Cinderella story: a dress for bride-to-be

Boza Gardner, 22, and Albin Lotric, 24, president of the Ljubljana Branch, were to be the first couple to marry in the temple from the newly recognized country of Slovenia after the breakup of Yugoslavia.

They had worked hard preparing a place to live in the upper part of her parents' house. They had endured the hardships of war when Yugoslavia was divided. Although the fighting had stopped in their new country, now called Slovenia, life was still difficult. The recent war affected the economy. Money for non-essential items simply was not available. But the optimistic couple continued with their wedding plans.As the special day was drawing near, only one obstacle remained: Where was Boza to find a suitable wedding dress in a country that was not only recovering from war, but was also trying to establish itself as an independent country?

Under such conditions, the answer came in a miraculous way. Boza and other members from Ljubljana, Slovenia, went to a district conference of the Church in Zagreb, Croatia. At the conference, Boza was asked about the pending wedding. She said everything was ready, except there was no dress.

Sister Margo Halgren, a missionary from Ontario, Calif., heard the bride-to-be's comment. Sister Halgren had been helping the day before with the distribution of food and clothing to war refugees. Missionaries were reviewing relief packages shipped to Croatia by members of the Church in Holland. In one package was a wedding dress. The missionaries wondered why anyone would send a wedding dress to war refugees; they were amused by the seemingly odd contribution.

Thomas Vlaninic, a member of the Church in Holland, brought the parcel containing the wedding dress to Croatia. His friend had a daughter who had cancelled her wedding and no longer wanted the wedding dress. He asked if the dress could go to Croatia, and she agreed. So Brother Vlainic brought along the dress with other items.

All of the supplies were well received, except the wedding dress. It seemed no one in the refugee camps had need of a beautiful, new, white wedding dress. The dress was set aside at the LDS meetinghouse in Zagreb. Sister Halgren told Boza about that dress.

"It was like Cinderella all over again," said Sister Janet Reber, wife of Austria Vienna Mission Pres. Kenneth D. Reber. "Boza tried the dress on, and it fit perfectly. It was as if it had been made for her; it didn't need one alteration. Everyone was delighted."

The two were married in the Frankfurt Germany Temple July 8, 1992.

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed