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Wedding Dresses Destroyed After Bridal Shop Closes in Edina [Video]

priscilla of boston

Hundreds of wedding dresses were destroyed when bridal shop Priscilla of Boston closed its doors for the final time. The Minnesota shop has received criticism from Edina locals who say that the store should have donated its remaining wedding inventory to people in need.

Bessie Giannakakis, owner of Bessie’s Boutique, said:

“I’m just seeing gowns, thousands of dollars of gowns, that were being spray-painted and thrown in the dumpster.”

Another local store owner added:

“Why didn’t they donate them to needy people?”

Kare11 reports that Priscilla of Boston employees were marking the unsold dresses with big orange Xs before throwing them in the dumpster. Employees also destroyed shoes, slippers, veils, and other bridal accessories.

Priscilla of Boston said that the wedding dresses were destroyed because they were already damaged. Company president Patrick Walsh said:

“Priscilla of Boston has always donated quality bridal gowns to a variety of charitable causes. We do not, however, donate unsaleable dresses that are damaged, soiled or in otherwise poor condition.”

But witnesses report that the wedding dresses found in the dumpster were in perfectly wearable condition, that is, if they didn’t have giant neon Xs spray painted on them.

Here’s a video report from Kare11.

Do you think Priscilla of Boston was destroying the wedding dresses out of spite? Was the company so upset about going out of business that they decided to destroy the dresses instead of donate them? Or do you believe Walsh when he says that the dresses were too damaged to donate?

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60 Responses to “Wedding Dresses Destroyed After Bridal Shop Closes in Edina [Video]”

  1. Beverly HUghes

    It seems to me that the dresses, etc. belonged to the store owner and it was his business what he did with them and no one else's. People need to mind their own business instead of telling everone else what to do.

  2. Katie Kirkpatrick

    Wedding dresses are EXPENSIVE. Often times people want a gorgeous dress and instead have to settle for something subpar and far from their 'dream' dress. Considering their own response was that they DO donate perfectly wearable dresses, yet the only thing about these dresses appears to be the giant employee embossed neon orange X on them, regardless of if the owner owns them or not, it's wasteful to purposely destroy something simply so no one else can use it. Recycle/reuse. It's a huge shame on them. There are plenty of people out there that would love to have a dream dress but can only afford a white sundress from Target.

  3. Bellwether Nesingwary

    I agree, while I do like to see things recycled, why should they donate dresses if they don't want to? Most people don't want a hand me down dress anyway, especially if ithey are 2nds like the spokesperson said. It's just an article of clothing, not a life.

  4. Cindy Johnson

    Seriously? Although personally I would have donated the dresses, it is not a requirement. I can't believe the gimme attitude these days. If someone wants a beautiful expensive wedding dress for their wedding, try working and saving for it! Charity is an act of kindness not a requirement. The more people scream about this kind of thing the less I want to give. I mean is 30% of my income that I WORK FOR not enough to satisfy those who choose not to work, save, be responsible?

  5. Joy Roderick

    they couldn't all have been too damaged or else why make them so unusable by the workers.

  6. Tanya Occupy NC Glover

    Sure they had a right to do what they wanted to with them but as far as I'm concerned it was a big waste to destroy something that could have made someone elses dreams come true. Throwing away any clothing is a crime these days but to mark them like they did was a big F u to people who just cannot afford to buy something like that. They would rather destroy something than allow someone to get enjoyment out of it? Spiteful bastards is what they are. And just to point out….if they were indeed unusable and not donated because of that "fact" then why bother putting the large orange x over it? it was already unusable right?

  7. Cherie Youngblood

    Donating the dresses could have benifited the company as a write-off for their taxes. On another note they could have sold the dress at a discounted price to customers who were willing to pay for the dresses to be cleaned and repaired. But at the end of the day, it was truly the owners decision on what they wanted to do with the dresses.

  8. Robin Dukes

    That sounds About right..when I worked for Kmart they would destroy Items that did not get sold..we are a very wasteful greedy country.

