Nationwide closure of Alfred Angelo’s bridal stores a nightmare for Tampa Bay area brides

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — This is a real nightmare for thousands of brides and their wedding parties as well. On social media right now, lots of companies and individuals are offering help after the closure of Alfred Angelo’s bridal stores across the country. But, one wedding professional says be cautious about who you deal with.

Caught in the chaos of Alfred Angelo’s abrupt shut down is Jessica Routan of Tampa.

“I found out about it on Facebook. Somebody posted and article,” she says. Word of the store’s bankruptcy left her with a bad feeling describing it as, “Very much like a pit in my stomach kind of feeling. Like, I read it and I thought oh, that’s crazy. I don’t have my dress from them yet. This might be really bad.”

But, not only is she getting shortchanged, so are her bridesmaids. She tells News Channel 8, “They are pretty much in the same situation. They’ve paid for their dresses. They don’t have dresses yet. And we’re not sure.”

Professional wedding blogger, Anna Coats with Marry Me Tampa Bay, says she’s hearing lots of heartbreaking stories of brides who got the bankruptcy news the same day Alfred Angelo went out of business. “That left them really scrambling trying to get information and find alternatives to new dresses,” she says.

And with a lot of bridal-related companies reaching out to these jilted brides and bridesmaids thru social media offering help, Anna says be cautious about who you deal with. Her advice is to “Ask for references. Ask planners and photographers if they’ve had experience working with that company and check online reviews.”

In the meantime, brides like Jessica simply want answers so they can move forward. She says, “I don’t know if I’m going to get my dress from them or if I’m going to get money from them. And really that’s all I want right now is to know.”

The bankruptcy lawyer handling this case, Patricia Redmond of Miami, tells 8 On Your Side, some dresses may be stuck inside shuttered stores. Others could be on their way to brides through FedEx or even in the hands of seamstresses. Redmond also confirms there are about 5,400 Alfred Angelo items imported from China currently stuck at a port in California.

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