There are only a few visuals that are as symbolic as a white wedding dress. Next to the groom, it is the bridal gown that stands out and takes center stage when any woman imagines her dream wedding.
Choosing the perfect dress is considered one of the most important decisions a bride makes, rooted in the idea of a woman should look her absolute best on one of the most important days of her life. Thus, many brides-to-be spend their time carefully planning for a timeless stunner that is a reflection of their own unique style.
With all the effort spent on a single dress meant to be worn once, wouldn’t it be nice to if many others will get the chance to enjoy it too?
Beauty queen and Instagram influencer Tinjoy Agcopra-Gutierrez was one of the lucky brides blessed with the opportunity to wear the dress of her dreams when she wed her now-husband Reyjhie Gutierrez last December 2019.
She commissioned renowned designer Val Taguba to create a stunning gown for her walk down the aisle. “I had 4 fittings. During the final fitting, I literally had tears of joy. The dress was everything I ever wanted and dreamed of.”
On March 28, Tinjoy announced on her social media account that she was selling her wedding dress for a very meaningful cause: the proceeds will be donated towards purchasing the medical needs of the frontliners at Southern Philippines Medical Center.
Hours after her announcement, the Val Taguba dress was sold for half the original amount to a lucky bride-to-be. “I never expected to receive such an overwhelming response. It took hours before someone decided to buy the gown but I did not confirm the sale immediately," shares Tinjoy.
"A lot of people are saying I should have put it up for bidding so I could raise more funds for PPE but, as much as I care for the price, I cared more as to whom I’d sell it to. I followed her on Instagram and added her on Facebook just to get a sense of whether she would really take good care of my dress.”
In the end, it was the buyer's story that finally convinced Tin. "She fell in love with the dress and wanted to help. The crazy part is that she is still single and searching for the love of her life," shares Tinjoy. "I hope that my dress will give her luck in finding the one. I asked her to invite me to their wedding."
The sale of the Swarovski-studded dress translated into money enough to purchase thousands of surgical and N95 masks for the frontliners at Southern Philippines Medical Center.
“For the first batch, I bought thousands of surgical masks from Manila, even buying them at a higher price because of the scarcity. I also procured hundreds of face shields with the help of other funds that I raised on my Instagram account. I am also procuring a number of PPE suits from my nursing clinical instructor who messaged me.”
Tinjoy humbly appeals to everyone to help and protect our frontliners. “We can’t afford any decrease of the manpower in hospitals so we have to help protect our dear health care workers. There is already a shortage, as the current situation stands,” she says.
It is one way of expressing her gratitude for the sacrifice that the health workers do for the country. “My endless gratitude to all of you. No amount of donations or money can ever repay what you are risking for our country. Thank you so much for doing everything you can every single day to save lives. We all are very proud of you.”
“I wanted my wedding dress to be something more meaningful. Come 10-20 years, I’d get to look back and proudly share this story to our future kids and tell them that my wedding dress was the most beautiful dress I’ve got to wear in my entire life and it, in a way, helped save lives,” she happily shared.
Read more on Choose Philippines.