Woman preserves wedding dress; 30 years later opens box and finds wrong dress

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Three decades ago, Dayton native Beth Griswold had her wedding dress preserved. She now lives in South Carolina and recently discovered she has someone else’s dress.

Beth got married wearing her mother’s wedding dress on October 7, 1989 at Holy Angels Church in Dayton.

It was just all satin. No glitter. No glamor. It was just very traditional,” describes Beth.

After her wedding, she had her dress restored in case her possible future generations wanted to wear it. Beth took the dress to Fox Cleaners. From there, it was shipped to Allied Heirlooms Inc. in Mississippi for preservation. It was then shipped back to Beth in a neatly packaged box.

We were told not to open up the dress. If you open up the dress, it will void the warranty. So for 30 years, I didn’t open up the dress,” says Beth.

When Beth’s daughter, Jessica, got engaged to her college sweetheart, she decided she wanted to be the third generation bride to don the look.

My grandma had worn the same dress that my mom did, and it was beautiful and I loved it. And so, since I’ve been little, I’ve just anticipated I would wear that dress,” says bride-to-be Jessica Griswold.

However, her expectation didn’t meet reality when they went to open the box and found they had someone else’s dress.

It kind of took a while to sink in about how big of a deal this was because it just– It did seem silly at first,” says Jessica.

And as we’re opening it, I looked and there was all this glitter, and I was like I don’t remember having glitter on my dress,” says Beth. “As we opened it more, and took it out of the box, we realized that it wasn’t my dress.”

It took a while to sink in at first.

I just started laughing because I was like this really can’t be happening,” states Beth. “Then I got devastated.”

Beth tried contacting Allied Heirlooms, but the company was no longer in business, acquired by Wedding Gown Preservation.

They have no records. We don’t know if it got mixed up– It could be anywhere in the country,” says Beth. “The person’s dress who we have probably doesn’t even know that they don’t have their dress.”

They turned to social media, but so far no luck.

Preparing for the worst, Jessica bought a back-up dress in Cincinnati’s bridal district.

We can say my new dress is inspired by the old dress,” says Jessica.

Although they know chances are slim they’ll find it, they’re still hanging onto hope that someone out there can help.

I just really really want to find my dress, and I really want to find the owner of the dress we have,” says Beth.

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