Tracking down wedding dresses at drycleaner; Contact 6 pitches in – FOX 6 Milwaukee

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A lot of time and thought goes into picking the right wedding dress. It’s why so many women pay hundreds of dollars to get their dresses preserved.

In March, Contact 6 helped a Salem couple track down two wedding dresses they left at a dry cleaner. Employees told them they couldn’t locate them. 

Christine and Matthew Wlodarek will never forget their wedding day in January 2020. Many special moments from that day are perfectly preserved on video.

Christine Wlodarek wore a ballgown-style dress for her ceremony before unveiling a more form-fitting dress for the reception.

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“I love my dresses so much,” Wlodarek told Contact 6. “They’re like, the only thing I’ve ever felt truly beautiful in.”

Christine and Matthew Wlodarek

A few years later, they’re expecting a baby. Wanting to preserve the wedding dresses, Matthew Wlodarek took them to Martino’s Master Drycleaner in Kenosha in July. When they met with Contact 6, the Wlodareks hadn’t seen the dresses since.

“The way (employees) said it was, “they’re not lost. We just can’t find them at the moment,” recalled Matthew Wlodarek. “We kept getting the runaround.”

The dresses were supposed to be ready in October. The Wlodareks say they’ve been calling and visiting the business for months.

“I really hope they’re not lost. I hope they’re not damaged,” said Christine Wlodarek. “I left my information. No one ever called me.”

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The couple says they were told by an employee that the dresses were misplaced, so they texted pictures of the dresses in November. A representative from Martino’s texted back, “They were not lost a couple of wedding dresses r cleaned but the tags came off…”

Christine says she eventually went to a Martino’s location to look at wedding dress without a tag. She says it wasn’t one of her dresses.

“They’re not replaceable,” Christine Wlodarek told Contact 6. “It’s really hard.”

In March, Contact 6 stopped by Martino’s, looking for answers. They spoke with owner, Dan Martino.

One day later, Contact 6 brought Christine Wlodarek back to the dry cleaner to pick up her dresses.

Martino told Christine Wlodarek that her dresses were never lost.

“It somehow slipped through the cracks to call you. When you were calling, I was not getting the messages to call you back,” Martino said.

Speaking with Contact 6, Martino said that communication between himself and his staff, and with customers need to “improve greatly.”

Martino said his staff working in the evenings, when the Wlodareks made their inquiries, are young. He said the dresses were cleaned and pressed months ago. He said their delay was due to challenges with supplies and staffing.

“We need a very specific box to box wedding gowns in. And, then we need people specifically trained to box wedding gown, both of which, I had some challenges with,” said Martino.

Dan Martino

Martino waived the Wlodareks’ charge for the dresses, which was around $700. Martino carried the dresses out to her car and said changes will be made.

“I’m very, very sorry about this,” Martino told Christine Wlodarek.

Martino told Contact that mistakes were made but he intended to learn from them.

“It just doesn’t feel good,” said Martino. “We’re in the business of serving people’s clothing…. If you don’t have good communication, a business just doesn’t work.”

Christine Wlodarek told Contact 6 that the business needs a better tracking system.

“If they’ve known about the box issue for a while, they should update the people who are waiting,” said Wlodarek. “I’m more than relieved to have my dresses in my hands. That’s really the only thing I ever wanted out of this.”

Martino says they have enough boxes and trained staff to catch up on their wedding dress backlog.

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