Dressless Brides Picket Bankrupt Millburn NJ Bridal Shop

About 10 women who paid up to $4,000 for dresses they never received picketed the bankrupt Calvary Bridal House in Millburn, NJ this past weekend, screaming and holding hand-made signs that said things like “Fraud” “Scam” and “”Bride in stress, where’s my dress?”

Owner Elga Koehler told The Star-Ledger that the store went bankrupt in August but wasn’t required by law to notify customers, or immediately give them their dresses or money back. They’ll get their money back “eventually,” she said, after a repayment plan was “formulated.” Evidently, Elga was unconcerned about how if you snatch away a woman’s wedding dress she’s picked out and paid for, it will make her very very mad— a point that the angry women, several of whom were dressed in black and wearing Ugg boots, according to an eyewitness account by Daniel Edelman, sought to drive home with their protest. Apparently, their mothers never told them how to do a chargeback.

Millburn bridal shop goes bankrupt without providing brides with dresses [The Star-Ledger] (Thanks to josh42042!)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. samurailynn says:

    If she’s still doing business, why couldn’t she get them their dresses? Usually if a company is having financial problems, they stop paying their vendors, not stop delivering the products to their customers.

    • katiat325 says:

      @samurailynn: and that’s what she did. she stopped paying the designers, they stopped doing business with her. yet she promised the brides designer dresses, even though she knew she couldn’t deliver, and took their money.

      • samurailynn says:

        @katiat325: But if she’s stopped paying her designers, and is no longer able to get dresses, she shouldn’t be still accepting customers and taking their money. I guess it’s possible she’s cut down to only a couple of vendors, and these women ordered dresses from different vendors. In that situation, it would seem to be beneficial to her business to at least try and work with those women to get them a dress from one of the vendors she is still doing business with.

    • JeffMc says:

      @samurailynn: It’s the prefect way out of bankruptcy. Continue to take money, stop giving anything in exchange. Profit!

  2. no.no.notorious says:

    isn’t this WORSE for her business and reputation?

    • shorty63136 says:

      @no.no.notorious: I would think so – especially in that type of garment business.

      “Ohmygosh, I LOVED my dress and everybody was SO nice to me!” brings in customers.

      This does not. The dress is a BIG deal – and she should know that.

  3. hills says:

    “Apparently, their mothers never told them how to do a chargeback.”

    Ben – I’m guessing your mom didn’t tell you that most brides order their dresses MONTHS in advance, so it’s most likely too late for a chargeback :)

    • proskills says:

      @hillsrovey: Unless it’s over six months old, I don’t see any reason a credit card company would not do a chargeback for goods not delivered.

      • 67alecto says:

        @proskills: regulation z states that billing disputes have to be communicated within 60 days of the statement that they appear on.

        [www.fdic.gov]

        • chrisjames says:

          @67alecto: Is that in regards to buyer/seller transaction errors or creditor/consumer billing errors? I don’t see a regulation z, only 226.13(b1).

          You should be able to make a chargeback at any time allowable by your credit card company, but the seller is still allowed to sue for damages within the expiration date set by the state’s statue of limitations. There will be a maximum allowed time to do a chargeback set by the credit card company, but it’s well over two months (I’ve done it before, I know).

          • 67alecto says:

            @chrisjames: 226.13(b1) is the relevant section, correct. The key is what is federally required and what the credit card company actually does beyond that. Basically, if you are within all the timeframes, the merchant is screwed. The credit card company can take the money back per the visa/mc/amex/discover merchant agreement contracts.

            Once it is past the 60 day timeframe, the credit card company 1)isn’t required to do anything and 2)can’t force the merchant to do anything.

            As I mentioned in another comment, the credit card company can choose to eat the charge in the interest of preserving the customer relationship if the amount is reasonable, but then again, they can also just send back a form letter stating that you’re SOL.

            • chrisjames says:

              @67alecto: Ah, I see. And (a3) qualifies merchant problems as a billing error.

