Wedding Etiquette Forum

My new wedding dress may be ruined.. Help please!?

So I am getting married in September of this year and have recently bought my new gorgeous silk ballgown wedding dress. It was the last one left in the shop and fit perfectly but had a bit of dirt that needing cleaning. After doing what I thought was some good research (feeling quite stupid now) I found a dry cleaners that told me they dealt with wedding dresses all the time and would be able to clean mine, no problem. I went back today (2 weeks later) and they showed me my dress thinking all was fine. It was not. There was still some dirt on the dress which they said could not be taken out, and the silk had strange looking wrinkles all over it, top to bottom. I took a photo and according to a friend, it looks like they cracked the silk. As in, the sheen in the fabric has been stripped off which is un-fixable... I asked the woman in the shop what she intends to do about this and she told me they hadn't dealt with this fabric before??!! Seriously? Silk.. She said she would call the guys who did the dry cleaning and get back to me. I will call her as soon as they open tomorrow but wanted to see if anyone had any suggestions on what I should say or do about this. Thank you in advance :)
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Re: My new wedding dress may be ruined.. Help please!?

  • edited March 2014
    I would expect them to pay for the dress or the repairs to fix it. I hope you didn't sign anything or that they don't have signs posted that they aren't responsible for damages.

    I'm sorry this happened. I hope it can be salvaged. If it's your dream dress, can chiffon be draped over the ball gown as an overlay? Is the bodice messed up too? It's good that your wedding is still 6 months away. You should be able to order a new one if all else fails.
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    melbelleupPrettyGirlLost
  • pharischenpharischen member
    5 Love Its First Comment
    edited March 2014
    Thanks for replying so quick sharpschruter22 :) The back of the receipt states that they are not liable for any damages caused. If they cannot fix the dress I will try and fight to get them to pay for both the cleaning and the dress. It cost $155 to clean. The dress cost $1,280 to buy. And it was the last one left.. It's a stunning dress but luckily the wedding won't be ruined if I have to end up wearing something else. It's just that we are already struggling to pay for this wedding as we are having it overseas in England and I'd rather not let these cleaners get away with ruining an expensive dress.
    Sharpschruter22
  • Thanks missax! I shall be paying them a visit tomorrow morning as soon as they open. I'm terrible when it comes to conflict which is why I'm trying to gather as much knowledge as possible before I dive in to this. Thank you so much for the link!
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    If they say the regularly do wedding dresses and yet still damaged silk (one of the most common wedding dress materials) that would pretty much implicate the fact that they were dishonest about their skill level. Document each of your meetings with them and try to send them emails summing up what was discussed. It is important to have a paper trail. Take the dress to the boutique you bought it/ another cleaner/ fabric expert and have them write out their opinion of the damage (that in their expert opinion the dress is not salvageable because the silk has been ruined). It is important to have documented written evidence. 

    Before you go to small claims court, do you have a lawyer friend that could assist you drafting a letter spelling out their mistakes? Attach copies of the evidence, a list of the dates/times of correspondence and discussions and what was said as well as the amount you wish to be refunded. Often they will settle this without having to go to claims court.

    Also, you still have plenty of time to find another dress! Search preownedweddingdresses.com if you want the exact same dress and look on your local board for cleaners that other women have used.

    Good luck!
    melbelleuppharischenPrettyGirlLost
  • Chipmunk415Chipmunk415 at the corner of Wine Ave. and Margarita Ln. member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't most silk clothing items (dresses, skirts, blouses) come with tags that say DRY CLEAN ONLY?! I don't have any myself currently, but I remember my mom had this beautiful silk dress for special dinner occasions, and she had it dry cleaned every time she wore it.
    melbelleupchibiyuiPrettyGirlLost
  • I would expect them to pay for the dress or the repairs to fix it. I hope you didn't sign anything or that they don't have signs posted that they aren't responsible for damages. I'm sorry this happened. I hope it can be salvaged. If it's your dream dress, can chiffon be draped over the ball gown as an overlay? Is the bodice messed up too? It's good that your wedding is still 6 months away. You should be able to order a new one if all else fails.
    Every dry cleaner and wash/dry/fold I've ever been to has had signs posted that they are not liable for damage.  I wonder if this place was used to synthetics (you know, like your typical DB dress that says it's "chiffon/satin/whatever" but really they are all just polyester.  

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  • I also second those saying those signs are more or less bs - unless you signed a contract saying they are not responsible for any damage, you can probably get something for your dress.

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    PrettyGirlLost
  • do you have pictures of the dress before the cleaning can you take the dress to your salon to get there opinions. most salons know a place that can clean a gown for you.

    i hope you can get your money back i took an evening dress to the dry cleaners it had ruffles on it when the dry cleaning was all said and done i ended up paying like 38$ to clean it really not what i wanted to spend but they are really good at what they do
  • I have a feeling they put it in a large washing machine. A lot of dry cleaners have large washing machines which they put large amounts of clothing in.