  9. Amanda Hensley Allen

    It's a shame – all that beautiful fabirc gone to waste. Anyone with sewing skills probably could have saved any useable bits of fabric and made them into something useful for a potential bride.

  10. Sabrina Kattzen

    Funny…I see a lot of donated, used wedding dresses at Goodwill and Savers etc. They have been dry cleaned and made wearable..seems like a way to "write off" IRS taxes…but who am I?

  11. Laura D. Young

    Folks here seem to miss what I think is the most important part of this..the terrible WASTE of perfectly good fabric and accessories. Donate them to the salvation army or good will Or sell them for a smaller amount of money. Parts could have been reused to make other things or art. Perhaps flower girl dresses or decorations for teddy bears that police hand out to children in crisis. Selfish waste Shame on the store owner and on all that had something to do with this. If you have something usable share or donate do it. Destroying them was a horrible act. I would never and will never do business with anyone connected to this narrow minded selfishness.

  12. Brittany Jean Balderson

    They can be expensive. You can also go cheap. I got a $900 dress for $100 because it was "out of season." There are plenty of people out there that want a super expensive dress, but do you see them getting off their ass to better themselves to try to afford the dress? Maybe if it's your "dream" dress you should save up for it…or not be so material…

  13. Julie Kuerschner

    while yes, it is their property to do as they wish, they certainly could have made the fabric and trims available to people who could use them. I do costumes for a nonprofit commity theater group and we would have loved a donation, even damaged gowns we could have done something with. Such a shame.

  14. April Mench

    I don't think the upset is really about giving the dresses to needy people. Or charity. I think what has people upset is the wastefulness of throwing those dresses away. The fact that they ended up in the trash destined for a landfill when they were still perfectly useful is what is disturbing. There were many alternatives including selling the stock to another bridal store, a consignment store or costume shop. The Salvation Army is great, a community theater always welcomes clothing that can be converted to costumes, heck it would have been less wasteful if they tore the damn things up and used them as rags to clean their store!

  15. Kathy Gardner-Leighton

    I agree. There is a place I saw here on the internet where the group takes prom dresses, wedding dresses, etc and uses the materials, lace and beading to make burial gowns for preemie babies. What a wonderful donation this could have been for that group.

  16. Kathy Gardner-Leighton

    Having a dress has nothing to do w/ getting married. A bride does NOT need a fancy expensive dress.

  17. Jes Lynch

    So, basically what you're saying is that if you don't make enough money for a wedding dress, you give up the right to get married?? Are you insane?? Kathy is right, dresses have zero to do with getting married, and you can get married in a burlap sack if you choose to do so. Think before you speak Daisy, sheesh.

  18. Kathy Gardner-Leighton

    Daisy Cunningham In an ideal world everyone would be financially stable but we live in a world where people don't always abide by that thought. Some women seem to think they NEED a 5,000 dollar dress and all the fancy trappings that go along w/ a wedding. This is where alot of them start off in financial trouble. Bigger is not always better. Their memories are not necessarily going to be better either by having a fancy expensive wedding as opposed to an affordable one. I was married by a JP w/ 2 witnesses as that was what we COULD afford. People need priorities.

  19. Kathy Gardner-Leighton

    Yep. They did the same thing when my mother worked there and that was 32 years ago so you can see how long stuff like this has been happening.

  20. Kizzie Moten

    How about these people just be GRATEFUL that they were lucky enough to find thier true love instead of complaining that they didn't get free dresses….not all of us were that lucky to find someone you know.

  21. Kelly Allen

    I do not disagree that it was a huge waste to do this to the dresses, etc but it is the company's choice to do what they choose.

  22. Julie Anne Rondo

    EXACTLY what I was thinking… They could have handled it better – both from a social and profitability standpoint – but at the end of the day, they get to do what they want. I have to wonder though, if this is how the business owners think, it's no wonder they are no longer in business.

  23. Deven Errante

    "We do not, however, donate unsaleable dresses that are damaged, soiled or in otherwise poor condition.” How many women soil their wedding gowns?

