This is Brunel. He is a tailor living in Port au Prince, Haiti, and he is getting married.
Much like in the US, weddings in Haiti are a big deal. Also like in the US, they are a big expense.
The difference is, most Americans can plan for the expense. They can put money aside, work some extra hours or simply cut back on the extravagance of the affair.
Almost all the money made by Haitians goes directly to food and shelter. Saving is really not a viable option. Thus, it is not uncommon for couples to decide to live together unmarried, even though their heart’s desire is marriage.
Brunel is engaged and planning a fall wedding. As noted above, he is a tailor. And he is really good (I’ve seen his work.) But even having a fantastic skill-set doesn’t guarantee a steady income in a country where most people have zero extra money.
You would think that getting married in a poverty-ridden country would be inexpensive, but in Haiti it is quite pricey.
It is $250 to simply pay for of all the necessary government paperwork. The cost of a marriage license in Iowa is $35. Seems a little backwards, doesn’t it?
In addition to the paperwork, there is the cost of the wedding gown (which they rent), the bridesmaid dresses, the princess dress and the tailored-suits.
There is also the cost of feeding the guests.
Plus, it is expected that the groom secure a home and furnishings prior to the wedding.
What we would like to do at 500 Dresses is provide Brunel with the $250 needed to cover the government expense.
For the next month, we will be taking donations for this purpose. If you desire to give, please send your donation of any amount to 500 Dresses, c/o Kim Harms 314 Centennial Dr., Huxley, IA 50124. Note in the memo that the donation is for Brunel.
If you want to include a card for Brunel and a note of encouragement to him and his bride-to-be, I will send it along with our donation later this summer.
Thanks for considering giving in this way!