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Woman reunites with wedding dress her husband accidentally donated

It's a mistake that could happen to anyone, but in this case the prized possession that went missing was his wife's wedding dress.
/ Source: TODAY

You drive to Goodwill with a couple of bags in the trunk, quickly unload the donations and drive away without a second thought — that is, until you realize that one of those bags contained precious cargo you didn't mean to let go.

It's a mistake that could happen to anyone, but in this case, that prized possession was Natalie Gelbert's wedding dress.

Man donates his wife's wedding dress to charity by mistake
Chad and Natalie Gelbert at their wedding in October 2015.Courtesy of Natalie Gelbert

After cleaning out their spare room, Gelbert and her husband, Chad, packed up old baby toys they'd planned on donating to Goodwill. At the same time, they packed up her wedding dress with the intention of bringing it to the cleaners to be preserved.

He dropped the bagged items at the local donation center on March 4, but it wasn't until two weeks later that the couple realized the mistake.

Man donates wife's wedding dress to Charity by mistake
The Gelbert family poses together on a less stressful occasion.Courtesy of Natalie Gelbert

Gelbert's response after discovering the accident is hilariously understandable, "I cussed him," the 25-year-old told TODAY. "That was my initial reaction to be honest,"

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The dress carries obvious sentimental value for Gelbert and she was worried that she might not ever find it again. "Not only is my dress gone, but now I can't pass it down to my kids," she said she thought to herself.

Man donates his wife's wedding dress to charity by mistake
Natalie Gelbert and her step-daughter share a playful moment at her wedding. Courtesy of Natalie Gelbert

Chad Gelbert described feeling "panicky" after he realized his mistake — as any husband in his position would!

"I was just hoping we could find it," he said. "She was very upset with me but after a day or two, she was more focused on finding the dress."

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After about a week of searching, the couple miraculously tracked down the missing dress. It had been stashed in the back of the Goodwill store where they first dropped it off all along! Luckily, it was still in its original condition.

Man donates wife's wedding dress to charity by mistake
Gelbert celebrated the reunion with her wedding dress.Courtesy Natalie Gelbert

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"I was so happy!" Gelbert said, adding that she had come to terms with the fact that she might never see her dress again. "As soon as I got home, I put it on and pranced around the house in it for a couple of hours."

As for her loving husband, relief might be too light a word. "Now I don't have to apologize for it forever," he said.