  24. Kathy Gardner-Leighton

    I'm sure there are a few but most of the brides who keep their dresses have them professionally cleaned and preserves. They make it sound like brides were bringing back damaged dresses which wasn't the case.

  25. Sean Chasworth

    Did the owners file for bankruptcy? If so, those dresses are part of the BK estate, and they may have just committed a big no-no…Even if there isn't any BK, then it's still disappointing – even damaged dresses could have been sold to a seamstress for restoration and resale. Somebody screwed up here.

  26. Brenda Terwilliger

    I am sure the store had a big sell-off, these dresses was all that was left. The stores closed for lack of business, people are out of a job. I wouldn't be happy either__I might just paint a big X on a wedding gown.

  27. Diana Escanuelas

    As a business woman I would've put them on sale before doing something that drastic. people are used to buying clothes that are not in the best condition for a lower price. It is his store though he can do whatever he wants.

  28. Ruth Dalrymple Veach-Hite

    I own a buisness, and it is great Pr to donate and or give a great discount. My lord Davids has a sale twice a year for 99 dollars…..this comapny was insane….Brides are not alwasy rich becuse they dream of that speacial dress that will light up dads or their grooms faces….

  29. Bellwether Nesingwary

    Ain't nothing wrong with a cute white sundress. I feel bad for these people trying to mortgage their life for a one day event. 30 years down the road, if you're with the right person, you're going to be happy for that day for the rest of your life.

  30. Bellwether Nesingwary

    I don't think Daisy is speaking very clearly at all. The decision to get married has nothing to do with being financially stable. Now bringing kids into the world… that is a different issue.

  31. Lilia Li

    You mean a wedding is all about an expensive dress to be a show off and not about two people who are in love?

  32. Sara E Gulbrandsen

    You are a jerk. Charity is not a requirement, but the people who are protesting what the store did are not the ones who need the gowns, they are people who just want to help others. There are no "gimme gimme" people bothering the store, it's just level-headed Americans who want to help others. And there are an awful lot of people out there today who do not CHOOSE to be out of work. Get with the times.

  33. Jill Case

    When you've seen what some women do to a store dress the damage can be significant. But, in this day of up-cycling and so forth there are many myself included who could have imagined some beautiful ways to create something cool and wearable out of another person's throw-aways. But, it his his/her business.

  34. Boltonsbbq Sauce

    so if dresses have nothing to do with getting married whats wrong with settling on a less than expensive gown?

  35. Cindy Johnson

    If you feel so strongly about it…YOU buy them a dress. Level headed? Really that is what we are calling the leftist now? lol I guess anyone who does not believe as you do is just a jerk…Oh yeah, you just said that. While I sympathize with those unemployed it is not MY responsibility to take care of them. Family, friends, churches are for charity and helping out, that is not the responsibility of the Government or of the people who are forced to pay for others. I will end this here, as by your post it is obvious you are of the gimme ilk.

  36. Ariana M Laiche-Oriez

    You know if money is tight and you have to get your bridal gown form a second hand store like a Salvation Army, I know dozens of people who would have taken them as is, had the dry cleaned and done repairs themselves if it meant having a designer dress for 20 or 30 bucks cause that was all they could afford.HEll My cousins who had money growing up One bought a plain gown for dirt cheap and needed it herself then her older yet smaller sister had it altered down to fit her for a second wedding…Point is when you are desperate nothing is trash and for so many people today going to Klinefeilds is just not an option. I am 100% sure it would not have tarnished their reputation to give those gowns and accessories to Salvation Army, Goodwill or similar charitable company. That could have made someone who is working two jobs to help her parents make ends meet, have an amazingly fabulous gown for pennies on the dollar- that was just sheer waist!

