When wedding dress retailer Alfred Angelo Bridal began closing stores nationwide late last week, it mobilized an army of bridezillas.
And rightfully so.
The Florida-based company — with a Tucson store at 4336 N. Oracle Road — declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy Friday, July 14, without warning. In response, brides took to social media in an uproar, demanding their dresses and refunds.
The panicked customers who weren’t able to pick up their dresses in store are now waiting in limbo, hoping to dispute credit-card charges.
“If the wedding is going to be in the next three or four weeks, they’re probably out of luck,” says Jeffrey Judge, a local bankruptcy attorney with Judge Law Firm. “This is a huge, massive thing, and everything just gets stopped, and unfortunately for a bride in Tucson, Arizona, it’s just not going to be a priority.”
Judge says that anyone who didn’t get their goods after paying money will be in line to get credit administered by the trustee, but that could take a while and might not amount to a full refund.
Based on how these cases typically work, “It’s all likely to be decided within the year (by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court),” Judge says. “The brides should be getting notice as creditors about the bankruptcy and where to apply for a claim.”
Tucson stores, including the other big chain wedding retailer in town, David’s Bridal, are offering discounts to affected customers.
“We know how meaningful wedding dresses are for brides and what an important part of their day it is,” says Abigail Wilhelm, the operations manager at Free Ever After, a bridal shop that sells preworn wedding gowns and is offering discounts to Alfred Angelo customers. “To have found your dress but not be able to get it is devastating, so we just want to be able to help the brides of Tucson.”
If you have proof of an Alfred Angelo purchase that you did not receive, you can find discounts at the following stores, as posted on their Facebook pages.
- David’s Bridal, 497 W. Auto Mall Drive: 30 percent off wedding dresses and 20 percent off bridesmaids dresses, including clearance and promotions prices. The store will also waive rush fees for alterations to make your wedding date on time with an original Alfred Angelo receipt. Discounts are available only in store and expire Aug. 14. Visit davidsbridal.com or call 408-0825.
- Free Ever After, 2469 N. Country Club Road: 50 percent off any dress in the store. Free Ever After sells donated, gently used wedding gowns with prices ranging between $100 and $1,200. Visit freeeverafter.org or call 338-8463.
- GiGi Bridal Boutique, 2905 E. Skyline Drive: 20 percent off purchase. Visit gigibridal.com or call 777-7747.
- Hem & Her Bridal, 4004 N. Stone Ave.: 10 percent off bridesmaids dresses and rush charges for alterations waived. Visit hemandherbridal.com or call 248-2314.
- J Bridal Boutique, 2840 E. Skyline Drive: 25 percent off sample sale dresses, 15 percent off new order dresses and 20 percent of bridesmaids dresses. Visit jbridalboutique.com or call 577-5528.
- Laura’s Bridal Boutique, 4361 E. Broadway: 50 percent off anything in store or rush fees waived. Visit laurasbridaltucson.com or call 294-9199.
- Maya Palace, 2930 N. Swan Road: 15 percent off sample wedding and mother-of-the-bride/groom dresses, 30 percent off sale price of discontinued sample wedding dresses, 10 percent off bridesmaids and mother-of-the-bride/groom special order dresses and get a $150 gift card for bridal accessories with a special-order wedding gown. Offer ends Aug. 31. Visit mayapalace.com or call 748-0817.