A seamstress owes a bride almost $1,500 after the zipper she replaced on the wedding dress split apart just before the ceremony, a state judge has ruled. Nassau County District Court Judge Gary Knobel (See Profile) wrote on Nov. 26 in Shea v. Cohen, SC-002182-12, that the seamstress “vouched for the subject zipper’s functionality and reliability when she replaced the original zipper three days before the wedding, and when the replacement zipper split apart, the defendant breached her oral agreement with the plaintiff to properly alter plaintiff’s wedding dress and thus became liable for the damages which flowed from that breach.”

Samantha Shea bought a “sample” dress from Bridal World in Baldwin for $599 and paid Dalia Cohen $600 for alterations. Shea’s last fitting was on June 4 and when she picked up the dress two days later, Cohen had replaced the zipper. Shea did not ask for a replacement and did not try the dress one last time when picking it up. Two days later—just an hour before the ceremony at a downtown Manhattan hotel—a bridesmaid lifted the zipper and the seam split. The distraught bride and bridesmaid called Cohen who said she could be there in two hours. But two housekeepers sewed Shea into the dress and Cohen was told via text message she was not needed. Shea paid the housekeepers $200 for their handiwork and an additional $100 to the officiant for overtime costs because of the delay. The zipper incident transformed Shea’s nuptials into a “nightmare,” Shea testified, noting that the dress had to be ripped apart to come off.

Cohen was remorseful but said the burst seam was an accident. “I guarantee my work [but] I cannot be responsible for the dress anymore,” she testified. But Knobel saw otherwise, ordering Cohen to pay Shea $1,499 plus interest to reimburse her for the dress, alterations, payment to the housekeepers and the officiant.