  37. Ariana M Laiche-Oriez

    Sorry auto-correct is a bear…. "bridal gown from a second hand store…", "had them dry cleaned and done…", "could afford. Hell my…", "growing up. One bought a plain…", "dirt cheap and beaded it…", and I will be honest I was getting madder and madder the more I typed and my spelling goes down hill fast when I am mad. LOL

  38. Joy Roderick

    when people spend all their energies to just staying afloat, their self esteem is usually pretty low, getting lower as life wears them down. You are right charity is an act of kindness not a requirement. It is a pity for you that you feel strained to have compassion. Tell me if i am close on this one, you have always had a place to call home, never wondered if you were going to eat tonight, never trembled when you heard your father come home, praying that he is so drunk that he will fall asleep and not come in your bedroom. I bet you've never stayed away from home, wondering if anyone would even miss you, then to show up after two nights to find that no one even knew you were gone. Perhaps you have never had anyone close to you die, never bearing the pain of grief. There are so many reasons why people are destitute and just barely hanging on. You and all the other lucky and pretty much self centered people should really open your eyes when you are out. Get your head out of the sand, quit pretending that down and out people dont exist, and that it is not their own fault. So what does all this have to do with destroying these dresses, well imagine how one of those dresses could change how a young girl looks at herself, and sees a beautiful person, instead of a piece of crap that people want to scrape off their shoes. The fact is when you open your heart to show compassion to someone you actually gain too, and maybe like the grinch, maybe your too small heart might grow a couple of sizes too.

  39. Ariana M Laiche-Oriez

    Sorry but I have to agree with Sara. We are in a economic crisis where there are hundred out of work or under-employed. I am married, I could care less about garbage, but I know that somewhere right now a young girl is heart broken cause her dad is laid- off and her and her mom are working 2 jobs each just so they can eat cause they don't want Govt. Handouts they need to earn it. Or so she can go to school, hoping that maybe by the time she graduates there will be a job for her somewhere and she can be an independently financial woman.

    My dad is 60, has a Master's Degree, got it in '89. He has been a teacher for almost 11 years, can't find a job anywhere and can't afford to go back to school to get the newly imposed certification that is now needed. I am 33 with a disabled husband and 2 kids living with my parents cause I lost my job when there recession hit and lost my home, a few months after that so did my Mom and Dad for the same reason laid -off. We all had to move into a two bedroom rental. I have 6 years Retail Management experience and I had to settle for a 4-12 hours a week seasonal stock job to get my kids Christmas this year. Because of ppl like me, my husband, who was 21 when he broke his back and has never really worked before due to school and his injury, is having to compete with ppl like me for minimum wage jobs- take a guess who is winning. My daughter's step-mom is 37, graduated honors in the field of medical billing- that was 3 years ago- still can't find work cause no one wants to hire someone they have to train and pay more money too.

    The store closed down- they had nothing to gain from donating the dresses and nothing to loose. That is the point… it is not about hand outs. And you, looking down on the depraved, jobless, scum of the earth like me from your Ivory Tower, would do well to rememberer Jacob Marley… "Man Kind was my business- there greater good was MY business". Though you remind me more of Scrooge asking about prisons and work houses. For the hell of it what not simply finish your rant with "If they would rather die then let them do so and decrease the surplus population." After all those of us who need (weather we take then or not) your "Government Handouts" are the surplus population, right? We are the ones tarnishing your pristine street with our jobless, lazy filth. Maybe you should see 1st hand what the surplus population is before you sit on your high horse and condemn us… yes it is your responsibility to help those less fortunate than you. And for me the icing on the cake, Madam Antoinette, is your pompous, spoiled brat rant is totally without merit. I must say at least you are consistent- you play the roll of a trust fund baby very well- totally clueless. Nowhere in that article was anyone even implying govt. handouts. The article is about trash, do you understands that TRASH, refuge, garbage, wasteful, stained, torn dresses that hundreds of rich brats tried on and tossed on the floor cause they were not good enough, or better yet they were just as long as they were brand new- special orders…. for them at least, and were the actions of the salon really necessary. You said handouts.

    In hindsight, I was mistaken the salon did have something to gain from donating the articles- the Charitable Donations Tax Break- They could have written that off and gotten quite a nice lump of change for it. Pity- maybe that poor business sense is why they closed.

