Brides are left without their dresses after popular store suddenly shutters

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Alfred Angelo is apparently saying “no” to the dress.

The popular wedding dress manufacturer and retailer abruptly
shut down its stores on Thursday, sending brides across the
country into panic mode over fear they will no longer be able
to walk down the aisle in their dream gowns.

“I’m just really frustrated. I burst into tears when I found
out. The company didn’t notify anybody. They just closed the
doors. I don’t know what my next steps are,” Monique Ortiz of
Las Vegas told TODAY.

Back in April, the 32-year-old had found, ordered and put down
an 80 percent deposit on a $1,500 Alfred Angelo dress she
absolutely loved: a blush-colored, embellished strapless gown
with a long tulle skirt. When she read online that the company
was closing its doors, she immediately called the Las Vegas
store where she bought the dress. She was simply told, “You’re
not getting your dress,” and was given the name and number of
an attorney to contact.

“That was my dress. I’m not going to be able to find that dress
again” said an exasperated Ortiz, who is getting married in
February.

“When Monique found her dress, she felt like a princess — like
every bride-to-be should feel. I don’t understand how this
company could do this,” added her mother, Rebecca Ortiz
Mansfield.

Courtesy of
Monique Ortiz.

Monique Ortiz in the Alfred Angelo wedding dress she had
found. Ortiz says she was told she wouldn’t be able to get
her dress after the company shut down its stores.

Alfred Angelo and its lawyer did not respond to multiple
requests for comment. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Florida-based
company — which carries its styles at more than 1,400 retailers
and 60 of its signature bridal stores in the U.S. — is planning
to file for bankruptcy.

There have been reports of brides across the country, upon
hearing the news, racing to Alfred Angelo stores in hopes of
picking up their orders early or buying one of their dresses
off the rack before the doors were officially shuttered. In
Tukwila, Washington, police were even called to one Alfred
Angelo store because customers were trying to force open the
doors.

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Some women, like 28-year-old Tina Braz, were literally standing
in their future wedding dress only to be told they wouldn’t be
able to order it.

Braz, who is getting married in January 2018 in South Africa,
was at RK Bridal in New York City in what she described as
“the” dress — a modern, strapless A-line ballgown. “Me and my
mom were having that moment, that
‘this-is-the-dress-I’m-going-to-wear-at-my-wedding’ moment.
They were going to find out how long it was going to take to
order. I was literally standing there in the dress with tears
in my eyes when I was told, ‘I’m sorry we can’t get the
dress.’” Braz recounted to TODAY.

Braz was told she could buy the sample dress, but at full price
— something the writer and producer didn’t want to do because
the gown looked well-worn. “I’m devastated,” said Braz, who is
currently in London and is search of the same dress.

Courtesy of
Cyndi Whitten.

In Houston, Cyndi Cervera Whitten raced to the Alfred Angelo
store where she bought her daughter’s dress. This sign was on
the door.

Some brides were luckier. In Houston, Cyndi Cervera Whitten
raced to the Alfred Angelo store where she and her daughter
Kaitlin, who is getting married in October, originally bought
her dress. On Thursday, the doors were locked, but a
sympathetic salesperson let them inside the store. The employee
found the sample dress version of the gown Kaitlyn had
originally purchased: a long, lace dress with a sweetheart
neckline.

“She just handed it to me, put it in a bag and said ‘good
luck,’” recounted Whitten. And on Friday morning, the store
called with good news — her original dress had come in one
month early. Whitten was told she had one hour to pick it up.

“I feel so relieved,” said Whitten, adding she hopes to give
the sample dress to another bride in need. “I still feel so
terrible for the other women who won’t have this option.”

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