The Wedding Dress Repurposed – The New York Times


On May 17, at 9 a.m., Vanessa Reiser was in position, and all decked out in a $3,500 bridal dress from Lovely Bride in Manhattan specially designed for her first one-woman run through New York. The 285 miles, starting in Oswego, N.Y., and ending in Jay Hood Park, N.Y., would be completed over 12 days. For each of the nine counties she ran through, a donation would be made to a local domestic abuse shelter.

Ms. Reiser is not getting married; she has been married twice before (In 1998 for eight years and in 2013 for five years.). And in July 2020, she broke off her third engagement to a man she said was a narcissistic abuser.

Ms. Reiser, 48, a psychotherapist who lives in Congers, N.Y., said: “But I’m a strong girl. Once I got away and got my power back, I turned a corner. I’m proud to say that strong girl never left.”

Her decision to raise awareness to narcissistic domestic abuse in wedding attire was simple: “If I run in a white dress,” she said, “people might pay attention.”

“Getting the vaccine is all about hope,” she said. “It was a ceremonial moment worth celebrating. It doesn’t mark the end of the pandemic, but I’m more protected than I was before and that’s something to celebrate as well.”

Ms. Miller also spoke to using a globally understood image as an attention grabber. “That’s what you want people to see and instantly understand when you’re trying to promote a positive cause,” she said. “Few things are more eye-catching than a wedding dress. And because we have spent so much money on this one item, there’s a desire to use it again. It’s upcycling for a good cause.”

For others, wearing the bridal gown is a larger movement, even a group effort.



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