The front yard of an Encanto home turned into a dream dress shop for brides-to-be Sunday.
Alfred Angelo Bridal, which had 60 stores nationwide, closed its doors at the end of business Thursday, leaving many brides unsure of whether they would get their (often prepaid) dresses. In a statement Friday the company said they are filing for bankruptcy.
The chain has two locations in San Diego County, and since Thursday, three former saleswomen have been working to keep their promises to their customers.
“I just felt like our job wasn't finished and we're not those types of people. We weren't done yet!” said Charlie Reed, who worked at the Golden Hill store until she left eight months ago. Rachel and Aja were team members at the Clairemont location and lost their jobs last week.
“We know everybody,” Reed explained. “We are on a first name basis, not just between the three of us as to who's who, but we know what their dresses [look like], we know where they're getting married, we know what their bridesmaids are wearing. We've been in contact with their fiancés. We know their moms. We know all of them.”
She said Friar Tux, located next door, graciously offered to hold the dresses. “Once we heard the news on Thursday, we only had about 12 hours to get contact information for all of these brides,” she said.
Reed said she grabbed alteration invoices so they could contact customers to let them know they’re trying to figure something out.
The three women were able to organize this dress pickup for the wedding parties of 50 brides – with some weddings as early as next weekend.
Taylor Diaz gets married in October.
“Everything went through my mind,” Diaz told NBC 7. “I had been planning for two years. And this was like the dress. And there's nothing else I can compare to it.”
Sunday she picked up her dress.
"I touched it, it's there,” she laughed.
The three women are volunteering their time out of their own good will, which is especially meaningful, considering Rachel and Aja are now out of work.
“We genuinely care about our customers, and I could not imagine a bride panicking about their dress or walking down the aisle without their gown or items that they rightfully own," Reed added. "These are, I don't know, these are things that they need.”