The Married at First Sight experiment may not have ended the way Monet Bell expected, but she’s gone on to do amazing things since participating in season one. Now, with her own successful show, the sky is the limit for this fashion lover. The #BlackLove star has teamed up with Married at First Sight: The First Year participants, Jamie Otis and Cortney Hendrix, to do something incredibly selfless. They’re auctioning off their wedding gowns to Brides Across America! Bell is graciously sharing her experience with The Knot in an exclusive interview.
“Initially, I planned to just donate my wedding dress to Brides Across America,” Bell tells us of why she decided to auction her gown. “However, after having a conversation with a representative from the organization, I realized that they really needed some financial support, more so than my dress. Brides Across America ships dresses all over the country and shipping cost seems to be their greatest expense. I thought, instead of donating my dress, I could raise money by putting it up for auction and the money raised could help send dresses to military brides in need.”
We asked Bell how her Married at First Sight friends reacted to her idea to auction her wedding dress. “I was talking to my “First Wives Club” members, Jamie and Cortney, and I explained to them what I wanted to do, and they were super excited and thought that it was a great cause,” Bell shares. “These two women have great hearts and understood that my goal was to try to give some support.”
“After further discussion, I asked if they would consider donating their dresses as well,” she continues. “Cortney and Jamie jumped at the idea and said they would love to help with this cause.”
Hendrix is auctioning off the Allure Bridal wedding dress she wore on her wedding day to Jason Carrion, while Otis is auctioning off the Monaco beach wedding dress she wore to her vow renewal to Doug Hehner.
“Along with wanting to support me, they understood the value of this cause,” Bell tells The Knot. “The three of us had the luxury of not having to pay for our weddings. However, we are aware of how expensive wedding dresses can be. If we have the chance to help by doing something as simple as attempting to raise money for this organization, we are going to do it. They brought their dresses to my Bride It Forward event featured on #BLACKLOVE, and from there I began the process of organizing the auction.”
Why did Bell choose this particular cause to support? “Brides Across America’s goal is for women to love themselves and feel good about themselves,” she explains, “and that is a goal of mine as well. This organization takes one of the most special days in a woman’s life and helps to enhance it. All brides deserve to look amazing on their special day.”
“Brides Across America plays a role in making women’s dreams come true by giving military brides a free wedding dress during the Brides Across America Gown Giveaway,” Bell tells us of the charity organization. “Events are held twice a year in partnership with bridal salons across the country. Deployments, financial hardships, and other challenges unique to servicemen and women can make it difficult to plan a wedding. This is one way to help with that.”
Bell’s wedding dress is near and dear to her heart. The color of the Sarah Danielle gown is off-white and was purchased from RK Bridal.
What did Bell love most about her dress? “I loved the color of my dress — it’s an off white, egg shell kind of color,” she shares. “I loved the layers of the train, and how it fit my body.”
“Originally the dressed had a stone brooch in the center of the bust,” she continues. “I removed that and decided to wear an embellished belt. Most people know I am very much into fashion and have a huge affection for dresses. I could spend all day trying them on and/or helping another bride find a dress that makes her feel beautiful.”
We asked Bell, if she were to remarry, what wedding dress style would she look for. “That’s a hard question,” she admits. “I love the style of the dress I had, and I loved how I felt in it. However, there are some wedding dress designers I follow on social media and I’m so torn between a ball gown and long sleeve mermaid dress. I am in love with wedding dresses!”
For more information on the wedding dresses and to bid on your favorite, visit www.32auctions.com/