Owl Cleaners

Giving an Entirely New Meaning to a Destination Wedding: Meet The Bride (& The Gown!) That Eloped On The Beaches of Iceland

When it comes to adventure, some people choose to camp, hike, explore a beach, and even swim alongside sea animals. However, how many people do you know embark on a glacier-filled hike while eloping in another country?

Meet Tory Wegerski, a recent bride who eloped while exploring Iceland’s beaches, glaciers, and mountains! Tory first found and purchased her wedding gown in 2019, and unfortunately, her wedding was postponed due to the pandemic. But instead of letting this setback dampen their spirits, and with Tory also going back to grad school at the time, they chose to wait before eloping. The couple conducted their legal wedding via Zoom in Point State Park for family and friends to bear witness before jet-setting to Iceland a few years later.

“We decided if we were going to elope, we would do it somewhere really, really, really cool. We had been to Iceland before, so while we were looking at places to elope, the first place I said was, ‘Iceland!’”

Fast-forward to after the wedding, and Tory had no idea what to do with her wedding gown. Admittedly, it remained in the garment bag and draped on a chair for about a month after the wedding. After a Google search one day, she found a previous blog post from our page and was inspired by the bride’s journey with cleaning and preserving her gown with Owl Cleaners.

“I felt myself relating to this bride because she hadn’t thought about preserving her wedding dress until she did, and I was like, okay, that’s also me.”

Fully understanding that her gown was extremely dirty, between walking through rivers to hiking up the glaciers of Iceland, she went into her initial consultation with Heather with no expectations and understood her attachment to the gown was because of the memories it held, not the actual gown. After all, a white wedding dress is definitely going to show remnants of black sand and mud! Heather was also extremely upfront about identifying unknown stains and being honest about what could be cleaned.

“I was fully prepared to be told that this dress couldn’t be cleaned and that instead, we should just cut off the bottom to make a tea-length dress… when Heather and I first hung up the dress and were looking at it, we were both laughing at how dirty it was.” After circling the different types of dirt and outlining the specific cleaning processes for each, Heather and her team went to work on the dress and continued to bring it back to life over a few months. She even brought in a traveling bridal expert to assist with the cleaning.

“My Expert Bridal Cleaner and America’s Best Consultant worked for an entire week together restoring Tory’s dress,” Heather said. “We had a great appointment, and I really wanted to fix her dress to make it as perfect as I could. She had the best cleaners possible working to provide the highest level of care and service.”

Tory wasn’t worried about how long the process took, as she was open to how long the team needed to work on the gown.

“I was delighted and couldn’t have picked a better person; Heather is an expert and invested in what she does,” Tory recounted after reflecting on her experience.

Upon picking up the gown and seeing it through the front of the box when Heather brought it out, Tory found herself having a surprise reaction: she started to tear up and get emotional.

“When Heather brought the dress out and took it out of the protective bag, I saw it through the little plastic window for the first time, and I teared up. I hadn’t seen the gown this clean and pristine since the morning of my wedding day, and this took me back there and all of the feelings and emotions from that day.” – Tory

“I was so overwhelmed with joy and appreciation for the finished product!”

Heather also felt similar feelings as they looked at the preserved gown together.

“I teared up at her appointment as well. It is so rewarding to share special moments like this with our brides.”

Regarding advice from an adventurous bride, Tory left us with this: “Consider the idea of preserving your wedding gown! I am surprised with how attached to my wedding dress I am now that it’s well-cleaned, preserved, and lovingly archived.”

Though not every bride will embark on such a journey during their wedding day, our bridal team understands how unique each gown is and approaches each initial consultation with this in mind.

For more information on Owl’s gown preservation process, please email Heather directly at heather@owlcleaners.com or 724-272-0324.
Photos by Ann Peters