A Canberra bride whose dress decision went viral on Facebook earlier this week has chosen her gown for the big day.
Canberra retiree Sylvia Martin, 93, visited Cooma-based retailer Birdsnest on Sunday to shop for a wedding dress for her marriage to long-time friend Frank Raymond, 88, next month.
A Facebook post by Birdsnest - showing Sylvia in four stunning dress options - was shared hundreds of times that day, with more than 5400 people worldwide 'voting' on dress options for Sylvia's big day.
Birdnest has confirmed Sylvia will wear option C, the Sacha Drake Cipolla Dress, to exchange vows with Frank. But with a resounding Facebook vote for option D, the Bird Keepers Cape Dress, Sylvia left the store with that option also in hand, to wear on more casual occasions.
The couple's story has captured the hearts of the nation, with people from South Australia, Western Australia and the NT all commenting their best wishes and congratulations on Facebook. The Canberra Times has heard a whisper that the couple will also appear on Channel Nine's Today early next week.
According to the Birdsnest Facebook post, Frank has been asking Sylvia to marry him for more than 20 years. When Sylvia became ill in 2016 and moved to Canberra from Tasmania to be with her family, Frank stayed in Tassie and "gave up hope".
But Sylvia called and asked him to join her in Canberra - which he did and immediately proposed. Sylvia - having always refused Frank out of respect for her deceased husband - learnt she could keep her surname and said yes.
Birdsnest marketing manager Penny Carroll said store staff fell in love with Sylvia and her entourage of bridesmaids in-store on Sunday, so much so that Birdsnest had given Sylvia her dress for the big day free of charge.
"The response to our Facebook post has just been incredible," Ms Carroll said.
"It's such a beautiful and happy story.
"We've definitely seen a spike in 'likes' on our Facebook page and in terms of comments it's easily our most engaged post ever.
"We just hope Sylvia and Frank have a wonderful day."