I borrowed a friend’s wedding gown, then sold it at a consignment shop

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

In the end, I didn’t even get paid for the gown.

My husband and I had a whirlwind wedding.

That makes it sound romantic. It wasn’t.

There was a short period between deciding to get married and actually doing it, and that’s what qualifies it as a whirlwind wedding. Plus, it was hasty and not very well thought out.

I didn’t even have a wedding gown.

Fortunately, my coworker friend had a solution. She was a newlywed and had a like-new wedding dress hanging pristine and available in her closet. It was only taking up room, she said, and I was more than welcome to wear it to my wedding.

She told me I could even alter it to fit me. “It’s not like I’m ever going to wear it again,” she said.

It was a very kind gesture.

She brought the wedding gown to work with her the next morning, and I took it home that night.

The wedding gown hung in my closet while I planned my wedding in a little over one month, which wasn’t enough time to have it altered to fit me.

When my wedding day arrived, I wore a knee-length white party dress with ruffles and shoulder pads. The dress was awful, and I looked horrible… but it only cost twenty bucks.

In the meantime, that borrowed wedding gown stayed in my closet.

My coworker friend never asked about the wedding gown. She didn’t mention it, and she certainly didn’t ask me to return it.

Since she had attended my wedding, she knew I hadn’t worn it on my special day.

Even though I felt guilty every time I saw that wedding gown hanging in my closet, I didn’t feel guilty enough to pack it up and bring it back to her.

Years later, I can’t explain why I didn’t just cram it into my truck and give it to her at the office we shared five days a week.

When I quit my job less than a year later, her wedding gown was still in my closet. I still felt guilty, and I still didn’t send it back.

Then one day, I cleaned out the closet and did the only thing I could think of doing with that borrowed, unwanted wedding gown. I brought it to a consignment shop.

I knew the first and last names of the rightful owner of that wedding gown. I knew her full address, including her zip code. I’d been to her house. I had all the information necessary to return her property, and I didn’t do it.

The owner of the consignment shop said she couldn't pay much for the wedding gown. She said they weren’t in high demand, especially not in that size.

Yet I agreed to her terms, accepted the receipt she gave me and signed a contract that stipulated I’d forfeit the wedding gown plus any proceeds from its sale if it didn’t sell within a particular timeframe and I didn’t return to retrieve it.

Did anyone ever buy my friend's wedding gown?

No one from the consignment shop ever called me about the gown, and I received no payment.

Did I call to inquire about the gown or return to retrieve it? Absolutely not.

My friend spent a considerable amount of money on that wedding gown. She entrusted it to me, and I lost it forever. It was entirely my fault.

Yes, I have the decency to feel bad about it.

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Writing about relationships online since 2009.

Boston, MA
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