favors.
Rachel went on Facebook to express her overwhelming gratitude to the strangers who made her wedding happen, reports the Press Democrat.
“I’m still in shock at the kindness and generosity from total strangers. I have always dreamed of having a beautiful wedding. With the fire, I wasn’t sure that was going to happen. Thanks to you, it will.”
She was one lucky bride.
A few days ago, Rachel’s fiancé, Dan, had barely escaped the raging Valley Fire with the couple’s puppy as he was forced to flee in a burning truck moments before a wall of flame engulfed their home. The fire has killed three people so far and is only 35 percent contained.
Rachel and Dan plan to get married in June 2016, and they’re still working on a location, reports the Chronicle.
“I didn’t think I was going to have a wedding after the fire. I thought we’d just be going to the courthouse. I’m going to be able to do everything I ever dreamed of and everything I never thought I would get. I never could afford something like this.”
[Rachel Lemon Facebook Profile/ Photo Photo by Stephen Lam/ Getty Images]