              However, these are only legal responsibilities of the creditor, not limitations–and hinge on the creditor’s investigation, but that should swing in the cardholder’s favor. Paragraph (b) is also just a definition of a “billing error notice.” It doesn’t set a strict expiration date to dispute a charge or deal with a merchant. As in, a creditor must comply to these rules if it receives a legally defined billing error notice (60 days and written), but can choose to act beyond these constraints.

              There may well be rules on what a creditor can take back from a merchant, but I don’t see that in this section, and I can’t get any links to work, unfortunately.

              • BrendaNerq says:

                @chrisjames:
                Actually, the chargeback can be done even if you pay a year in advance; it is based on the expected date of delivery. If you paid for a dress in full last July (2007) but the dress was not supposed to be delivered to you until this August (2008) the credit card company can charge it back. The same applies when other merchants (i.e. Airlines) go out of business. It is not always necessarily the actual transaction date; the credit card company can use what is called the “date of discovery”, and the chargeback timeframes, at least for VISA is 120 days, not 60 days.

        • proskills says:

          @67alecto: I used to work at CompUSA, and we had people trying to do chargebacks from purchases older than six months. So, I’m not sure about that.

          • 67alecto says:

            @proskills: They’re welcome to try – but the credit card company doesn’t have to do squat if they aren’t notified within the federally mandated timeframe.

            If you’re a great customer, or you get a generous rep, then they might be willing to eat the charge, but that would be at their discretion.

    • Kuonji says:

      @hillsrovey: Ordering months in advance I understand. But paying months in advance, too?

      • mcrbpc says:

        @Kuonji:
        Per my experience, most bridal salons require payment in full-no refunds-at the time you order.

        • CupcakeKarate says:

          @mcrbpc: I had to throw down half as a deposit. Then, I had to be paid in full before they would start alterations. Of course, by the time fitting time came around, the dress had been delivered and I could visit it any time I wanted, so I had some assurance that it was mine.

      • OletheaEurystheus says:

        @Kuonji: My wife had to pay almost half her dress in advance of a year. And even then we had a pre-wedding freak out as her dress didnt arrive till 3 weeks before the wedding and still needed to have her final fitting.

        And that was GOOD from what some of her friends had told her. One of her friends didnt get her dress till a week before the wedding after ordering a year in advance.

        The wedding dress industry has to be run by the biggest bunch of thieving morons I have ever seen.

    • Crymson_77 says:

      @hillsrovey: If the product was never delivered, it is possible the credit card company would let you do the chargeback anyway.

  4. XopherMV says:

    What’s an Ugg boot and why should I care?

    • Canino says:

      @XopherMV: “Ugg” is the sound a new husband makes when he realizes he’s had his last BJ.

    • diesel54 says:

      @XopherMV:
      It’s just an expensive pair of boots that women all across the country have. Visit any college campus and you’ll see them everywhere. But yeah, I wondered what the significance of their shoes was as well.

    • snoop-blog says:

      @XopherMV: Ugg is just a namebrand of ugly ass boots that look hot on some girls but retarded on most.

    • Robobot says:

      @XopherMV: Uggs are ugly, expensive, and uncomfortable boots worn almost exclusively by trendy young American women.

      • ZoeSchizzel says:

        @Robobot: Actually Uggs are really comfortable sheepskin boots that were introduced in the US about 30 years ago for skiers and surfers to wear after they come out of the snow or water. DH has a pair that he has had since 1980, and he still puts them on when he comes out of the water in the winter. That said, they are essentially “house shoes” and they do look kind of stupid and clunky when worn in public as if they were ordinary shoes. And they aren’t really trendy anymore…that was soo four years ago. But I guess any day that I’m not standing in line at Lowe’s behind a couple wearing matching Nascar pajamas and actual house slippers is a good day for American fashion.

        • jeebussez says:

          @ZoeSchizzel: so THAT’S where i’ve seen them before. I knew they looked hideous but familiar, i just haven’t been able to place my finger on it all these years.

          now i know!

          anyway the greatest is california chicks; they were skimpy shorts and tight t-shirts, but sport those Uggs even if it’s the middle of summer. it makes no sense.

