Once you say “yes” to the wedding dress of your dreams, anything standing in the way of you wearing it down the aisle on your big day is just flat out inexcusable. Or, at least so we thought. Until now. After beloved bridal designer Alfred Angelo announced it was filing for bankruptcy and closing all stores, many brides are now left without wedding and bridesmaids dresses right before they’re set to tie the knot.
On July 16, Alfred Angelo posted a short, sweet, and to the point bankruptcy notice on its website, and announced that the company was closing all 62 locations. The notice listed contact information for brides to check on their order statuses, and the Florida-based brand said they would provide updates on pending orders on their website as soon as they received information. Sounds promising! They also never gave any specific information about what led to the bankruptcy.
For brides and bridesmaids, the most stressful part of the situation is that they already paid good money for their dresses, and they might never get to actually see them. Alfred Angelo brides now have to struggle to find replacement gowns, which means dropping even more moolah. Not only this, but hundreds of employees also unexpectedly lost their jobs.
Maggie Klaysen is the maid of honor in her best friend’s wedding this October. She placed an order for her bridesmaid dress from Alfred Angelo in May, and the rest of the bridal party ordered theirs before her in March and April. On July 15, Klaysen says the bride received an email from Alfred Angelo at 2:30 p.m., saying that they were closing their doors for good at 8:00 p.m. that day, and that all customers had to come pick up their dresses by then if they were ready in the store.
“I had many friends who had to leave work early and drive hours to go and pick up their dresses to get them in time,” says Klaysen. “My dress wasn’t in store yet, so we were kind of at a loss as to what that meant. The bride got ahold of someone and they told her my dress was already in manufacturing, so I was ok and it would be shipped out August 8.”
But, after a few days, Klayson received a claims notice from the company in the mail, which meant that she actually wouldn’t get her dress, and she could file a claim to try to get her money back. She says she reached out to Alfred Angelo multiple times via both phone and email, and never got a clear response as to whether her dress was getting shipped to her or not. She’s the only member of the bridal party without a dress.
“Now, I’m kind of in a scramble trying to get a bridesmaid dress by October,” says Klayson.
So, what’s a bride or bridesmaid to do in this situation? Many women sell their bridesmaid or wedding dresses, so brides impacted by the bankruptcy should check used clothing websites like Poshmark or even eBay. Klayson looked online to find used or returned Alfred Angelo dresses in her size and in the color she previously ordered, but she says it wasn’t easy. The bride even considered getting Klayson a different color or style since she’s the MOH, but Klayson says it’s hard to pick a new color without seeing the dress in person.
She eventually found a dress in a boutique in Virginia that matches the color of the bridal party dresses, but has a different style. It’s still unclear whether her dress will actually come August 8, so she didn’t want to risk not having a dress in time. She ended up having to pay for two bridesmaid dresses.
It’s not looking promising for Klayson’s Alfred Angelo dress. The company’s attorney, Patricia Redmond, said that dresses shipped after June 24 are allegedly stuck in a port in California, according to NBC.
But, there is one silver lining. Certain retailers and boutiques are taking pity on brides stuck without a dress from the Alfred Angelo disaster. Klayson says she talked to David’s Bridal, and they’re offering 20-30 percent off for brides and bridesmaids who show their Alfred Angelo receipt.
If you’re a victim of this situation, stay positive, and remember that not all hope is lost! If you didn’t receive your dress, we recommend that you follow up with the company repeatedly through their bankruptcy trustee, Margaret Smith, via email at [email protected] Smith has actually filed a motion for the company to resume certain business functions in order to help customers, according to the South Florida Business Journal. This motion also means that you can potentially ask your credit card carrier to remove the dress charge and refund you if you think your order won’t be completed. Regardless, whatever happens, you’re still going to look just as beautiful on your wedding day.