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7 ON YOUR SIDE: Brides rush to closed store to recover gowns trapped inside

Brides rush to closed store to recover gowns trapped inside (ABC7)

A constant number of brides-to-be and their families arrived at the Alfred Angelo Bridal store in Springfield Commons shopping center, even though the doors were locked.

“She called me and said you need to get over there as fast as you can,” said Arica Clark after a call with her sister. Her wedding gown was trapped inside.

Alfred Angelo closed locations nationwide suddenly Thursday. Employees not wanting to talk on camera told 7 On Your Side they are working on their own time, without direction from corporate, to get the dresses their former customers paid for. The Springfield store reports the majority of their outstanding orders were shipped by FedEx to customers with a confirmed address. Those that weren’t shipped remain inside the store.

A sign outside the store directed customers to email the company attorney at predmond@stearnsweaver.com.

“Just be more transparent and give people a minute to plan to come and pick up the dress,” said bride-to-be Tamara Willis. “I got the call Wednesday at noon, ‘you have two weeks.’ So, I thought I had two weeks. And then you find out on the news that's not the case,” added Willis. She recovered her dress Friday.

Shawn Shamim of Lotus Production Complete Wedding & Event Services of Vienna, Virginia advised brides-to-be remain calm and be willing to compromise on dresses.

“I know it's going to be hard to get the exact replacement of the wedding gown. They have to be willing to compromise here. Try to talk to other wedding vendors,” said Shamim.

David Wood, president of the American Bridal Consultant Association, does not advise the purchase of wedding insurance policies for these incidents. Most policies protect against problems arising on wedding day, not prior purchases including wedding gowns.

Weddingwire, an online service based in Chevy Chase, Maryland, set up a digital hotline to refer former Alfred Angelo customers to other vendors. They can be reached at sos@weddingwire.com

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