    • Citron says:

      @XopherMV: I understand what the boots are, but I couldn’t help but think that their being mentioned so blatantly wasn’t a pot-shot attempting to illustrate the “type” of women that would protest about losing a wedding gown.

      I’ll hazard a guess that it’s supposed to make the women seem like spoiled suburban fashionistas.

      • femaleconsumerist says:

        @Citron: I agree! That’s the only plausible explanation for why that ridiculous detail was included.

      • West Coast Secessionist says:

        the “type” of women that would protest about losing a wedding gown.

        @Citron: Uh, I think ANY type of woman SHOULD protest getting ripped off that egregiously, don’t you? What else should they do at this point, write them a strongly worded letter?

        —————
        Dear Dress Store,
        Pretty please give me the dress I paid you for so that I won’t have to get married in my prom dress or something off the rack at T.J. Maxx. You should be warned: I’m taking this matter VERY SERIOUSLY.

        Regards,
        Ms. Everywoman
        —————

        Seriously though, your statement sounds to me just like “The ‘type’ of man who would protest having his left nut accidentally removed in a hospital mix-up.”

        • Citron says:

          @West Coast Secessionist: I’m a woman, and I typically align myself with feminist thought.

          What I was trying to say was that the passage was an attempt to discredit the women as being hysterical spendthrifts (as women are typically portrayed, ESPECIALLY brides) which entirely is unfair, considering that they were acting in a fairly reasonable manner considering that they had just lost a sizable chunk of money and possibly had their weddings ruined.

          While I apologize for possibly being a bit too inexplicit to catch on the first time around, I suppose I appreciate the opportunity to state myself bluntly that you so kindly have given me through your jumping to conclusions and assuming I am some sort of chauvinist.

          • oneandone says:

            @Citron: I understood what you were getting it. Mentioning the Uggs is supposed to delegitimize them / their grievance.

            I don’t think it’s Ben deligitimizing them – I think it’s the Star Ledger. Or maybe the paper is poking fun at the eyewitness for the way he describes people.

  5. SadSam says:

    A chargeback may them their money back, but what they probably want is their wedding dress. You pick out a dress, it takes 6 mos. for it to be delivered from Italy, you don’t really have another 6 mos. if you’ve got the date sent, the venue reserved and the invites in the mail. Why it takes so long I don’t know I failed to ask when I ordered my own dress.

    • CupcakeKarate says:

      @SadSam: That’s the problem. If you are ordering a dress that takes 6 weeks to 6 months to arrive, you don’t have a lot of time to play around if it gets screwed up. Chances are, if a bride orders a dress that takes that long to be made and shipped, she’s not going to be happy with a $99 David’s Bridal Special.

    • goodpete says:

      @SadSam:

      I cannot for the life of me understand this marriage thing. You’re supposed to pay $10,000 for a ring you could never sell for more than $1,000 with a stone that cost $200 and the arms of a small African child to produce. You spend $1,000 to rent a reception hall that would normally only cost $250, but has a special “wedding discount.” You then pay $3,000 for a dress she’ll only wear once, force 5 poor bridesmaids to spend $300 a piece on a dress THEY’LL only wear once. You get 5 groomsmen to pay $100 each to RENT a tux (and expect your 5 pot-smoking college buddies to REMEMBER to get fitted… and refitted… and pick up their tux). On top of all that, you have to arrange everything to happen on a certain day, giving any one of the 12 businesses you’re dealing with the chance to $&#@ you, extort a couple hundred bucks out of you to “expedite” an order, and then require you to say, “Thank you, sir, may I have another.”

      It’s like joining a bad frat, except it costs more, doesn’t last as long, and is less likely to end with you getting laid.

      I cry shenanigans.

      • starrion says:

        @plamoni:

        “It’s like joining a bad frat, except it costs more, doesn’t last as long, and is less likely to end with you getting laid.”

        Then you’re doing it wrong.

        The watchword my wife and I decided on when getting married was “sane”.
        No ice sculptures
        no ridiculous 10K dress (Chinese manufactured US fitted.. <$300)
        Functional bridesmaid dresses
        Single deal hall/caterer/cake/rooms/ ect

        I splurged on the ring. Still waiting for the debeers class action thing to finish.

