Brides-to-be across East Tennessee are scrambling after bridal chain Alfred Angelo unexpectedly closed its doors in Turkey Creek.
The company filed for bankruptcy on Friday and shut down more than 60 stores nationwide. The Parkside Drive store in Turkey Creek was one of them.
Now, brides in the area are panicking before their big day.
Brooke Fugate, of Knoxville, picked up her wedding gown at the store two weeks ago. But now, four of her eight bridesmaids are left without their dresses.
“It’s just been kind of a nightmare,” Fugate said.
Fugate and her bridesmaids now have only two months to try find dresses that match. They've all already made payments on the current ones.
“All this money you spend on getting the perfect pictures, the perfect outfits, it’s not going to look the same anymore,” she said.
She and her fiancé Josh Rodgers will tie the knot on Oct. 7. Fugate said she was just in the store last week.
“They had signs up in the store saying they weren’t accepting debit card or credit card transactions. They were accepting cash and check payments only,” she said.
None of the sales clerks mentioned the store would be closing. Some of those employees reached out to Fugate on Facebook saying even they were not made aware of the closure.
“It’s just insane, in my opinion, that nobody seems to have known any of this. The lack of communication that I think bothers everybody,” Rodgers said.
“There's just been a lot of time that we've spent on it, a lot of money we've spent on this just trying to make it the perfect day and for a company to have the lack of consideration to just liquidate everything, file chapter seven and throw a sign on the door, it's frustrating," he added.
The couple said when they went to the store, the windows were covered in paper and with a “closed” sign on the door. There was an email address the brides were told to contact.
Fugate and her bridesmaids plan to start looking elsewhere for dresses that could match the original. Despite the stress and frustration, she said she’s happy for what she does have.
"At the end of the day, all that really matters is that I get to marry Josh and that I'll be surrounded by all of my friends and all of our loved ones."
Alfred Angelo posted the following statement on its website Monday:
“Alfred Angelo filed for bankruptcy on July 14, 2017. As a result, all stores and wholesalers are closed. Margaret Smith was appointed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee. If you wish to be contacted regarding your order status once information is available, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will post additional information regarding the status of dresses on this web-site as it becomes available. We apologize of the inconvenience and hardship resulting from this event. We appreciate your patience. Thank you.”