In June, Tess Newall got married in the gorgeous wedding dress her great-great-grandmother made and wore 150 years ago. After her father carefully selected the perfect dry cleaner to launder the dress after Newall's wedding day, the family was informed that the cleaners went out of business and that her dress may have been sold. Newall posted a plea on Facebook last week, asking for help tracking down her gown, and eventually the Internet came through. As of today, the dress is finally back in her family's hands.
"I have just found out that the dry cleaners have lost my much loved wedding dress. It was made by my Great Great Granny in 1870 (I altered the top) and I wore it in June 2016," read her original Facebook post, on February 10. "Kleen Cleaners in Edinburgh used to be the best but recently fell into crooked hands and have gone into liquidation. It seems that the dress was taken to be sold so it could be winging its way anywhere."
Newall emphasized how important the dress is to her family, and she kindly asked people to share her post in hopes of tracking down the gown. "Please share this far and wide in case anyone stumbles across it!" she wrote. "I realize there are far greater issues in the world but it means the world to us. More family memories need to be woven into its threads. Thank you so so much."
Brides spoke with Newall about the stressful experience: "We delivered the dress in September, due for collection at the end of December. After hearing nothing from them, my dad went there in early January and found it boarded up with a sign saying it went into liquidation in October. He then tried repeatedly to contact them via telephone and letter, with no answers given."
Her post was shared over 300,000 times, and luckily it worked. Kleen Cleaners' landlord noticed Newall's story online. "He found what he thought was a pile of antique lace in the basement and realized it could be the dress, so he called my parents," she said.
But even though the dress was tracked down, Newall's family still had more obstacles to face when it came to getting it back. "When they called me with the amazing news, I was overjoyed but also very frustrated, as in a strange twist a man from the administration company arrived just before my parents were leaving with the dress and said we had to wait until Monday for 'procedural issues,'" she told Brides. "We were only enabled to see inside the shop for ourselves because of the power of the people and press coverage—and there it was, still with its ticket, which matched ours, which we had been sending them! It was unbelievable." She also kept those following her story on Facebook updated with a joyful post.
Fortunately, the saga came to a conclusion on Monday. "It was delivered to our house this afternoon. We are over the moon," Newall wrote to Brides. We hope Newall and her dress live happily ever after!