TAMPA, Fla. - It's a bride's worst nightmare. The dress she's dreamt about, spent months looking for, put money down on---she may not get. The bridal store suddenly closed.
That's what's happened to dozens, if not hundreds of brides at Tampa's Alfred Angelo Bridal.
Bride-to-be Emily Benon walked up to the store front and saw a simple piece of white paper with the words “Store Closed.”
“I really didn’t think it would be real until I got here and saw it,” Benon says.
“I ordered my dress in April, and got a call on Tuesday saying my dress was in the store ready to pick up. I scheduled an appointment for Sunday.”
But Thursday night Emily learned on social media that Alfred Angelo Bridal’s had closed for good. The 80-year-old company with 60 retail stores had filed for bankruptcy.
On the company's Facebook page one mother of a bride wrote, “I WANT MY DAUGHTERS DRESS OR MY MONEY BACK NOW.”
Emily says, “I am angry for not being called. I am angry for the company doing this to their employees and to other brides…not right!”
Some of those employees who’ve been let go have been prepping bride’s and bridesmaid’s dresses in store for shipping.
An employee at the Tampa store says they’ve shipped 150 dresses within 24 hours of closing, including around 50 dresses around noon by Fed Ex.
“All these boxes you're seeing (are) brides' dress orders all called previously,” says Barbara, a store employee. She adds, “We love our brides -- that’s why they come to us for the one-on-one experience.”
Benon says she thought she did her homework when choosing a bridal store.
“I heard this happen at smaller boutique," she says. "I thought I’d be safe coming here. I was wrong.”
She hopes her dream dress -- the one that cost $1,800 -- is in one of those boxes.
“No other dress I put on made me feel like that dress made me feel," Benon says. "There's no replacing that. I just want this dress.”
Some brides on social media say the store's seamstress has their dresses, but won't give it to them because even though they paid for alterations, the store didn't pay her.
The company posted an email address for its attorney. 10News emailed and didn't get any answer.