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My Fiance' Died, and David's Bridal Refused My Return

Posted Tue September 13, 2011 7:41 pm, by Lauren M. written to David's Bridal

Write a Letter to this Company

Dear Madam,

In October of 2003, I purchased a wedding gown, veil and accessories from David's Bridal in Tyler, Texas. Five weeks later, my fiance died. Devastated, I attempted to return my merchandise at the local store, explaining what happened. The ladies there were very nice, and explained to me that they'd have to get the OK from corporate to return the stuff. I tried for THREE MONTHS to get an answer from someone at the store. I called. I went in, always sobbing, as I was in a fragile emotional state of mind at the time. I even provided a copy of my fiance's death certificate. STILL nothing. After three months of being put off and put off, I gave up, shoving the dress and accessories to the back of my guest bedroom closet because it was too difficult to see them.

Fast forward 7.5 years later. I finally found the man of my dreams and we're getting married. I went in to the same location, hopefully inquiring that SOMETHING could be returned. I was told, "Oh no...we would've returned it back then, but I don't know about now." After trying again for another 3 weeks, I finally spoke with the location manager who said something to the effect of, "I don't understand why we didn't help you back then, but there's nothing we can do about it now, but golly gee, we're so happy for you for getting married!"

I eventually spoke with a Bonnie Wayne at corporate who was very derisive in tone and condescending when she told me, "Ma'am, we are THE PREMIUM wedding retailer in the world, what kind of integrity would we have if we put your merchandise back on the rack that has been in your possession for 8 years? We are a premium retailer, NOT a resale shop!" I assured her that everything was either still sealed in the original plastic or still had tags on it. She even had the audacity to suggest that even though I tried for three months to return the dress and accessories, that maybe I should have tried harder or tried even longer.

I told her that as an area-level Loss Prevention coordinator for a major retailer, my company would have been mortified to know that we treated a customer so abominably and offered either a free gift card or SOMETHING, to which Ms. Wayne scoffed and said, "After eight years, there's nothing we can do|." I said, "Even after you know I tried to return the merchandise for THREE MONTHS at the time and even though I can attest that there is an associate in that same location who remembers me going up there?" Ms.. Wayne had no answer. I then told her I would do everything in my power to prevent everyone I know from shopping there ever again and if I had to shout it from the rooftops, I'd make sure that even though I knew I couldn't shut them down, I'd do my darned best to put a dent in their local business'.

Let understand this, Ms. Wayne: You're the "premium" bridal company in the world, and it's going to kill you to accept all my merchandise back (that cost me $900 at the time) in exchange for one measly veil? Or maybe since what y'all did was basically accept blood money, at least have some shame and give me a gift card to tell me how sorry you are;. It's going to shut DB down to do just one small token of good will? WOW.

I will NEVER EVER EVER set foot in a DB for the rest of my life. You all made one HUGE mistake messing with me. I have friends in television media who would loooooooooove to cover a human interest story about a big mean bridal company who refused to help a woman who lost the man she was going to marry because you're too greedy. I will silently protest David's Bridal at every bridal show in East Texas and wear a BoycottDavidsBridal t-shirt everywhere I can.

I would like for them to either issue me a store credit or give me a gift card for all of the additional egregious heartache they caused me after my fiance' died. A heartfelt apology would do wonders, too.


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by Jess R. Posted Sat June 22, 2013 @ 2:32 AM

I work at davids bridal and I believe you were wronged. They should've
given you a return 8 years ago, and today they should honor an
exchange. Davids bridal makes enough money to cover the cost of your
gown. It's just incredibly careless of them to not try and accommodate
you now as best they can. You need to talk to the general manager of
the store ou purchased from. They can't do it, but they can help pave
the path for corporate to approve your exchange. Just keep climbing
the coorporate ladder, talk to the boss's boss. Davids bridal is in
the customer service bussiness and is expected to act that way. The
way they treated you is appaulling and I'm sorry. The problem with why
they don't want to help you now is because they will lose all the
money that you spent basically. Because the dress is so old, the tags
probably aren't even in the system anymore so the dress is worthless.
The minute they take it back it will be damaged out and destroyed. My
mother recently returned a dress she bought from Macy's that was 7
years old and she didn't even have a good excuse like you and even
Macy's still honored the exchange. You just have to remember you catch
more flys with honey than vinegar. When you are talking to them be
rational, reasonable and, firm. Don't come off too irrational because
then they will diconnect mentally right away and blow ou off. You need
to make them see their Wong so they can fix it. The 8 year time frame
is irrelevant.

