Watch CBS News

Bed, Bath & Beyond bankruptcy leads third party to hold onto women's wedding dresses

Woman blames Bed Bath & Beyond troubles for withholding of wedding dress
Woman blames Bed Bath & Beyond troubles for withholding of wedding dress 02:27

BEDFORD, N.H. - A Bedford, New Hampshire woman says her wedding dress is being held hostage because Bed Bath & Beyond filed for bankruptcy.

Jesse Moltenbrey remembers her 2018 wedding as "a beautiful day," full of memories. Coincidentally, "Memories" is now the name of the Texas company she says is holding her wedding dress hostage.

Moltenbrey and her husband are expecting their second child, and she was cleaning out a closet to make room when she decided it was time to preserve the unique black and white gown she wore to her wedding.

In an effort to save money, Moltenbrey purchased a preservation kit at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. "You package up the dress into the box, with the order form, and it gets sent to Memories in Houston," she explained. Memories is the company that then preserves the dress before mailing it back.

Moltenbrey sent the dress on March 16, was charged an extra fee on April 3, and has yet to receive it back. Instead, she received an email from Memories saying her dress would not be returned because the company is "holding" dresses from Bed Bath & Beyond kits because of a billing dispute.

Jesse Moltenbrey
Jesse Moltenbrey holds her wedding album CBS Boston

"Bed Bath & Beyond owes Memories Gown Preservation $42,563.73," an email sent to Moltenbrey reads. "We are asking for Bed Bath & Beyond customers to call Bed Bath Customer Service to request release of payment...Once payment has been received to MemoriesGP we will promptly clean, preserve, and ship your gown out to you."

Bed Bath & Beyond filed for bankruptcy on Sunday, so Moltenbrey knows the chances of the company paying its outstanding bill in exchange for her (and likely others) wedding dress are slim. "When I read the email, I just felt sick to my stomach, I felt really helpless for a little while and then when I started thinking about the dates, I started getting a little upset about it," she said.

Only after contacting news organizations, including WBZ, did the company agree to send Moltenbrey her dress back - not preserved. In the email, an employee asked Moltenbrey to pay the shipping fee, since "as a small business," Memories could not afford to pay shipping. On its website, however, Memories boasts itself as "The Nation's Largest & Most Trust Gown Preservation Co."

Moltenbrey is happy to be getting her dress back but hopes by sharing her story that the company will do right by other brides in the same situation.

WBZ reached out to both Memories and Bed Bath & Beyond for a comment but did not hear back. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.