A Garden City bride-to-be is scrambling after her bridesmaids’ dresses were lost days before the wedding.
Mary Melendez and her three bridesmaids ordered lavender floor-length gowns for her upcoming wedding, and Melendez had completed the last step of getting them tailored. But her plans went awry when the dresses fell out of her car trunk on the way home from the dry cleaners.
Witnesses told her a man in a white van picked up the dresses. She reported the missing dresses to Nassau County police as a theft.
“It took us 3 1⁄2, 4 months to get them done, delivered,” Melendez said. “You plan a wedding for so long and try to have everything perfect.”
Melendez’s wedding to fiance Charles Wisell, also of Garden City, is scheduled for Friday at Jericho Terrace in Mineola.
Melendez picked up the altered dresses Friday at about 5 p.m. from Esteem Dry Cleaners at Stewart Plaza in Garden City. She was in a rush to complete wedding errands and said she forgot to close the trunk of her car after placing the dresses inside.
Mahdia Muhammad, 19, was at work at the European Wax Center at Stewart Plaza when she said she saw Wisell drive off.
“We saw her trunk was open, and we were watching her drive and as she turns at the stop sign, the dresses fell out,” Muhammad said.
Muhammad said a white van stopped by the dresses, a man exited the van, picked them up and drove off. She didn’t think much of it, assuming the van was trying to catch up to Melendez.
But the dresses never made their way back to her, Melendez said. About five minutes later, as Melendez drove along Stewart Avenue, she realized her trunk was still open and to her horror, the dresses were gone. She drove back to the shopping center, but all that was left was an empty plastic garment bag lying on the ground.
Nassau County police said Melendez filed a police report. Those with information about the dresses should call police.
“I’m devastated,” she said. “I feel like I ruined this whole thing for us.”
Melendez said the total cost of buying the dresses and getting them wedding-ready was about $1,000. Azazie, the manufacturer of the dresses, told her they couldn’t get more to her in time, and now she’s trying to get her bridesmaids together again for last-minute dress shopping.
“I just want a happy ending like every fairy tale,” she said. “It’s just crazy that this happened.”