No library card is required to borrow a gown from the collection
One woman is making wedding dreams come true and saving brides a ton of money at the same time! Enter Adele Puccio, the director of Maurice M. Pine Free Public Library in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, and the proud curator of a vintage wedding dress collection available for rent.
In a conversation with NJ.com, Puccio revealed that over the years, she's loaned at least 30 dresses, carefully stored in both the library and her New Jersey home. She has even turned her office into a bridal haven, featuring some of the vintage dresses on mannequin displays.
“It’s not like I’m slapping a barcode on it and checking it out,” Puccio explained. “If somebody comes in and wants a wedding gown, they just have to express their interest and tell me what they need it for.”
But Puccio's generosity doesn't stop there. She allows brides to alter the dresses to ensure the perfect fit, with one simple request—that the dresses be cleaned after use. "Although I ‘lend,’ I don’t always expect them back,” she revealed. “People become attached to their gowns.”
Puccio told the outlet that the passion project began in 2000 when she started collecting dresses from second-hand stores including Freecycle, the nonprofit network that encourages the reuse of items through free donations.
The initiative took off while she was working in the programming department for the Bayonne Public Library, where she organized a charming “salute to brides,” adorning the library with bridal gowns and wedding memorabilia.
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For the event, staff members contributed gowns from different eras, including a flapper-style gown from the 1920s, a fur dress from 1968, and a piece by Arnold Scaasi from 1992.
Although Puccio eventually disposed of several gowns and halted collecting, her hobby was reignited when she started her job at the Fair Lawn library. "A couple of years ago, word got out in town that I collected wedding gowns," she explained. "Before I knew it, people were dropping off wedding gowns here again, reigniting my passion for the project."
The avid collector, who got married at 19 years old, added that the library patrons aren't the only people who are familiar with her rental service. Pucci uses a Facebook group called “Shared Dream Dresses,” – a private page that has more than 20,000 followers – to advertise her collection for rent.
For Puccio, the joy of helping brides feel special on their big day is the ultimate reward. With her generosity and love for bridal nostalgia, Puccio continues to spread happiness and make a difference in the lives of countless brides-to-be.
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