A woman’s plea to get her missing wedding dress returned to her has gone viral, weeks after her husband accidentally donated it to Goodwill, where it was purchased for $25.
“I totally understand that it was a great deal and just a complete steal for them,” Natalie Gelbert, of Durham, N.C., told WNCN on Wednesday. “It sold for dirt cheap, but to me it’s priceless. So if they could find the kindness in their heart to return it to me, or let me buy it off them, it would mean the world to me.”
Gelbert, who married her husband in her dream dress Oct. 2015, first posted about the missing $1,000 dress to Facebook on Tuesday afternoon, explaining her plight and asking for others to help spread the word.
“Yall,” she began, in a post that has since been shared more than 18,500 times. “My husband accidentally gave my wedding dress to Goodwill and it was sold last Saturday… It was a total mistake and we are actually still paying on it. I’m so, so, so upset and posting this in hopes whomever bought it might see this. I would really like to buy it back.”
Gelbert explains to Yahoo Style how the mixup occurred. Her husband, she says, “was cleaning out the spare room and bagged it so I could take it to get it cleaned.” But then, likely aiming to help out, she adds, “he also bagged our kids’ baby gear and put that in the car. When he dropped off at Goodwill he didn’t realize it was in the trunk with [that] stuff and donated it all.” Now, she adds, “He’s very apologetic, very remorseful and knows he f**ked up. So he probably wants the dress back more than I do!”
After making a couple of local television news appearances, Gelbert had a guest radio spot on G-105 on Thursday morning. That’s when host Erica DeLong felt inspired to add some incentive for the dress’s safe return, offering to pay a $100 reward if someone were to call into the radio station with the missing treasure.
Then, on Thursday morning, Gelbert added an update to her Facebook page, further upping the ante with the help of supporters.
“OK, so I just wanted to throw this out here. I’ve had two really kind amazing ladies offer to donate their dress to the person who has mine in exchange for it. How amazing is that?! So kind!” she wrote, adding that between herself and some friends, they would add $70 to DeLong’s offer of $100, now making the total reward $170.
When Gelbert learned through a Goodwill employee that her dress had sold, she told ABC 11, “My heart stung. That’s not something that’s replaceable at all. Like even if we were to go buy the same exact dress from David’s Bridal, it’s not one that I married the love of my life in.”
Gelbert said she had hoped to pass the long white gown on to her kids someday.
Still, she has been gracious toward her husband, calling his misstep an “honest mistake.”
As one of her hundreds of Facebook commenters pointed out, “I can only imagine how you’re feeling and your hubs, because he is the one that gave it away. But hopefully you will be able to find it and it can turn into something y’all can laugh about when you’re old.”
To that, the bride replied, “Yeah I’m heartbroken and he feels bad for doing that. I know it was an accident, but dang… I hope it’s something we can laugh about and not something I get re-mad at every time we talk about it hahaha. Bless his little heart.”
If you have any information about the missing dress, you can contact Gelbert on her Facebook page. She is checking messages regularly.
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