by mamaTerri Posted Mon January 28, 2013 @ 7:12 AM

please check out our problem with davids bridal. we have set up a
facbook page on it. I will also post your link on it as well. Thank


by MeanDonnaJean Posted Fri November 18, 2011 @ 10:44 PM

"I have friends in television media who would loooooooooove to cover a
human interest story about a big mean bridal company who refused to
help a woman who lost the man she was going to marry because you're
too greedy."

I say GO FOR IT! Aww man, I'd do THAT and a helluva lot MORE, too.

But please, don't quit houndin' 'em. Ya DO know that ol' sayin' "the
squeaky wheel gets oiled", right? So ya best keep on squeakin' sistah,
loud 'n clear!!

And best of luck to ya.


by RedheadwGlasses Posted Tue October 18, 2011 @ 12:54 PM

Lots of comments about the dress being out of style after 8 years. I
don't know about the rest of you, but every frickin' wedding I've been
to in the last 10 years has had a bride in a strapless gown. So if
it's strapless, it should be pretty sell-able.


doesn't mean the dress style is sellable or that the fabric hasn't faded by PepperElf Wed October 19, 2011 @ 8:49 AM

white can fade? by RedheadwGlasses Wed October 19, 2011 @ 1:14 PM

material condition not color. and regardless of color or material condition.... by PepperElf Wed October 19, 2011 @ 5:22 PM
by Jenny G. Posted Mon October 17, 2011 @ 3:59 PM

Hi, and once again sorry for your loss. You should have stayed on them
until they gave you your money back. I would have gone in there
everyday until I got what I wanted. 8 years is a bit too long sweetie!


by E C. Posted Sat October 15, 2011 @ 11:56 AM

Okay Lauren, I'll say it because you need to hear it bluntly - put up
or shut up.

Put it up on ebay or craigslist. You're so convinced no one will buy
the items, but with the cost of bridal items these days, I won't be
surprised it's snapped up.

You claim you want to go to the media - do it! Do it and post the link
so we can see it.

If you can't do either, then get on with your life and accept the fact
that EIGHT YEARS have passed and that they are NOT going to take the
items back.

by know it all Posted Thu September 29, 2011 @ 10:10 PM

I'm sorry for your lost of a love one, but I'm happy you found
another. My advice to you. I wouldn't give that store any business, or
refer anyone there either. Good luck. God Bless both of you.

by cfl Posted Thu September 29, 2011 @ 11:25 AM

David's Bridal were JERKS for not accepting your original return, but
it is plain silly to expect a return 8 years later. You could
explain the situation and try for discount, but I would Wipe the dust
from my feet and move on. Davids Bridal is tacky anyway.


Why? by fishbjc Wed October 12, 2011 @ 1:00 PM

by Ramelle Posted Tue September 27, 2011 @ 9:19 PM

I read this post a few weeks ago on another site. Consider donating
the dress.


by Dana G. Posted Mon September 26, 2011 @ 3:04 PM

David's Bridal doesn't offer returns, but it does offer exchanges
(they're great about it too. I love DB!). However, 8 years is really
far outside the window for an exchange.

If it wasn't important enough to try harder 8 years ago, it shouldn't
be that important now.

