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A gown gaffe: George’s Brook-Milton woman discovers wrong wedding dress after 30 years sealed

Mary Larner-Pardy on her wedding day 30 years ago. She’s now looking for her dress, which was mixed up by a drycleaner in 1989.
Mary Larner-Pardy on her wedding day 30 years ago. She’s now looking for her dress, which was mixed up by a drycleaner in 1989. - Contributed

GEORGE’S BROOK-MILTON, N.L. — A time to reminisce and share a special memory with her family on her 30th wedding anniversary, quickly turned into a surprise no bride would appreciate.

Mary Larner-Pardy of George’s Brook-Milton opened her wedding dress for the first time in 30 years last week, but what she found was shocking and disappointing.

It was the wrong dress.

In the heirloomed box, sealed away by a dry-cleaning company after the wedding, it was not her lace-style dress with long sleeves, but a lower-cut, long-trained gown.

Mary Larner-Pardy holds up the dress that she discovered in place of hers when she opened the heirloom box 30 years later.
Mary Larner-Pardy holds up the dress that she discovered in place of hers when she opened the heirloom box 30 years later.

Pardy told The Packet, as soon as she saw the neck, she knew it wasn’t her dress.

“Mine was long, but it wasn’t as long as that.”

Completely sealed in plastic, the box also contains blue tissue paper which completely obscures any view of the dress.

Pardy says she’s contacted the company that did the work 30 years ago, but while they said they would get back to her, she hasn’t heard any news.

A very personal loss

Pardy says her dress was special to her for several reasons, not just because she wore it on her wedding day.

It was custom-made and chosen by her and her mother. She looks back fondly on picking out the style and design of the dress with her.

“There’s so many memories there of going down with my mom … She passed away about 10 years after I was married.”

Pardy also says her daughter has said she would have liked to incorporate a piece of Pardy’s dress into her own.

“It’s a big feeling of loss, but I guess loss is maybe not the right word to say,” explained Pardy.

Looking for her dress

Now, Pardy is getting the word out in hopes of finding the dress, no matter how slim the chances.

If she has someone else’s dress, then someone else must have hers.

While this is not the first time – even in the local area – that this type of mix-up has happened, Pardy says she is still hopeful.

“At least if people see this (wrong) dress, they may be able to recognize it.

“It’s a beautiful dress. It’s just not my dress!” she laughed.

Roseanne Flight of Southern Harbour had the same thing happen to her when she opened her heirloomed dress a couple of years ago. However, she was married in 1985 and had the dress sealed in 1986.

A picture of the back of the “wrong dress.”
A picture of the back of the “wrong dress.”

Pardy says she called Flight to check, even though the dates don’t match up, but no luck.

“I look at myself – I’m still here. I have this dress that belongs to somebody. And maybe they’re in the same boat as me – they didn’t open it, they just went on blind trust or whatever. And one of these days they’re going to open it and go, ‘Oh my God!’

“Maybe it’s too late, but I don’t know.”

So if you were married in 1989, and perhaps had your dress heirloomed at a dry cleaner in St. John’s thereafter – you may be at the other end of a mix-up.

And perhaps, take your dress out of the closet and open the seal anyway. Just in case.

“At least they’ll have the comfort of knowing what’s in the box is theirs,” says Pardy.

Jonathan.parsons@thepacket.ca

Twitter: @jejparsons

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