As we ended 2020 and start 2021, a year of unpredictable and unexpected turns, it feels that much more special to reflect on and retell some of the stand-out and joyous moments. For Owl Cleaners, there have been numerous twists and turns and pivots, but one thing that does stand true is the commitment to the work that can still be done.
“I need to begin this by saying that we are extremely thankful and grateful for Paige. She was an absolute joy to work with,” Heather Ziccarelli, wedding dress expert, relays about a very special customer and experience.
“She brought her absolutely stunning beautiful gown to us right after COVID had hit and many businesses were shut down. I was truly honored to work on this special gown and to have the opportunity to prove/showcase our skills as an exceptional bridal cleaner and preservationist.”
Here comes the bride: Paige Delbene, a COVID bride who started her wedding dress search in the summer of 2019 (exactly a year before her wedding was supposed to occur in Downtown Pittsburgh), had a very different experience than expected. However, through her navigation of becoming a bride in 2020, that’s how she found her way to Heather for her pre-wedding dress finishing before she walked down the aisle.
Keep reading to see how Paige and Heather’s worlds collided to turn Paige’s dream wedding dress wedding-ready in time for her big day!
Paige Delbene, a Pittsburgh bride, knew she wanted to have her dress shopping experience at Kleinfeld in New York City for a very long time. The store is known for its presence on Say Yes To The Dress. She even knew which designer she wanted to wear on her big day, Pnina Tornai, and had the chance to meet her while trying on gowns in July of 2019.
“Pnina was so extremely sweet. Her presence filled the entire room of brides, family and friends. I chose to schedule my appointment during her trunk show in hopes that she would be there on site that weekend. I was hoping to get a picture with her but I never imagined that she would help with my entire appointment but that’s exactly what she did! She helped me shop and customized my dream dress and then did the final measurements on me herself! We took pictures and a video of me saying “yes to the dress” which she later posted on her instagram account along with a photo from our wedding.”
Once she secured her dream dress, she knew she would be back in New York in 2020 to have her final fittings leading up to her wedding. However, during this time, the pandemic became global, and the world shifted. Kleinfeld and Paige went back and forth for months about making sure the dress came in time and that she could have her final fitting.
During the summer of 2020, Paige made a solo trip back to New York, this time without her posse and not as magical of an experience.
“I had a problem with the hotel, which complicated my experience, and it was so strange wearing a mask while having a final fitting.”
Though Paige was able to have a final fitting, she chose to have the stunning dress shipped to her home in PA instead so that she could make any other alterations locally the days before her wedding. Adding to the list of things not going to plan, to Paige’s horror, the dress arrived wrinkled from the shipping box and unwearable just days before the wedding.
“I was panicking and unsure of what to do because I had just spent so much money on my dream dress and didn’t know if I had enough time to bring it back to New York to finish and press before I walked down the aisle.”
To no one’s surprise, this is where Heather comes in.
Recommended by friends and research online, Heather from Owl Cleaners met with Paige six days before the wedding, and they were able to save the day for Paige and her dream designer dress.
“We fully steamed and hand manipulated the dress while steaming so it would lay correctly for the upcoming wedding. It took two of us and almost two hours to complete this work. We packaged the dress so it could be transported easily without wrinkling it. The entire bodice was stuffed and layered with acid-free tissue to protect it and help it keep its beautiful shape.”
With Heather and her team able to step up for Paige, Paige’s big day was a huge success, and she was able to enter her wedding day without stress over her dress’s appearance.
Stay up to date on all of our wedding gown preservation stories and more through our Instagram, @owlpremierandbridal.