On Sunday morning, hours after Shannon McNamara’s youngest daughter became engaged, McNamara excitedly rushed to open her own wedding dress she had stored under her bed for the past three decades in anticipation of this very moment.
When McNamara opened the box, she discovered the wedding dress she brought home from a Tennessee-based dry cleaning business after her Nov. 15, 1986, wedding was not the same dress she had worn down the aisle.
McNamara, 54, of Franklin, Tennessee, took to Facebook to post photos of the wedding dress in hopes someone would recognize it and claim the dress. Once the Facebook replies started pouring in, McNamara discovered an even stranger twist to her story.
“A friend of mine in the neighborhood writes me with an attachment with an article from four years ago,” McNamara told ABC News.
“I told my husband, ‘That is it,’” McNamara said of the dress featured in a 2012 ABCNews.com article. “I recognized it right away and we had been at the same dry cleaners.”
The dry cleaner, the now-defunct White Way Cleaners, was where Kim Jones, a Nashville native, took her wedding dress to be cleaned and sealed after her Oct. 25, 1986, wedding.
When Jones opened her wedding dress box in 2012 with her now-23-year-old daughter, she saw it was not her wedding dress. The dress given to Jones by the dry cleaner was McNamara's wedding dress, and vice versa.
“My daughter-in-law called me on Sunday and said, ‘We found your dress,’” said Jones. “It happened that fast.”
McNamara, by chance, knows the mother of Jones’ daughter-in-law, which led the two women to be connected by phone. McNamara and Jones also discovered they graduated from the same high school two years apart.
"The next thing I know I’m in touch with Kim," McNamara said. "It was a great day."
Jones, 52, said she at one point last year considered ditching the stranger's dress that she had kept under her bed in her Acworth, Georgia, home but decided instead to hold onto it.
“I looked at it and thought, ‘Well, it’s been four years,’ and then I thought, ‘No, put it back,’” Jones said. “I felt like eventually [finding the dress's owner] would happen.”
“I’m just so tickled that it didn’t take her four years,” she said of McNamara. “It just took her a few hours to find me.”
The two strangers, now connected forever in a most unlikely way, have spoken by phone multiple times and are making plans to meet to exchange the wedding dresses.
“It’s absolutely crazy and it’s fun,” McNamara said. “I’ve got a new friend. It’s all good.”