Many brides left without a dress and little time to find a new one.
It looks like months of poor Yelp reviews and claims of paid orders going unfilled have caught up to Elegant Bride in Dublin. (ABC6 On Your Side has done several reports on the topic: two in December and one just this week.)
The shop announced its permanent closure early Friday morning via a message on its website. The post includes a promise to ship gowns that have already arrived in-store to the owners’ address of record and a claim form for those whose gowns have not yet arrived in-store.
Many brides are left wondering: Now what?
First up, fill out that form. It starts an electronic paper trail, and shows that you’re doing your due diligence, even if Elegant Bride isn’t able to follow up after you submit it.
Next, gather your receipt, proof of purchase, order form, bank or credit card statements—any documentation you have from your experience at the boutique. You’ll need it for these next steps.
Contact the designer of your gown to see if Elegant Bride placed your order. If they did, the designer should be able to work with you directly to coordinate shipment of your gown. Go to the designer’s website and look for a customer service or media/PR contact; if you can’t find it, send the brand a message on Facebook.
Some brides, like Rory Clark, are reporting that their gowns were never ordered in the first place. Clark paid for her gown in full on Jan. 6 and was in contact with Frankie Murphy, Elegant Bride’s store director, when the gown didn’t arrive earlier this month as promised. When Clark reached out to the designer of her gown, she learned that that Murphy had cashed her check … but didn’t order her gown.
If you’re facing a similar situation, you have a few options:File a claim with your wedding insurance provider, if you’ve invested in event insurance. This is a best-case scenario for you, financially; a business closure is almost always covered in event insurance policies, so you should be able to obtain a refund through the insurer. Call your credit card company (or visit your bank if you, like Clark, wrote a check) to file a fraud claim for services paid for but not rendered. Visiting a financial institution in person, as opposed to calling a customer service number, may result in faster answers for those who used a debit card or checking account. Some financial institutions have a time limit for when you can dispute a charge or file a fraud claim. If you’re outside of that window, or if you paid cash for your gown, and your total purchase was less than $6,000, you can file a case in Franklin County Small Claims Court. There is a $78 fee to file a small claims complaint. File a complaint with the attorney general’s office using their online form. When Alan Ray Bridal closed abruptly in 2012 without fulfilling orders or issuing refunds, Attorney General Mike DeWine sued the shop and its owner on behalf of several customers who filed complaints with his office. (See the 2012 press release on that topic here.)
Finally, there’s the matter of finding a new dress. When Alfred Angelo closed last July, we rounded up a list of local boutiques who had special offers available to help those affected by the closure. Many of those same shops are offering assistance to affected brides. Below is a list of offers we have confirmed; this post will be updated as we learn more information.
Gilded Social, which specializes in bridesmaid gowns, can order many of their gowns in ivory or white. The shop is offering Elegant Bride customers 10 percent off select designers, and will sell discontinued or reordered samples for $75 per dress for those whose bridesmaids are affected. Store owner Tanya Hartman says many of her gowns can be ordered with quick shipping. You can make an appointment here; mention this blog post or Elegant Bride in the “anything else we need to know” box.
“White of Dublin is willing to work with any brides who have been negatively impacted by Elegant Bride’s unexpected closure,” says owner Heather DiMasi. “We are working with those brides who ordered Martina Liana gowns from Elegant Bride, as well, because we also carry that designer. We are in close contact with the company, and we are all in agreement that we will do whatever we can to help these brides.” Be sure to bring your Elegant Bride receipt/invoice, credit card receipt and any other information (including designer, style number, photos, etc.). Call the store at 614-791-2600 to schedule an appointment. The shop’s sister store, Off White, has a selection of sample gowns available for off-the-rack purchase.
Wendy’s Bridal is offering to help brides track down the status of their orders from designers that they carry—Essense of Australia, Stella York and (for bridesmaids) Sorella Vita. Gowns that are finished can be shipped to Wendy’s Bridal for the bride to pick up. Some designers are offering to waive rush order fees on a case-by-case basis. If Elegant Bride did not place your order with the designer, Wendy’s Bridal offers discounts for gowns that are paid for in full, and has a nice selection of sample gowns available for immediate purchase. Call 614-336-9100 to make an appointment.
Gowntastic, which sells bridesmaid gowns, will waive all rush charges on applicable orders made by affected bridesmaids. If no rush fee is needed for an order, the shop is offering a 15 percent discount. Bring your proof of purchase to take advantage of this offer. Call 614-589-5622 for more information or to make an appointment.
IVY Bridal Studio is offering a 15 percent discount on all gowns in the shop; bring your proof of purchase to take advantage of this offer. Call 614-742-7253 to make an appointment.
Macy's sells bridal gowns from Adrianna Papell at its Easton location, and MyStylist Julie Easterling says affected brides can receive a 25 percent coupon when they book a complimentary MyStylist session to find a new gown. Adrianna Papell gowns that aren't available in-store can be shipped to clients' homes in two weeks or less. Easterling also will honor the 30 percent coupons offered through the store's Friends & Family sale early for affected brides. (Regular sale begins April 27; pre-sale event April 9.) Email email@example.com for an appointment.
Henri's Bridal is offering 15 percent off bridesmaid and mother-of-the-bride/groom gowns, and 20 percent off select bridal gown orders, for affected brides. Call 888-823-9880 to schedule an appointment, and mention Elegant Bride or this post.
Twirl Bridal is working with Stella York to help Elegant Bride customers whose gowns have been ordered from the designer. The shop also carries Essense of Australia and other designers for brides who want to purchase from the store inventory or place a special order; ask about special discounts for brides affected by Elegant Bride's closure. Visit the website or call 419-674-4878 to request an order.
Joan's Bridal Couture is offering a 15 percent discount to anyone who needs to reorder a dress. Call 614-856-9848 to make an appointment.
Ghinda has made available custom gowns in the $550 to $1,300 range for brides who need to purchase a new gown; that’s about 50 percent off the regular retail price of a custom Ghinda gown. The offer also applies to Andi B, Ghinda’s exclusive plus-size collection. Gowns can be ready in about six weeks, if needed. Call owner Jennifer Kessler at 614-698-9848 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment for measurements, and be ready to bring front and back photos of the original gown to the appointment.