A determined mother-of-the-bride has picked through a New York garbage dump to rescue her daughter’s Oscar de la Renta wedding gown after it was accidentally thrown out.
Two days after their daughter’s Nantucket wedding, Lucinda Ballard, 65, and her husband drove back to New York with the bride’s precious, $4,000 gown in a white plastic garment bag.
Upon arriving at their Fifth Avenue apartment, and after a seven-and-a-half-hour drive, they wearily handed their bags to the complex’s staff to take upstairs. However, in the confusion, the word ‘dress’ was mis-heard as ‘trash’ – and the garment bag was, promptly, tossed in the ‘trash,’ as instructed.
Lucinda only discovered the mistake after the complex’s garbage had been collected. She told the New York Post that though she was truly “horrified,” it was “a totally understandable, forgivable human error.”
“How could I let this happen?” she told The Post, but Lucinda, a docent at the Metropolitan Museum, was not about to give up. “I thought, ‘This dress is a symbol of a beautiful love story. I can’t get let it go to garbage heaven,’” she said.
With the help of the apartment complex’s superintendent, Evan Santiago, they tracked down the truck which had picked up their garbage earlier that day.
It was en route to the depot, so Lucinda and Evan headed straight to the waste depot to await the truck’s arrival. When it finally appeared, they, along with depot staffer Frank Amon, started picking through hundreds of bags of garbage containing everything from used diapers to old food – all of which was wet since it had rained all day.
It was only after a full hour of “ripping through these bags – wearing masks, high boots and gloves,” that Evan found the dress.
“It was not destroyed!” Ballard told The Post. “And it doesn’t smell of the 10 tons of garbage dumped on it.”
It was only after the dress had been found that Lucinda told her daughter, also named Lucinda, about the dramas.
“She fell off the chair — thump,” says the bride’s mother. “She couldn’t believe it.”