In 1986, two new brides went to the same Tennessee dry cleaner to drop off their dresses after their respective weddings. They were cleaned and professionally sealed. As is custom, they picked up their gowns, took them home, and stored them for safekeeping.
These two women didn’t know each other, but just happened to live in the same area and got married around the same time. Fast forward to 2012 when one of the women, Kim Jones, discovered that the dress she brought home back in ’86 was not her own. She had a stranger’s wedding dress in her possession all those years.
A local newspaper ran a small article about the incident, hoping to reunite the dress with its original owner. With no luck finding her and the dry cleaners out of business, Kim chose to hold on to the dress. Even after she left Tennessee, she always hoped that someday she could possibly find the other bride.
In January 2017, Shannon McNamara made the same discovery as Kim. When she opened the preserved dress with her daughter, they both were shocked to find someone else’s gown. Shannon’s daughter Caroline just got engaged, and she was excited about showing the dress to her.
She told The Tennessean:
“I always envisioned taking the dress out and letting my daughter try it on when she got engaged — not necessarily because I wanted her to wear it at her own wedding, but just for fun.”
Coincidentally, both ladies found out about the swap while opening the dresses with their daughters decades later. For Shannon, it was like a punch in the gut not knowing what happened to her gown. But she immediately went on the hunt. Using the power of Facebook, Shannon posted a picture of the gown and her tale.
Within hours, someone dug up Kim’s story online and shared it with Shannon. They found her dress. And Kim’s daughter-in-law saw Shannon’s post. Kim’s dress was found. Mystery solved in one day!
The two women spoke and learned they went to the same high school but Kim relocated to Georgia. With a newly formed friendship, the two met for a proper exchange. Now Shannon could give her daughter the dress.
Rachael Ray caught wind of the incident and invited Kim, Shannon, and Caroline to her show to talk about the interesting story. Additionally, she wanted to help Caroline give her mom’s vintage gown a small redesign – she decided to wear it in her own ceremony.
It’s amazing how this situation unfolded and that the two special gowns found their way back to where they belong. Lost and found has a whole new meaning for these families! So happy that Shannon finally got the chance to see her daughter in her dress.
What do you think of the two happy endings in this story? Your thoughts on the redesigned vintage dress?