They probably think that you have used the dress and are trying to
pull a use and return scam. They have to protect themselves because I
am sure people do that. You should do a nice thing and donate the


ARE YOU KIDDING ME? by Lauren M. Tue October 11, 2011 @ 6:17 PM

did you READ the post? by RedheadwGlasses Mon October 17, 2011 @ 11:25 PM

that's a good point. they might not believe the OP by PepperElf Mon October 17, 2011 @ 12:04 AM

by MA Cunningham Posted Thu September 22, 2011 @ 11:55 AM

While I am wholeheartedly sorry you lost your fiance' I really don't
understand how David's caused your "egregious heartache."

Styles change and 8 years ago might as well be 80 in terms of fashion
and what people wear for a wedding. That's why wedding dress
designers come out with new "lines" all the time.

While I think Ms. Wayne was snobbish and rude beyond belief, what
exactly did you think she was supposed to do 8 years after the fact?
How are they supposed to sell an 8 year old dress, used or not? Who's
gonna want that?

If you were fed up enough to let the issue drop after many months of
pursuing it back in 2003/2004, I'm really not following why you felt
that things would go any better after five more years have passed?


i suspect it's because the new wedding may be revisiting old hurts by PepperElf Thu September 22, 2011 @ 2:22 PM

GOod theory! by RedheadwGlasses Fri September 23, 2011 @ 5:13 PM

by Mnemosyne Posted Wed September 21, 2011 @ 10:52 AM

I can understand them refusing the return, they did so 9 years ago and
are doing so today. Just let it go and move on with your life. Maybe
you can sell it on Ebay or at a consignment store...or donate it to
the Salvation Army so some good can come of it.


Donations by Sheldonrs Mon September 26, 2011 @ 1:59 PM

by T. B. Posted Tue September 20, 2011 @ 9:43 PM

I am very sorry about your loss. I know it can be very devastating.
With that said, why do you think that David's should refund or allow a
return for a item that is 8 years old. Most places wont allow it
after 8 weeks. I think you can look into donating the dress or
listing it on eBay or Craigslist if you need the money to off set new
wedding expenses. Personally I would donate to a military
installation or other similar type place to help another bride have
her dream wedding. You would then put a smile on some girls face and
you would get the satisfaction of knowing that someone else was able
to use a dress you have no intention of keeping or wearing.

Good luck to you and your future husband.


Good idea.. by Harleycat Tue September 20, 2011 @ 10:26 PM

That is a good idea by Lisa H. Thu September 22, 2011 @ 9:46 AM
by fishbjc Posted Tue September 20, 2011 @ 2:29 PM

Why should David's Bridal refund a cent to you? You don't deserve it.
I hope this New *dream* man gets a pre-nup.


Bitter much? by Lauren M. Tue October 11, 2011 @ 6:19 PM

by Lauren M. Posted Mon September 19, 2011 @ 4:18 PM

For those of you snarky people who are telling me I am being
unreasonable, here is my point:

I was told by both corporate that they would have taken back ALL of my
merchandise back in 2004. I tried, I tried, I TRIED to return it back
then. Tell me how long YOU would be willing to try to get your refund
after not only hearing your fiance put a gun to his head and pulling
the trigger, but having to constantly be put through a hassle when all
you want to do is get rid of the dress that only pains you to see it.
I tried for THREE MONTHS...how long would you have tried while
grieving? I've had many people tell me they wouldn't have had the
strength to try even that long.

And for you naysayers who think local media wouldn't cover the story,
you're wrong. Two local stations said they were interested in
covering the story, but I thought long and hard and decided I didn't
want to open my name and face up to mass media and suffer the fallout
like some of you hateful cowards who can hide behind a screename. I
WILL wear my t-shirt and I WILL continue to boycott David's Bridal
anywhere I can. Funny, most people are horrified at what DB did, you
people on this board are the only ones who are telling me to suck it
up, which makes me wonder if you are DB employees to begin with.

And what would I do with a gift card to DB? I'd donate it, that's
what I would do.