      • johnva says:

        @plamoni: First off, everything you just described there is about weddings, not marriage. Two entirely different things. Second, all of those things are totally optional. No one is making you spend a bunch of money on your wedding. We got married recently, and had a nice time without getting deep into the BS. Yes, it was a pain to plan. But we never felt “extorted” by anyone, because we were smart about how we planned and what we cared about. If any business working with us had pulled any of that bait and switch crap, we wouldn’t have dealt with them. Period. I think the spending problems on weddings come in when people start spending emotionally, so you just need to be sure to stay grounded and rational about it all. If your future spouse can’t handle that, I’d suggest you consider how they will act later on.

        • goodpete says:

          @johnva: Awesome advice… I got the same advice when I went to buy a car… don’t get emotionally attached to a car or you’ll end up paying way more than you should…

          My girlfriend of 4.5 years (most likely candidate for a wedding at this time) has been known to splurge. We’ve chatted about weddings. I have expressed the opinion that I’m not going to spend hundreds of dollars in invitations when I could do it all by email via a webpage of my own design (being a professional programmer and all). She didn’t seem to opposed to this “non-traditional” idea. So I might not have a lot of trouble convincing her not to spend us into everlasting debt. But you never know.

          I don’t expect her parents to contribute much and I’m not going to ask them to. I do just fine for a 24 year old and if I want an expensive wedding, I can pay for it. But I don’t. So I won’t. :-)

  6. Anonymous says:

    Couldn’t the purchasers pursue a fraud or misrepresentation claim from the business’ failure to disclose their potential inability to to deliver the dress due to the bankruptcy. Simply because a statute doesn’t require an action doesn’t mean that there isn’t an implied duty in such dealings. At the very least there seems there would be a claim for any difference between what they paid for their dress and the cost to rush last minute to receive a replacement on short notice.

  7. Trai_Dep says:

    Not having been married before, and I’m a guy. So disclaimers aplenty.
    But is there anyone I’d like to screw over less than a bridesmaid or a bride, right before her wedding? Jeezus, I’d rather cram ravenous, rabid wolverines down the front of my BBQ-sauce basted trousers (while commando, ‘natch) than mess with a bride the day before her wedding.
    Yeesh. One Darwin Award, coming up!

    • goodywitch says:

      @Trai_Dep: I was thinking the same thing. How do bridal dress makers NOT know about bridezilla?

      • LoganAdams says:

        @goodywitch: I used to shoot weddings when I had my photography business. The day of the ceremony I was always terrified that I’d make some mistake and face the wrath of Bridezilla and Mom Of Bridezilla at the same time. Fortunately, that never happened, which is why I’m still alive.

      • Necroscope says:

        @goodywitch: The only entity on the planet more fearsome than a bridezilla is the bridal gown store owner. She will work overtime to make sure the bride gets the dress the owner wants her to get.

        The bride knows that it is all in the owners hands and will most often do whatever it takes to keep the owner happy. Hence the 4K deposits, the 6 + months wait time.

        It’s like not pissing off your waiter for fear they will spit in your food.

    • theycallmetak says:

      @Trai_Dep:

      You get it. Although you don’t have to be a Bridezilla to go nuts over not getting your dress. My wife is as easygoing as they come, but if she didn’t get her dress, I would have been forced to put a brick through the storefront and grab the dress before firebombing what was left.

      Wedding.

      Dress.

  8. ironchef says:

    $4K for a dress. H O L Y C O W.

    • qwickone says:

      @ironchef: Sadly, that’s not so unusual.

    • mariospants says:

      @ironchef: That’s actually cheapish. If you’re going to the wedding of someone who’s parents or husband-to-be make a decent amount of money, the dress could cost at least $7500. I’ve been to weddings where the bride wore a $22k dress and one where the girl got it off the rack at an Ann Taylor clearance for $500. Ask me if I noticed a difference.

