The Inspiring Story of Maria & Evan

A very special couple and a stunning Maggie Sottero wedding dress

On April 19th 2009, Maria and Evan were like any other engaged couple — in love, excited for the future, and busy preparing for their November wedding. Maria had found the perfect Maggie Sottero dress, and being the super-planner that she is, had already booked all their vendors and chosen the reception menu. Even their engagement photos had been taken a year in advance. <!–more–>

Maria and Evan at their engagement photo shoot, August 2008

Maria and Evan at their engagement photo shoot, August 2008

“Now I’m really glad that we did the engagement session early on. If we’d waited, we wouldn’t have had photos of us from before the accident.”

That night, Evan went to the grocery store to pick up some cereal and dog food. On the way home, he was in a devastating car accident that split the couple’s Toyota Corolla in half and sent Evan crashing through a concrete wall after being hit by another driver. His neck was fractured at the C2 vertebrae, an injury that often results in paralysis or even death.

Evan begins the long road to recovery (and looks awfully handsome in a halo!)

Evan begins the long road to recovery (and looks awfully handsome in a halo!)

The months that followed were no small challenge for Evan and Maria. While Evan was transferred from hospital to hospital, seeking doctors and specialists who could help restore his health, Maria worried about how the accident would affect their future, and didn’t know whether she should cancel their November 21st wedding. Doctors told Evan that he’d be lucky if he could walk down the aisle, let alone dance, by then.

Evan discovers the magical curative power of french fries...

Evan discovers the magical curative power of french fries…

Evan did some serious time in the hospital, wearing various immobilizing braces and a halo attached his skull with pins. After multiple complications and a risky surgical procedure, doctors predicted that he would eventually make a full recovery.

...and the healing properties of Haagen-Dazs

…and the healing properties of Haagen-Dazs

Maria and Evan were overjoyed. They had a new appreciation for life and for each other, and decided to go ahead with their planned nuptials. The day would be transformed into not just a celebration of their love, but an expression of their gratitude to friends and family for seeing them through such a difficult time.

Oh happy day!

Oh happy day!

The wedding was truly magical; the happiest day of their lives. And things were looking up, until they found out that the majority of Evan’s hospital stay hadn’t been covered by their insurance, and they were hit with staggering medical bills that would wipe out their savings and force them to start their married life deeply in debt. With Evan still out of work recovering, Maria began taking odd jobs while trying to secure a teaching position — no easy feat in this competitive economy. So she set about finding creative ways to raise money to pay off their debt — including selling her gorgeous Maggie Sottero wedding dress.

Maria in her Maggie Sottero Vienna wedding dress

Maria in her Maggie Sottero Vienna wedding dress

“At first I didn’t want to part with my dress. But then I realized that it’s just a thing, and that I was already holding onto the best part of that whole day — Evan! Now I’m glad that someone else will get to enjoy my beautiful wedding dress, and I hope it brings them the same joy that it gave us.”

Dress for sale, rockin' toned back not included. Damn, girl!

Dress for sale, rockin’ toned back not included. Damn, girl!

Maria’s gorgeous Maggie Sottero Vienna wedding dress is for sale now on Recycled Bride. It retails for $1500 plus tax, and Maria has listed it for just $1,000. It’s in like-new condition and is one of Maggie Sottero’s most beautiful and figure-flattering designs. Recycled Bride is going to pick up the cost of packing, insurance, and first-class shipping for the dress, so the buyer will incur no additional costs and is guaranteed to receive the dress quickly and in great condition.

Wedding day joy

Wedding day joy

Let’s help Maria find a buyer for her dress! All the money from the sale will go toward paying Evan’s medical bills. So if you know someone who’s engaged and looking for a fantastic gown at a great price (with a little bit of good karma thrown in to boot), please direct them to Maria’s listing. You can contact her there through our secure e-mail system with any and all questions. She’s ready to pass this beautiful frock on to another bride who will look as incredible in it as she did.

Happily ever after

Happily ever after

Evan’s recovery continues, and he and Maria will be paying off their debt for some time, but they’re as happy as two newlyweds could be. They even feel grateful in some ways for all that this experience has taught them. Maria says, “We joke a lot that after this ordeal, the rest of our marriage is going to be a cinch!”

The opportunity to hear Maria and Evan’s story has been a true privilege. I just love the spirit of this couple, their positivity in the face of adversity, and the depth of their love and devotion to one another. In the hustle and excitement of wedding planning, it’s easy to forget why we decide to get married in the first place. Maria and Evan remind us that what’s at the heart of it all is the commitment we make — in sickness and in health — to love each other for as long as we live.

See the dress and contact Maria >>

*In response to an outpouring of generosity from our readers, Recycled Bride has set up a fund on behalf of Maria and Evan to help them pay off their debt. Want to contribute? Donate now >>

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  1. Thank you all for your generous interest in Maria and Evan. Getting to know them and seeing how kind people are has been so much fun! We’ve set up a fund to help them pay those medical bills. If you’re interested in donating, here’s the link:

  2. I hope the dress finds a new bride soon. It’s a beautiful dress and the story only adds to its meaning. I wish them the best. I look forward hearing your other ideas about ways to help.

  3. Thank you guys! We’re working on coming up with other ways to help Maria and Evan move forward. I’ll keep you posted! xoxo

  4. Oh wow, such a touching story! I’m so glad they were able to go through with the wedding! They’ve probably already gone through what most couples go through after a total of 10 years of marriage! I hope someone can help them out and enjoy this gorgeous dress!

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