  40. Caroline Gutierrez

    I don't see why it's necessary to be so bitter about helping others who can't afford simple things right now. As Sarah said, unemployment isn't a chose. While there are those who abuse it, they don't represent the majority who actually want work and want to be able to provide simple desires for their loved ones. There's also no need to bring politics into the picture. Donating the dresses would have been a better cause and a tax right off because there are plenty of women who would be grateful enough to fix any problems with the dresses.
    Ultimately, it's the store owner's decision with what he did with his merchandise, but it's too heavy how angry people are getting calling the chance to donate them selfish.

  41. Lisa Coffey

    The problem that I have with this story is two-fold. While it is the owner's right to do what they will with their inventory, I do have to question their motivation. Even if they don't want to donate the dresses to charity, they could sell them at a greatly reduced cost to offset some of the bills and debts that Priscilla's undoubtedly incurred as a cost of doing business. If nothing else, they could recoup the cost of what it cost to make each dress – the cost of high-quality fabrics by-the-yard, the cost of all the beads and lace and things. I mean, what could it possibly hurt to at least break even or try to? I understand what it means to lose one's "baby," and this business undoubtedly was someone's "baby." The dress designs were all someone's "brain child" and it hurts to have to let a dream go. Even if the dresses were "slightly damaged," anyone with a little sense and some skills with a needle could buy a damaged dress and take it home and make some simple repairs to make it work for their special day. Or their friend's or daughter's or whomever. I also think of the people who spent hours at their sewing machines making such lovely creations, even if they were someone else's designs. I feel badly for them because it takes time, effort, energy, and a great deal of skill to make such a dress, even to be sold commercially, because each design house has a certain expected quality standard that each dress must achieve before it can be put on the rack at the store. Taking the hurt and the pain out on the dresses was indeed in poor taste, and anyone with a little bit of class could have handled the loss of a dream with more grace. What I saw in destroying the dresses was pain…and pride.

  42. R.Hunter Class

    What is strange to me why would they even have all those un warable dress in the first place…something ain't right here…i agree with most of the blogers…they could do what they want…they could of sold them at a discount…are donated them for a right off? something smells funny if you ask me?

  43. VioletRose Swan

    why did they go our of business in the first place? the gowns were very expensive if you see the price tag on one in the video. maybe they got angry and bitter over losing their business and took it out on the merchandise. they could have even auctioned them off or sold them on ebay. who knows why people do what they do, only God does. Until we walk a mile in someone esles shoes, we will not be able to comprehend many things that people do.

  44. April Sheree Klein Nelson

    this is a sad day….can they not find a way around the waste by having a charity sale…sale the dresses for $1 to $10…they will not be giving them away but still will not be throwing them away either!

  45. Debbie Holden Whitlock

    David’s bridal owns them they are taking another look at their pink paint …

  46. Kimberley Watson Jordan

    Did anyone get that the store said they were damaged? That means they have gotten some kind of benefit for them being damaged, returning the label for credit, write off or insurance. If they weren't really damaged then they would be considered committing fraud. Now that they have paint on them they are truly damaged.

  47. Melissa Powell Boyd

    I agree with your foes cindy, I look at it that we are such wasteful society. Why throw away good dresses. So you don't agree that people shoould get a dress for free. Why not donate it to Goodwill where a woman can buy it at a discount. Google the story of stuff. It will show you why this is such a waste.

  48. April Sheree Klein Nelson

    heard on the news this morning that they say they signed a contract they were not allowed to give away dresses from certain designer…they are looking at not destroying all the dresses now..but I still think they can sale the ones they can't give away at a VERY low price…I am sure a bride can come up with a few dollars to pay for a dress Worth a lot more!!

  49. Deadra Legette

    Who said the dress had to be white… Ill take it out the trash and dye it a color to cover up the X…. satill saves cople hundreds/thousand bucks…. bright side folks.

  50. Anne Davis

    seriously, what a waste, not just of material but of value. so many people who cant afford to buy a nice dress could have benefited and been able to get one had they just donated them, instead of destroying them and throwing them in a landfill. its more effort to spray paint all of those gowns then it would have been to just ship them off and donate to a charitable cause!

  51. Kathy Gardner-Leighton

    Bellwether Nesingwary I would like to think that some things were saved at least.