    I watched a say yes to the dress episode once where they took a Reem acra dress (oh my gawd the horror! All that gorgeous beadwork!!) IN A WASHING MACHINE...the dress was completely lifeless(underskirts lost their shape, beads beads and appliqués were coming off and the silk was no longer shiny...it was literally just a lump of useless fabric) the bride had to get a brand new dress and you could tell she was drained and upset by the entire ordeal.

    I agree to get all your ducks in a row. Make a face to face visit today asking for the manager as well as the workers who did your dress (bring the dress to show the damage to the manager) also bring pictures of the dress before it was dry cleaned. If there are emails stating silk is a regular fabric they treat then bring those. The manager will probably direct you to the back of the receipt to which you nod and say "ok...well see" then gather more evidence contact them again and let them know you plan to pursue small claims court. This is not a small thing they ruined this is a $1000+ wedding gown you didn't even get to wear once...
    pharischenchibiyui
  • HaileyDancingbearHaileyDancingbear Arkham Asylum member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    That's horrible!!!  If they can't fix it (Which they really should, not even a matter of policies, just a matter of not being a total dick) bring it to a seamstress and see what she can do to cover the screwed up parts.  They might be able to work some magic.

    Also wtf.  Their one job is to clean stuff without fucking it up.  They had ONE JOB.
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    cowgirl8238chibiyuithemuffinman16
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    I have a feeling they put it in a large washing machine. A lot of dry cleaners have large washing machines which they put large amounts of clothing in. I watched a say yes to the dress episode once where they took a Reem acra dress (oh my gawd the horror! All that gorgeous beadwork!!) IN A WASHING MACHINE...the dress was completely lifeless(underskirts lost their shape, beads beads and appliqués were coming off and the silk was no longer shiny...it was literally just a lump of useless fabric) the bride had to get a brand new dress and you could tell she was drained and upset by the entire ordeal. I agree to get all your ducks in a row. Make a face to face visit today asking for the manager as well as the workers who did your dress (bring the dress to show the damage to the manager) also bring pictures of the dress before it was dry cleaned. If there are emails stating silk is a regular fabric they treat then bring those. The manager will probably direct you to the back of the receipt to which you nod and say "ok...well see" then gather more evidence contact them again and let them know you plan to pursue small claims court. This is not a small thing they ruined this is a $1000+ wedding gown you didn't even get to wear once...
    OMG that was my first thought when I saw the photo of the damage. It looks just like the dress from that episode. I'd guess they put it in a washing machine, which is all kinds of stupid.
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    PrettyGirlLost
  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    I have a feeling they put it in a large washing machine. A lot of dry cleaners have large washing machines which they put large amounts of clothing in. I watched a say yes to the dress episode once where they took a Reem acra dress (oh my gawd the horror! All that gorgeous beadwork!!) IN A WASHING MACHINE...the dress was completely lifeless(underskirts lost their shape, beads beads and appliqués were coming off and the silk was no longer shiny...it was literally just a lump of useless fabric) the bride had to get a brand new dress and you could tell she was drained and upset by the entire ordeal. I agree to get all your ducks in a row. Make a face to face visit today asking for the manager as well as the workers who did your dress (bring the dress to show the damage to the manager) also bring pictures of the dress before it was dry cleaned. If there are emails stating silk is a regular fabric they treat then bring those. The manager will probably direct you to the back of the receipt to which you nod and say "ok...well see" then gather more evidence contact them again and let them know you plan to pursue small claims court. This is not a small thing they ruined this is a $1000+ wedding gown you didn't even get to wear once...
    I took one look at the picture and I was going to comment that they put that dress in water. Thanks to my lack of knowledge many years ago in doing laundry I can tell you that is exactly what silk looks like when it gets washed.
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    PrettyGirlLost
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Posting a sign doesn't mean they can be reckless with your dress. If they hadn't dealt with that fabric before, they shouldn't have taken your wedding dress. I agree that posting a sign that says 'We aren't responsible for our own mistakes,' shouldn't absolve them of responsibility. If you don't get satisfaction from the manager, contact your state department of consumer protection or take them to small claims court. 

