The groom had asked for her hand. The date was set. And the dress had been purchased. Kelly Cays was just an ordinary bride-to-be with a June wedding planned until something happened that shook up her dreams and restored her belief in human kindness.
On March 14, Cays of Colorado Springs, Colorado, picked up the wedding dress she’d ordered four months earlier from Danielle’s Bridal Boutique. Here is where the story then deviates from normal into unthinkable territory: Someone stole Cays’s 2006 Jeep Liberty from the parking lot of her apartment complex. But it wasn’t just her wheels that disappeared. So did her wedding dress.
Ten days later, the car turned up abandoned, but the dress was gone. And Cays’s auto insurance didn’t cover the theft.
Relatives had paid for Cays’s $1,800 dress, and she and her fiancé Zach Rose couldn’t afford to replace it. What’s more, they didn’t have four months to wait for a replacement, as their wedding date loomed just three months away. After the Colorado Springs Gazette ran a story on the pilfered dress, people throughout the city stepped up to help.
“So many people offered me their dresses and their stories,” Cays told Stephanie Earls of the Gazette. She still loved her original wedding dress, though, so she contacted the store to see if they could do a rush order. The store agreed, and allowed her to put down only a small deposit, while Cays and Rose hoped they could come up with the rest of the money in time.
They shouldn’t have worried. Sarah Steinmeyer, who works at the dress shop, told Earls that a Good Samaritan came in and anonymously paid for the dress. “It had been a very busy day working on prom when this woman came in and wanted to know if anyone had paid for Kelly Cays’ wedding dress yet. We said, ‘No,’ and she said, ‘I’d like to do that,’ and whipped out her checkbook. I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “We all want to be able to do that someday, just make someone’s day like that.”
Cays describes the act of generosity as a “breath of angelic awesomeness.” It restored Cays’ belief in the goodness of people. “After my car was stolen, I was thinking people are awful. Then throughout this, so many people have helped me and been really sweet and tried to make things easier for me to deal with. There are so many amazing people out there,” said Cays.
Thanks to the people of her community, Cays’s wedding day will be unforgettable.