"Two Local Stations" by McJohn Tue September 20, 2011 @ 8:20 AM

I'm not sure what's more ironic by PepperElf Tue September 20, 2011 @ 11:30 PM

Huh? by Irving Patrick Freleigh Wed September 21, 2011 @ 5:27 AM

Lauren by MA Cunningham Thu September 22, 2011 @ 2:16 PM
by Kitty K. Posted Sun September 18, 2011 @ 2:37 AM

My dear, I work for a newspaper, and I have some news for you. Not
every grievance is worthy of a news story. If this was 2003 you might
have a sympathy case, but after 8 years? I don't think so. The first
thing any self-respecting journalist is going to ask you is, why did
you wait 8 years for this? It's going to be hard to come up with an
answer that makes sense to the average reader.

You could have sold that dress in 2003 for a price close to what you
paid for it. Your best bet now is to suck it up, find a good
consignment shop, and see what they can get for it.


"My dear?" by Lauren M. Mon September 19, 2011 @ 4:24 PM

LOL! by MA Cunningham Thu September 22, 2011 @ 2:18 PM

They do that everywhere by Kitty K. Sat October 15, 2011 @ 12:04 AM

by PepperElf Posted Sat September 17, 2011 @ 10:32 AM

Have your media friends agreed to run your story?

I'd like to hear how they replied when you asked them to run a story
about a store not taking an out of date 8 year dress back.

I mean yes, I'm sorry you couldn't wear it before. And although part
of me says "hey you have a wedding and a dress, good to go" I do
understand you probably don't want to use the old dress for the new

I just don't think you'll get a refund or return on it, not this late
at any rate.. And I somewhat doubt any news station or anyone in
television will champion this. Even if you do claim friendship with
people in the industry.

by sarahsmile Posted Fri September 16, 2011 @ 11:39 AM

How are you suppose to use the Store Cedit/Gift Card if you're "NEVER
EVER EVER"going to step foot in DB again?


What I would do with a DB card by Lauren M. Mon September 19, 2011 @ 4:26 PM

by KenPC Posted Fri September 16, 2011 @ 10:06 AM

I have to ask the question: if the dress is good enough to be
returned, why isn't it good enough to wear for THIS wedding?


Exactly by E C. Fri September 16, 2011 @ 11:38 AM

Because she bought it to marry someone else by RedheadwGlasses Fri September 16, 2011 @ 12:42 PM

For example by LadyMac Fri September 16, 2011 @ 1:37 PM

Lol Ken! by Ramelle Tue September 27, 2011 @ 9:22 PM
by E C. Posted Thu September 15, 2011 @ 5:18 PM

I'm just stunned that you wanted to try and do a return 8 years later.
Sure they should have done something in 2003, but 8 years later? No, I
don't think so. If you really felt you were owed something then, you
should have pursued it more. Or taken them to small claims court.

8 years is too late. So either donate the dress to a charity or save
it for someone will want it when they get married. Or better yet -
wear it yourself! Is there a problem (other than sentimental reasons)
that you refuse to wear it? Can't you wear it in memory of your
departed fiance, but also as a way to start a new chapter in your


by RedheadwGlasses Posted Thu September 15, 2011 @ 12:46 PM

You were told "no." Your very sad story doesn't mean they should have
to change their policy to accommodate you. That you're trying to do
this still, eight months later, is unrealistic.

How does your husband-to-be feel about your dwelling on this?


Eight YEARS! by batmoody Fri September 16, 2011 @ 11:01 AM

I've tried by Lauren M. Mon September 19, 2011 @ 4:28 PM

"ALL items they still sell in the store." - but NOT the same styles. by PepperElf Mon October 17, 2011 @ 12:00 AM
by Ronnie D Posted Wed September 14, 2011 @ 2:21 PM

I'm really very sorry about your tale of woe on the loss of your
fiance. However, when my girls got married every store that we looked
at for bridal gowns had a "NO RETURN" policy.

It would have been nice at that time in 2003 for David's Bridal to at
least give you "SOMETHING" back on the bridal gown if it hadn't been
altered due to the unfortunate circumstance of your having to return
the gown. However, if they wouldn't budge then, why would you even
try now.

