Wedding Dress Woes

Imagine you are six months away from your wedding day. You and your bridesmaids have an appointment to go for a fitting at the bridal boutique where your gown and bridesmaid’s dresses were purchased. When you arrive, you find the store is locked, and a sign is taped to the door that explains that due to financial difficulties the store would be closed indefinitely and the company was filing for bankruptcy. You are six months away from your wedding day, what do you do?

The scene I just described above was a reality for many brides when Alfred Angelo Bridal suddenly closed its 60 plus stores last month and filed for bankruptcy. There were some brides, bridesmaids, mothers of the bride, and mothers of the groom who were able to retrieve their dresses, but most others were not. I read through multiple comment sections of articles posted on Facebook discussing the incident, and it was heartbreaking. Some brides were just weeks away from their big day and looking for answers about their dream dress and scrambling to come up with a backup plan.

I found myself wondering what I would have done if I had found myself in a similar situation?

Honestly, I would have cried and likely would have had a bit of a meltdown. I would have felt devastated, angry, and disappointed. When you find your perfect dress, it becomes apart of your vision for your wedding day, and you form an expectation. When an expectation isn’t met, it can be a rough adjustment at first. You have to adjust the vision in your head, which for some isn’t easy – myself included.

What should you do if you find yourself in this situation?

One preventative measure you can take is to obtain wedding insurance at the beginning of your wedding planning process. There are many different options for purchasing wedding insurance, and they range in price depending on which option you choose. Some venues require you take out liability insurance in case of damage to the site. When you are visiting places to get married, be sure to ask if this is a condition to renting the venue, so you are aware of it upfront. Other wedding insurance options include:

Alcohol Liability Insurance for injuries or damage sustained from drinking alcohol.
Cancellation / Postponement for incidents where you want to cancel the wedding, or in the case of events happening that are out of your control.
Special Attire / Jewelry / Gift Coverage which can be factored into insurance plans that would cover the loss or damage of a wedding dress, wedding rings, or gifts.

Wedding insurance is an additional cost that you aren’t guaranteed to use. However, it can give you peace of mind should anything arise down the road.

If you choose not to purchase wedding insurance, there are other options. Depending on your budget you could buy another dress. There were several bridal boutiques and chain stores that offered discounts to brides and other members of the bridal party who purchased an Alfred Angelo dress. While this could be more costly, it is nice that other bridal companies were aware of how upsetting this situation could be and willing to help. There are also websites like Rent the Runway and Still White that allow you to rent or purchase beautiful dresses for a less costly option.

Technology also can play a huge role in a situation like this. Former Alfred Angelo brides took to the web to post their used wedding dresses offering to loan them to current brides. Several brides were even able to find the exact gown they had purchased to wear on their wedding day. It speaks volumes that there are other women out there that are willing to help out during such a stressful ordeal.

A situation like the one Alfred Angelo brides recently faced can be emotional, frustrating, and overwhelming, but knowing you have options available to you can change a bad circumstance to a good one.