When the news broke that Alfred Angelo was filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and closing all of its locations on July 14, 2017, brides across the country panicked. With dresses ordered, deposits paid, and wedding dates fast approaching, we can’t blame them for worrying about what they (and their ‘maids!) would wear down the aisle on their big day. As reality set in, salon owners and brides across the country embraced the love and support that weddings are all about, offering up dresses, discounts, rush shipping, and more to help a new crop of brides get down the aisle looking their very best. Their stories will restore your faith in love!
California bride Arlyle got married in June 2014 and was so touched by how people came together to help with her wedding that she knew she wanted to pass it on to another bride. “I would love to donate my wedding dress, or loan it to someone and then pass it on so someone else can use it,” she says. The size 2 gown, with an Empire waist and Swiss dots, would fit a B or C cup and is perfect for brides around five foot five (with three-inch heels).
In the Chicago area, past bride Emily Ann is offering her ivory silk and French lace gown for free. The size 2–4 dress has a bow at the waist, with a sweetheart neckline and lace on the train.
Arkansas bride Felicia is offering her ruffle-skirted ball gown (a street size 10, bridal 12) for $700 or the best offer. “It’s dry-cleaned and ready to go!” she says.
To help ease the pain, Georgia makeup artist Krystal Rae is offering free bridal makeup to affected brides.
For employees at Alfred Angelo stores, the situation has been equally heartbreaking, though some have put those feelings aside in order to do whatever they can to help the brides they’ve been working with. Says one employee who wishes to remain anonymous, “I got the call at 11:15 on Thursday morning that the doors were closing. As soon as I got off my other job, I went straight to the store to make whatever we could right.” She packed dresses, answered phones, and comforted tears and frustrations. “Every bride I work with is personal to me. I may have lost my job, but they were losing dresses they’d saved and work for, part of their special day that they’d dreamed about. How could losing my job compare to that?” she says. One moment did stand out among the challenges: “After I’d packed a gown and handed it to one of my brides, she turned to me and started to cry. It meant so much to me to know that she understood that we, the employees, were just as shocked and taken aback as the brides themselves,” she says.
Salon owners across the country are putting aside any competition to help out other owners who carried the company’s designs. “We have been in touch with other salons in our area to see what stock we might have that could help their clients,” says Christina Stec, owner of Sisters Bridal Boutique in Garfield, New Jersey. “We’re looking at our stock to see what we have that is a similar style or color and working together to get these brides, mothers, and bridesmaids taken care of.” Stec didn’t carry Alfred Angelo gowns in her boutique but is impressed with the response she’s seen within the industry. “It shows you how strong the bridal family really is. We all know this isn’t about us. It’s about doing what we have to do to make sure these girls still get to have the best day of their lives.” Stec has partnered with the designers she carries to waive rush production charges on new orders, with designers like Christina Wu offering a two-week rush on bridesmaids' gowns. Sisters Bridal Boutique is also offering 50 percent off any sample gown until August 1 for brides with a proof of purchase of an Alfred Angelo gown.
Vow To Be Chic, a designer bridesmaid dress rental service, is also offering a deal for bridal parties in a bind with 10% off of bridesmaid and Little White Dresses. "With over 10 thousand dresses in stock, from brands like Monique Lhuillier, Jenny Yoo and Nouvelle Amsale, brides need not worry about replacing their dresses," says the brand. Bridal parties affected by the closings can use the promo code "VOWTOHELP10" to score the deal.
Floravere, a luxury bridal brand that delivers their wedding dresses right to your door, is also stepping up to help. Floravere is offering free sample wedding gowns from their first two collections to brides who purchased a gown from Alfred Angelo. In addition, brides who would like to design their own gown from their current collection can receive 30% off any new dress from the Floravere website, which can be delivered to their door in five weeks or less—a serious blessing for brides on a time crunch.
Della Curva in Tarzana, California, has had an influx of affected brides. “We were supposed to start our sample sale next week, but we bumped it up to last Friday and increased the markdowns to help as many brides as we can,” says owner Lisa Litt. “We are also offering up to 20 percent off new orders, and some of our vendors are kicking in an extra 10 percent discount and stepping up deliveries, meaning there are up to 30 percent discounts. Curvy and plus-size brides often have fewer choices, so we wanted to make sure any affected bride could find a gown in time.” At Della Curva, the situation has turned into a lovefest. “All of our brides have called it a blessing in disguise. The salon has been full of hugs, laughter, smiles, and happy tears!” Litt says.
Even travel companies are getting in on the kindness, with CheapAir.com offering Alfred Angelo brides a $50 discount on any flight. To claim the discount, brides should email a receipt from Alfred Angelo to firstname.lastname@example.org.