I'm ecstatic that you found yourself a new honey, but I don't think
David's Bridal owes you anything. Just be happy with your new guy,
forget the past and have a wonderful life together!!!!!!!!!


by RedheadwGlasses Posted Wed September 14, 2011 @ 1:21 PM

"I will silently protest David's Bridal at every bridal show in East
Texas and wear a BoycottDavidsBridal t-shirt everywhere I can."

I'll believe this when I see it. Post pictures.


I want to see the news story! n/t by batmoody Fri September 16, 2011 @ 11:06 AM
by Lisa H. Posted Wed September 14, 2011 @ 10:24 AM

While you have my sympathies for the lose of your fiance, and congrats
on finding someone to spend your life with, I have to side with
David's on this at this point.

The right thing for them to do would have been to refund your money
then. I do get that no-refunds means just that, but there are
circumstances that should allow for a waiver of a policy, and that
sure seems like one to me. They choose not to, so to expect them to
do so almost 8 years later isn't really reasonable. At that point,
the gown is out-of-date and can't be resold at all.

I do have to wonder, as others did, what good a gift card or store
credit will do if you aren't going into the store again?


Good Point by Lauren M. Mon September 19, 2011 @ 4:30 PM

not fishy by Alicia W. Thu September 29, 2011 @ 12:28 PM

by McJohn Posted Wed September 14, 2011 @ 10:10 AM

Will you wear the boycottdavidsbridal t-shirt while your in Davids
Bridal using their giftcard/storecredit you asked for?

I guess in the end money heals all wounds.

Trying to return anything after 8 years is just a little over the top.
Is the dress even in style? And wrapped or not it still sat for 8

Back when this happened if they wanted to be nice they could have
accepted the return, but they do have a NO return policy.


REALLY? by Lauren M. Mon September 19, 2011 @ 4:22 PM

8 YEARS! by McJohn Tue September 20, 2011 @ 9:45 AM

by Harleycat Posted Tue September 13, 2011 @ 10:15 PM

While I would have liked to see them show you some sort of concession
in 2003 I think it's a little out of sorts to ask again 8 years later.
Would you buy an 8 yr old, out of style wedding dress?


Not the dress by Lauren M. Mon September 19, 2011 @ 4:23 PM

Your letter says.. by Harleycat Mon September 19, 2011 @ 5:25 PM
by TexKat Posted Tue September 13, 2011 @ 9:16 PM

I'm very sorry to hear about the heartache of losing your fiance in

I'm pretty sure David's policy on bridal wear is "no returns".
Although allowing you to return under the circumstances would have
been heartwarming, I don't think they were under any obligation to do

And now it's 2011. It's crazy to expect ANY retailer to accept 8 year
old merchandise as a return. They can't very well put 8 year old
merchandise back out on their sales floor!

You go on to say you'll "NEVER EVER EVER set foot in a DB" for the
rest of your life, just before asking for a store credit or gift card.
How are they supposed to respond to that?

If you're not going to use your dress/veil/accessories in your
upcoming wedding, find a nice little resale shop and see if you can
sell your things there.

David's isn't a villain in this situation, and it seems a shame to be
so angry with them during what should be a happy time for you. Good


NEVER EVER EVER set foot in a DB by MA Cunningham Thu September 22, 2011 @ 2:21 PM

by olie Posted Tue September 13, 2011 @ 8:13 PM

I'm sorry for your loss.

And I'm happy that you have found someone to spend your life with.

A question, though: Was your gown altered before you took it out of
the store? That might have affected David's response to you.

It sounds to me that you have offered a reasonable solution, unless
you've selected a $900 veil this time around.

I do find it difficult to believe that David's doesn't have people who
pay but don't pick up, or pay and alter and leave. Don't they have a
"clearance" section or an "altered" section? I'm not sure. (We had a
great experience with David's when my daughter was an usherette in a
wedding. I don't recall if there was some section like this.)

You might try a resale shop, or craigslist. You could get some of
your investment back, and help out another bride.

Or donate it to Goodwill. A friend benefitted from this by purchasing
"the dress of her dreams" for some incredibly terrific price. ($100
or less) And it was GORGEOUS.


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