    They should pay to repair or replace your dress. 
                       
    doeydo
  • larrygagalarrygaga Czechoslovakia member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    Yeah posting a sign where they aren't responsible for damages doesn't mean they aren't responsible for messing up your gown. You could take the money they give you from court to fix it. 
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    s-aries8990doeydo
  • Hi everyone! Thank you so much for all of your support. UPDATE so far: After a lot of research and help from a bunch of people last night (you guys and my future sister in law), I went back into the store this morning and basically told the woman that if in fact the dress is damaged, she will pay me a full reinbursement for the cleaning, and also pay me the entire cost of the dress (the damage is all over). And if she didn't, then I will take this further and it will cost her a lot more then if she just payed for the dress. I am now waiting to hear if their second attempt is a success or a fail. She told me that they had never worked with this kind of fabric before and that it is my fault if there was no label in the dress. It's silk.. The majority of wedding dresses are made of silk.. I do not need to tell you what it is as you told me you work with wedding dresses all the time.. Will keep you guys posted on any further updates..!
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Hi everyone! Thank you so much for all of your support. UPDATE so far: After a lot of research and help from a bunch of people last night (you guys and my future sister in law), I went back into the store this morning and basically told the woman that if in fact the dress is damaged, she will pay me a full reinbursement for the cleaning, and also pay me the entire cost of the dress (the damage is all over). And if she didn't, then I will take this further and it will cost her a lot more then if she just payed for the dress. I am now waiting to hear if their second attempt is a success or a fail. She told me that they had never worked with this kind of fabric before and that it is my fault if there was no label in the dress. It's silk.. The majority of wedding dresses are made of silk.. I do not need to tell you what it is as you told me you work with wedding dresses all the time.. Will keep you guys posted on any further updates..!

    I thought they did wedding dresses?
    So I am getting married in September of this year and have recently bought my new gorgeous silk ballgown wedding dress. It was the last one left in the shop and fit perfectly but had a bit of dirt that needing cleaning. After doing what I thought was some good research (feeling quite stupid now) I found a dry cleaners that told me they dealt with wedding dresses all the time and would be able to clean mine, no problem. I went back today (2 weeks later) and they showed me my dress thinking all was fine. It was not. There was still some dirt on the dress which they said could not be taken out, and the silk had strange looking wrinkles all over it, top to bottom. I took a photo and according to a friend, it looks like they cracked the silk. As in, the sheen in the fabric has been stripped off which is un-fixable... I asked the woman in the shop what she intends to do about this and she told me they hadn't dealt with this fabric before??!! Seriously? Silk.. She said she would call the guys who did the dry cleaning and get back to me. I will call her as soon as they open tomorrow but wanted to see if anyone had any suggestions on what I should say or do about this. Thank you in advance :)

    I would be taking notes on everything and be ready to take them to the courts. In the meantime, you may want to start looking for a new dress.  I am so sorry that they ruined your dress :(
    doeydopharischen
  • I figure they'll fight you on paying for the dress plus dry cleaning costs. They don't want to lose money and they'll play hard ball until push comes to shove.

    Still it horrifies me that dry cleaners put wedding dresses in washing machines....polyester can take it, that's a heavy fabric however a lot of other wedding dress fabrics can't.
    doeydo
  • I am so sorry that you're going through this! I can't even imagine the stress that this would cause. I'm sending out god vibes to you that it is resolved quickly!
    pharischenthemuffinman16
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I figure they'll fight you on paying for the dress plus dry cleaning costs. They don't want to lose money and they'll play hard ball until push comes to shove. Still it horrifies me that dry cleaners put wedding dresses in washing machines....polyester can take it, that's a heavy fabric however a lot of other wedding dress fabrics can't.
    Yes, seriously. If they are just putting it in a washing machine, than anyone can do that. I thought it was called DRY cleaning.
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    PrettyGirlLostdoeydo
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    And why the fuck didn't they bother to call you and ask you what material your dress was made out of if they couldn't tell, BEFORE they attempted to clean it?

    Because they are careless and lazy. I am so sorry, OP!  Good luck, I hope they reimburse you for the dress and the dry cleaning bill.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


    doeydopharischenrajahmd
  • I'm so sorry this happened to you, how stressful and frusterating!

    Stay firm and don't let their rudeness deter you, your dress should be paid for and they are not legal experts.

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    pharischen
  • natswildnatswild The F-f-f-rozen N-n-north (Northern Alberta) member
    Fourth Anniversary 250 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    @scribe95, I would say that it likely did, they were just too lazy to look!
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Does your dress not have a tag?

    When you talk to them again, I would bring up the point that if they had never worked with the material that they should not have proceeded to clean the dress. They should have called you and told you they were unable to manage it, then had you take the dress back!

    I would keep fighting on the matter. 
    themuffinman16pharischen
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Glad to hear the dry cleaner did the right thing. Good luck finding your new dress. 
                       
    pharischen
  • Ugh!!! I am so sorry this happened to you, but at least they are replacing it without too much hassling on your part. I hope you are able to find the same dress or another that you love just as much!!
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    pharischen
  • Good they are paying for it in full! I hope you find another dress you love
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