    • res ipsa pasta says:

      @ironchef: Ha ha ha! Amen, brother. I spent $200 on a Craigslist special. I cannot conceive of the rationale of spending $4K on a piece of clothing you’ll only wear for like 6 hours.

      Sympathy is …. minimal.

  9. ForrestWhitakersLazyEye says:

    I would not like to piss off New Jersey brides-to-be. They’ve gotta be monsters.

  10. snoop-blog says:

    Why did I make the mistake of thinking dressless brides was = to undressed brides. Curse you misleading headlines!!

  11. bobcatred says:

    wedding dresses are big scam anyway. They charge 10 times more for what is essentially a glorified prom dress in white. Even with a train, the cost of making most wedding dresses doesn’t justify the charge.
    There is the occasional exception (for instance a designer label or a custom dress with lots of detailing,) but by and large, the crap they sell at bridal shops is overpriced white prom garbage.

    • sven.kirk says:

      @bobcatred: Only a glorified prom dress???
      Oh wait. That is what my wife decided to do.

      • britne says:

        @sven.kirk: hehe. i wore an off-the-rack white prom dress with pink flowers down the front. 99 bucks.
        but hey, its their wedding. they want to blow that amount of cash on a dress, fine by me.

        • Paperclippe says:

          @britne: Where are these people shopping? I’ve picked out a black taffeta hand-stitched corseted dress with steel supports in the corset and a spiderweb lace of Swarovski Crystals for like, eight hundred bucks. This is ridiculous.

          That having been said, I feel SO bad for these woman. First they spent way too much money on dresses and they didn’t even get them. Their wedding dates have probably passed by now.

    • OletheaEurystheus says:

      @bobcatred: The stuff they sell at bridal shops beyond like Davids Bridal is all designer label… I know my wife decided she wanted a 3000 dollar wedding dress that I ended up seeing on a VH1 show.

  12. CumaeanSibyl says:

    Shouldn’t most of those orders have been put through to the dress companies by this time anyway? It should just be a matter of receiving the deliveries and turning them over to the brides.

    • Orv says:

      @CumaeanSibyl: I suspect, because it’s a bankruptcy, the dresses are now considered assets of the defunct company. They have to be liquidated and the resulting money spread among all the store’s creditors.

      • CumaeanSibyl says:

        @Orv: That doesn’t really make sense, though, because the dresses were most likely manufactured by a different company and paid for by the customer. The bridal shop is just an intermediary.

  13. frodo_35 says:

    I guess I don’t get how chargebacks work. If the store went belly up how would there be an exsisting account for the credit card co to get their money back.It does’nt seem right that the credit card co gets screwed. What are the timeframes and such. I did 1 charge back in my life and the Bogus charge was refunded before the cc co took back the funds.

    • lauy says:

      @frodo_35:

      Here’s the quick and dirty as for as Visa/MC chargebacks go (all I have ever done):

      When you buy something on a credit or debit card, your bank charges your account, sends the money to the merchant’s bank, and the merchant’s bank credits their account.

      Basically, the reverse happens with a chargeback. Your bank credits your account, charges merchant bank, and they debit the merchant’s account.

      Next, the merchant has the opportunity to do what’s called a representment if they feel the charge is valid, and its like you are charged again. You then can go back and forth in this cycle a couple of times until one party misses a dealine or gives up and either accepts that charge (consumer) or chargeback (merchant), or the charge goes before the arbitration board at Visa or MC for a final decision.

      Now, as long as the chargeback is initiated by the consumer within 60 days of the statement date of the transaction, the bank can process the chargeback through “normal channels”. The chargeback process can take well over a year if it goes to arbitration. The bank also evaluates the chargeback request for its merits at the onset of the process and has the power to refuse to process a chargeback if the guidelines set by Visa or MC are not met.

      Your bank also has the power to “eat” the chargeback and credit you outright and do nothing else. Chargebacks and the related process above are costly, and often times not worth the cost to them.

      One more thing to note – large purchases should be done on a credit card. Reg Z has provisions that prohibit “pre-billing”, meaning you cannot be charged before receipt of merchandise. However, if I recall correctly, merchants can get around this by accepting “deposits”, which is probably what happened here. Debit cards have no prohibition of prebiling.

