Loving son tracks down mother's lost wedding dress 32 years later

Michelle Havrilla's reaction when she opened her wedding dress. Source: Twitter.com/brianhavrilla

Have you ever lost a sentimental item, only to have it return to you by a strange twist of fate or random coincidence? 

That’s exactly what happened to Michelle Havrilla, although she didn’t realise until nearly three decades later in 2013, when she decided to open the box she was given. Unluckily for her, the gown that got lost was her wedding dress.

Her son, Brian, explained how his beloved mother ended up losing the garment in the first place on Twitter. “My parents got married in 1985,” he said. “Afterwards, my mom had her dress preserved at the local dry cleaner. When she opened the box for the first time in 2013, after our basement flooded, she discovered that the box she was given wasn’t her dress. She was heartbroken.”

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He then posted a video to explain that he’d tracked down the dress. Thankfully, a camera captured Michelle’s priceless reaction. Brian and his family sat their mother down. “The waiting’s over,” he told her as she sat in a chair, anxious to find out what was in the large box she was set to receive. “Merry Christmas. It’s a little late. It’s a special surprise for you.”

Michelle suspected that something was up and asked: “This is not my wedding dress?” She looked a little nervous before telling her family that she didn’t want to open it. As she peeled away the wrapping paper, she was shocked to discover that it was her long-lost wedding dress.

“Are you kidding me? You found it?” she said. Tears began streaming down her cheeks as she realised that she’d be reunited with the gown she thought was lost forever. “Where did you find this?” she asked between tears. She was so shocked that family members needed to give her a big cuddle to calm her down.

It turns out that there was a mix-up at the drycleaner and that another lady had unknowingly kept the dress in her own home, unopened, since she picked it up. The woman eventually discovered that she also had the wrong dress and posted on Facebook to find the original owner, which is how Brian found it and reunited it with his mother.

Brian later took to Twitter to describe it as an “awesome moment”. “This is the happiest I’ve seen my mom in a long time … It honestly fell in our laps. A family friend sent a Facebook listing to us and it turned out to be the dress!”

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Has anything like this ever happened to you? Have you lost something, only to discover it years later?


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