A photo posted by Alex Neary (@wildeyed) on


Elise Boissonneault was just another excited bride-to-be counting down the hours to her wedding day… until she was forced to evacuate her home in Fort McMurray because of a raging wildfire and had to leave all her possessions behind –including her wedding dress.

With their marriage set to be performed that weekend in Toronto, Elise asked Alex Neary –her wedding photographer and friend– to post a query on social media asking if anyone was willing to lend her a replacement gown.

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Within hours, hundreds of strangers sent offers and letters of encouragement to the worried evacuee. Designers, photographers, artists, and wedding consultants all continued to search, exchanging suggestions and connections to find a last-minute outfit.

Finally, Elise and Alex dropped by LeaAnn Belter Bridal in Toronto where she was given not one, but two dresses: one to wear during the ceremony, the other during the reception.

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“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,” Alex wrote on her Instagram. “Thank you SO much for all of your help! You really don’t know how much it means to her and her family.”

Elise’s home has reportedly survived the wildfires and she says she plans to offer other evacuees the same kindness that she was shown, to help pay all that generosity forward.

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