Ashley Stanbury and Kevin Malo exchanged their vows in front of family and friends last Saturday. The wedding was perfect — almost. After the blissful event, they discovered the bride’s wedding dress was gone.
“It meant a lot to me,” Stanbury said. “It was sentimental.
“It made my mom see the love I have for her culture. It was really meaningful to me to wear it.”
The garment also meant a lot to the groom.
“I was like, ‘Wow!’ I saw it before, but seeing her in it was something amazing,” Malo said. “I was one proud man standing there.”
Stanbury chose the dress to honour her Mexican roots. In fact, the dress inspired the entire wedding theme.
The last time she saw the gown, it was hanging up at the hall after she changed out of it following the ceremony and reception at the Parkridge Estates Community Hall.
The couple doesn’t know if someone stole it from the hall, mistakenly took it, or tossed it.
“I can barely look at our photos,” Stanbury said. “It was there and then it was gone and I only got to wear it for what? Seven hours?”
Malo says it’s tough to find ways to comfort his new wife.
“I don’t have an answer. I’m lying to her to tell her it’s OK. It might be gone forever,” he said. “Yes, I got to see her in it but that should be on her terms to get rid of it and someone else took that from her. It’s not fair.”
In the days since they exchanged their vows they’ve spent nearly all their time trying to track it down.
“We’ve been up six in the morning calling the community hall every day, driving around looking in bushes if someone dumped it and we’ve been searching high and low. We were elbow deep in garbage yesterday looking in bins,” Malo said.
“I’m hoping it’s out there somewhere and someone has it and is willing to come forward,” Stanbury said.
“We were talking about a reward. Hopefully… this is my last hope, to be honest with you.”
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