Tennessee brides to swap wedding dresses 30 years after dry cleaning mix-up

(Courtesy: Shannon McNamara and Kim Jones)
(Courtesy: Shannon McNamara and Kim Jones)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Roughly 30 years after both their weddings, two brides are learning they have a lot in common.

Kim Jones and Shannon McNamara both grew up in Nashville and went to Overton High School. They also both got married within a month of each other in late 1986.

Kim and Shannon have never met, but they’re learning they now have even more in common.

Four years ago, Kim wanted to show her daughter, Emily, her wedding dress from her special day on October 25, 1986.

It had been preserved and sealed in a box under the bed for more than 20 years. But when Emily opened the box, Kim knew something was wrong.

Kim Jones (Photo: WKRN)
Kim Jones (Photo: WKRN)

“She pulled it out and I saw the sleeves,” Kim told News 2 via FaceTime from her home in Acworth, Georgia. “That’s not my dress. I don’t have long sleeves.”

Kim figures her dress was accidentally switched at the cleaners where she had it preserved.

“I felt sad that I had someone else’s dress,” Kim said. “It made me sad, because I knew one day this was going to happen to somebody else.”

It took four more years, but she was right.

Shannon McNamara’s daughter, Caroline, got engaged over the weekend.

“We’d always said that when one of the girls got engaged, we would open up my wedding dress, take a look at it, and relive old memories,” Shannon said.

So at their home in Franklin, Shannon and Caroline opened up the box.

Shannon McNamara (Photo: WKRN)
Shannon McNamara (Photo: WKRN)

“I noticed the bows on the sleeves. The bows on the sleeves weren’t on my dress,” said Shannon. “The dress is short-sleeved, and my dress was long-sleeved. So after that moment, I knew it wasn’t my dress.”

Shannon immediately posted pictures on Facebook, asking friends if they recognized the dress.

Turns out, Shannon and Kim have mutual friends. One of them remembered Kim’s predicament from a few years ago and put them in touch.

It’s a reunion 30 years in the making.

Even though the two brides have never met, each one has been safeguarding the other’s memories from their special day all those years ago.

Kim is hoping to travel back to the Nashville area in the coming weeks so the two can swap dresses.

“It’s so exciting. We were so thrilled,” said Kim.

“It was just luck. And it was just fun,” Shannon said.