It seems the matter of the lost dress may be resolved! We called our credit card company after getting absolutely nowhere with the store. (They said there was nothing they could do to help us). We talked to the credit card company, explained what happened and said we wanted to dispute the charge. They said it wasn't a problem, and apparently based on the fact that we've had the same card for years, always paid on time and never disputed anything before (and we weren't even disputing the whole charge amount, just one item) they just automatically credited us for it!! Thank you Lord!! We really can't afford to just be throwing out money!
As it turns out, the bride's mom ended up getting the same dress...so obviously, her being a much more important role in this deal, I said that was fine, I'd just return it. Maybe I am simply not meant to have this dress!! (What are the chances that we'd independently buy the exact same dress?!?!) At this point she's not sure that's her final decision, so for the moment I'm gonna hang onto it just in case. In the end, if I do get to keep it, I got it at a discounted price because when I bought the second dress (or the same one a second time, I'll never know for sure...) they gave me 25% off!! I'm just happy we aren't out the $$$$ with nothing to show for it!