Imagine waking up weeks or days before a bride walks down the aisle only to hear that her dress may be held up in bankruptcy. Angeli Kakade (@angelikakade) has the story.
Brides-to-be in Arizona and around the country might not be able to walk down the aisle in their dream dress after a national retailer abruptly filed for bankruptcy.
Alfred Angelo Bridal abruptly closed Thursday, leaving hundreds of bridal shops and brides in the dark as to whether they’ll receive the dresses they ordered.
Alfred Angelo is a Florida-based company that operates its own bridal shops and supplies gowns to 1,400 retailers worldwide, including some in the Phoenix area. The company has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation, according to USA TODAY.
One of those brides, 22-year-old Hannah Gregory, said she ordered a dress from the brand’s Disney collection in May.
“I have known about this Disney collection since it came out,” Gregory said. “I always said I would have that dress when it was my turn to get married. It caused tears to my mom’s and grandmother’s eyes, and I was shocked because I didn’t think that was possible.”
‘Everybody wants to feel like a princess’
Azteca Bridal, the downtown Phoenix bridal shop where she ordered her dress, informed her of the company’s closure on Thursday, she said. The store has been in constant communication with her throughout the process.
Gregory said it likely will be several weeks before she knows for sure whether she’ll get her dream dress.
“I’m afraid to know we might be going back to the drawing board,” Gregory said. “Everybody wants to feel like a princess on their wedding day, and I know a lot of women who have dreamed about that dress and that collection. If they’re going through the same thing I am, they’re shocked and scared and nervous and wishing we had answers.”
Another person who wishes she had answers is Royna Rosell, the owner of Azteca Bridal.
Rosell said she’s been contacting all of her brides who might be affected.
“She (Gregory) bought the dress I loved most in the world, and it’s a Disney dress,” Rosell said. “There’s not a whole lot of dresses out there that have the same feeling as the Disney dress.”
Rosell said she’s also been trying to contact the Alfred Angelo company, which she said had her on hold for more than two hours.
She hung up when a representative for the company told her that no one was at the company and phone calls wouldn’t be answered.
“They haven’t sent out any terms to the stores,” Rosell said. “They haven’t done anything other than just say ‘We’re closed,’ which is very, very strange for a company with a history this one does in the United States.”
Rosell said the plight of each bride differs depending on where they got the dress.
She said there are about 20 brides at her store who aren’t sure whether they’ll get the dress they ordered but that they’re “not necessarily at the point of no dress” because the store has backup dresses in case of a worst-case scenario.
Added stress to brides and shops
Brides who ordered directly from an Alfred Angelo store, however, might have to go back to square one, especially because they haven’t been able to reach the company for clear answers on the status of their dress, Rosell said.
Rosell said the brand offered a wide range of colors and sizes, which might mean that brides who don’t receive their Alfred Angelo dresses will have to settle for another brand with a different style or color of dress than the one they ordered.
Still, Rosell said Azteca Bridal will do whatever it can to help brides navigate the sticky situation.
“Say, for instance, they bought a dress for their bridesmaids because of the price range and the next dress is maybe a little bit more expensive,” Rosell said. “We’re going to work with them. They’re not going to end up paying more for the new dress.”
Other Valley bridal shops are experiencing similar situations.
David Carillo, the owner of Carrillo’s Bridal Emporium in Mesa, said his store had 25 Alfred Angelo orders that will not be fulfilled by the company.
“It’s hurting us big time,” he said. “There was no indication that they were going to shut down.”
Gregory hopes she and other affected brides can quickly resolve their situations.
“That’s (finding a dress) one of the most stressful things for our weddings, and this has now added a million more stressors into it.”
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