      I hope this was helpful!

  14. geckospots says:

    I dunno, if it was me, I’d probably be out there picketing too – regardless of the expense involved, the process of finding and ordering a wedding dress can take *so long* that the fact that this place is out of business could be a serious snag in the wedding plans.

    There’s a bridal shop where I lived that started having financial issues last spring, to the point where bridal and bridesmaids’ dresses were taking forever to come in. It turned out that the shop had processed the payments, but had ‘neglected’ to pay the companies shipping the dresses. This caused a lot of headache for a good friend of mine – the shop ordered one of her bridesmaid dresses late, then when it came in four sizes too large, they tried to tell her that she had ordered it that way, and refused to pay for the (major) alterations needed to make it fit the bridesmaid. Fortunately they found an excellent tailor and everything worked out in the end.

    Major shenanigans, and yet somehow they are still in business. It just increases my certainty that I’ll elope when it comes time to get married. :P

  15. Anonymous says:

    Women spend way to much on this. i think its great that they lots out. something to think about.. the value of money that is. the day my gf wants a dress costing that much is the last day i will talk to her. and i will happily die alone knowing i never set 4 large on fire.

  16. backbroken says:

    I’m simply stunned that a business that sells wedding dresses could go bankrupt. I mean, what’s the markup on those…800%? How poorly was this business run anyway?

    • joshua70448 says:

      @backbroken: Well, it might be another sign of the times, I guess. The shop that my wife got her dress from recently went under, too; thankfully we got married 5 months ago, so we never had a problem.

  17. JulesNoctambule says:

    Another reason I’m grateful I went with an off-white, off-the-rack evening dress! I handed the clerk the money, she handed me the dress and that was that. I do feel sorry for all these women and the many others screwed over every year by unscrupulous bridal merchants; weddings are stressful enough without that crap.

    • GuinevereRucker says:

      @JulesNoctambule: Good for you! $4,000 on a dress is stupid, IMHO. Yes, I’m a guy, and I’m cheap, I admit it. But I am happily married! On my wedding day I wouldn’t have cared if my bride was dressed in a prom dress or jeans and a t-shirt, she would have been just as beautiful either way.

      I wish people would spend more money on wedding preparations that really matter – like counseling and stuff that would help you after. $4k on a dress… sheesh.

      • queenofdenial says:

        @GuinevereRucker: pretty sure on your wedding day it didn’t matter what you thought of your bride’s attire. What’s important is what she thinks, and all of her friends think, etc. But that was a lovely compliment to your wife.

  18. ninabi says:

    I rented my dress. They even did alterations. I rented the hat and veil, too.

    Not only did I save money, there’s now only a photo album as proof that I had terrible taste back in 80s.

    I’m sorry these women lost money and their dresses, though I can’t understand why so much money on an item of clothing worn once. Take a trip or use the 4K towards the down payment on a house.

    • HogwartsAlum says:

      @ninabi:
      That’s a GREAT idea. I never thought of that. If I ever get married (which is looking unlikely at this point) I should rent my dress. I don’t need another thing cluttering up my closet, and I’m past the point where I want to have kids to pass it down to anyway.

      • res ipsa pasta says:

        @HogwartsAlum: There’s a charity where I live which lets first-time brides borrow dresses (and shoes, centerpieces, veils, etc., etc.). No limit on income either.

  19. Triborough says:

    I saw on the news last week that in the other part of the Tri-State Area known as Connecticut a similar thing happened, but the the state’s Attorney General got involved and forced the closed store to open so those who paid for their dresses could get them.

    • madfrog says:

      @Triborough:

      That would be Richard Blumenthal, and everyone who is in business in CT know him. He is a real bear, and fights for the little guy (or girl as the case may be).

  20. geeniusatwrok says:

    What asshole spends $1,000×2/3/4 on a shitty dress that’s worn once? Once! Fuck em. Plenty of worn-once wedding dresses for cheap on craigslist, frigtards.

