Imagine waking up mere weeks before your wedding day to hear you won't be able to wear the dream gown you carefully picked out.
For many brides-to-be, this nightmare scenario became a reality last week when one of the country's largest bridal retailers, Alfred Angelo, closed its doors.
The Florida-based wedding dress chain filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy and shuttered its operations on Friday – without fulfilling all of its orders and leaving many panicked brides scrambling to recoup their deposits.
The 80-year-old bridal brand can be found in over 1,400 stores across the U.S., including Macy's. In addition to bridal gowns, the company also sells bridesmaids dresses.
According to MarketWatch, their gowns are priced at mid-range level, which data from The Wedding Report shows is where the most money is spent in the wedding apparel sector.
"I've been prioritizing them by the dates of their weddings."
The Wall Street Journal reported that employees hadn't been alerted about the closures beforehand.
And The Miami Herald reports that the bankruptcy lawyer helping Alfred Angelo with its liquidation process had received more than 7,000 emails from brides in distress within days of the store closure news.
"I've been prioritizing them by the dates of their weddings," Patricia Ann Redmond, the bankruptcy lawyer representing Alfred Angelo, told The Miami Herald.
Alfred Angelo had 60 brick-and-mortar stores across the nation that it began shuttering abruptly on Friday.
Heartbroken brides-to-be then poured their feelings and frustration out on social media.
Meanwhile, rival wedding retailers, like David's Bridal, offered discounts to soften the blow.