In the life of the average wedding dress, there’s really only one shining moment: The Big Day. But because dresses often cost a pretty penny, many brides will lovingly pack them up and preserve them, just in case they want to pull them out again some day. One bride was devastated when she went to pull out her dress for an vow renewal ceremony only to find a stranger’s gown in her storage box.
Her eight-year-old son had suggested his parents get married again, reports the Tampa Bay Times, because he had seen all his parents’ pictures and wanted to be in them this time. So the couple decided to have a vow renewal ceremony on their ninth anniversary, complete with the dress she wore the first time around.
About a month before the ceremony, she broke the seal of the preservation packaging and pulled out what was supposed to be the dress her husband had sent to the dry cleaner almost a decade before. But alas, it wasn’t her dress.
She canceled the ceremony and stopped all the plans, and said she was heartbroken over the loss of her ivory gown.
But instead of moping, she went on the hunt: She tracked down the dry cleaners where the dress had been dropped off, and was told that the preservation had been outsourced to a company in New York. She launched a Facebook campaign and contacted the media to raise awareness of the dress, in the hopes that at least someone might recognize the dress she had in the box.
“I figured I could at least get back her dress even if I couldn’t find mine,” she said.
Finally, after her story aired on her local news, the preservation company was able to find her dress and shipped it back to her.
“I think it’s a miracle,” she said. “I can’t believe I got my dress back.”
Apparently when the company received her dress, they’d also lost track of another bride’s gown and mixed up the invoices. The owner says it’s the first mix-up they’ve had in the business’ 13 years.
And in another twist of cosmic fate — the woman whose dress was in that box lived only three miles away. She figured her dress was a lost cause and come to terms with it. When the newspaper tracked her down and told her there was a woman who had her missing dress, she was happy to get back a piece of her past.
“Several people at that wedding are not with us anymore,” she said. “It will be really nice to have something special from a time when they were all in our lives.”
As for the first woman? The couple’s renewal ceremony is back on. And even better — the dress still fits.
“They say it’s bad luck to wear your dress twice,” she said. “But I don’t believe any of that.”
Two brides find missing wedding dresses 10 years later [Tampa Bay Times]