"We want to have our marriage built upon that principle of giving to other people," the bride-to-be says

By Alexandra Zaslow
Updated February 27, 2015 05:25 PM
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Courtesy Jimmy Gillespie/Facebook

When Elizabeth Jensen realized she couldn’t afford her dream wedding dress, she probably didn’t expect to have a fairy tale ending.

While the 21-year-old was admiring the dress at the pop-up shop Elizabeth Cooper Designs in Provo, Utah, last Friday, a fellow shopper and bride-to-be, who remains anonymous, offered to purchase the dress for Jensen.

“I said, ‘Are you sure?’ Because it’s just not the norm,” Carrie Ling, the bridal store owner, told the Deseret News. “I’m still flabbergasted. I don’t know why she did it.”

“It’s unusual for a customer to walk out empty-handed, so I was shocked when I tried to help the anonymous lady pick out a dress and she instead told me that she wanted to help one of the five women in the store at the time,” Ling told PEOPLE.

She pointed to Jensen and said that she wanted to help her because she was shopping alone, while the others had one or two people with them.

Jensen had her eye on the frock, but couldn’t afford the dress’s $480 price tag. She is currently a full-time student at Brigham Young University. Her father is also currently unemployed, making money tight for the family.

When Ling approached Jensen with the news, she immediately started crying.

“She told us her story and how grateful she was and really blessed that it happened to her,” Ling said.

The store caters to brides on a budget, but none of the employees have ever seen such a sweet gesture happen out of the blue like this.

“The fact there was somebody in the store watching me and seeing how much I loved the dress and taking the time,” Jensen, who is one of eight children, said. “She didn’t even know me.”

Jensen’s fiancé, Jimmy Gillespie, proposed to her last month and they are set to wed on May 1. She wants the stranger to know that she has an open invitation to the wedding.

“We want to have our marriage built upon that principle of giving to other people,” Jensen told ABC News.