    • Skipweasel says:

      @geeniusatwrok: We were lucky – a neighbour made my wife’s dress for her, and the neighbour’s daughter made the bridesmaids’ dresses. Then again, the whole wedding was done by friends and family giving us time and effort instead of presents. Much nicer and they all felt like they had some part in it instead of just turning up and drinking the beer.

    • little stripes says:

      @geeniusatwrok: And its your business what other people do with their money?

  21. katiat325 says:

    that’s why I’m happy that I went to Macy’s, found a cute long off white dress, and paid only $30!!!! HA! But for people who want designer dresses, I ask why? You’re only going to wear it for 1 day, 2 tops if you decide to do photos another day. But really, you can find great knock offs on ebay stores, suppliers from CHina. A beautiful dress will go around for about $200 (including shipping), and they keep communicating with you pretty well.

  22. mariospants says:

    Am I the only one who finds the concept of a “dressless bride” titilating?

    • econobiker says:

      @mariospants: Sorry Mario, wife and I were watching one of those craziest wedding video shows and they had the “multiple weddings in a nudist colony”. While the brides had placed their arms and flowers in specific poses you could still tell that you probably would NOT have wanted to see three of the four brides nekkid…

      • mariospants says:

        @econobiker: Well, I’m still thinking about those 19-29 year old somethings that look good in bikinis. I guess people don’t wait until marriage to let themselves go nowadays.

  23. Keter says:

    LOL at the whole wedding “industry.” But yeah, Trai_Dep has it exactly right – they don’t call ‘em ‘Bridezillas’ for nothing. ;o)

    But the point is that the shop knew they were going to have trouble and failed to do right by their customers, so they’ve got it coming.

  24. MrFrankenstein says:

    I’m in the ‘glorified prom dress’ camp on this one.
    If consumers are ignorant enough to spend fortunes on clothing that generally never gets worn again (and this cost being one small segment of a massive series of ripoffs surrounding weddings – that usually end up sending couples into debt for no good reason) then they deserve to get taken for everything, as a valuable bit of self-education.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      …then they deserve to get taken for everything…

      @MrFrankenstein: Wrong, wrong, wrong. People don’t “deserve” to be victims of fraud.

      Also your reasoning that the more you pay for a product the less you deserve to actually get what you pay for is utterly ridiculous.

  25. Bodgy says:

    Being a female and having been a bride, the whole bridezilla is an insult. Not all brides are like that. And I really despise the brides that play into it.

    That being said, if the shop is in bankruptcy proceedings, they may not be able to release funds until it is finished. Then again, if there are no assets, there’s nothing to give anyone. And most likely, customers will come in below the creditors in the ruling of who gets paid.

  26. IrvCrapper says:

    This is a great example of an instance where we should get the names and numbers of ownership and get the press involved. This is bullshit.

  27. ponycyndi says:

    Suddenly I do not feel the least bit sorry that I paid $14 for a wedding dress at a thrift store and paid $17 to have it cleaned before I got married at a courthouse.

  28. HIV 2 Elway says:

    Is there anything more frightening than a pissed off Jersey bride?

  29. Anonymous says:

    Chargeback!!! I first learned about chargebacks when I was getting married and the bridal shop where my bridesmaids got their dresses went belly up 1 month before the wedding.

    My bridesmaids had all ordered their dresses months before and were waiting to get the call to come in for fittings when I heard on the news that the store went BK. Since their dresses hadn’t yet been shipped to the store they were SOL. We had to rush around to find on-the-rack dresses that fit each lady and then 2 out of 3 did chargebacks and got their deposits refunded. The third lady just got lazy and never initiated a chargeback so she’s out her money forever basically.

  30. AlfredaCosta says:

    Something similar happened to me, only it was the manufacturer who went into bankruptcy. House of Bianchi, they were an American manufacturer that had been in business since the Civil War. I’d ordered in April, and when October rolled around and still no info about the dress, I got suspicious. They went belly-up after 9/11–and the bridal shop I’d been dealing with didn’t know–the manufacturer wasn’t required to tell them. I’m the one who found the bankruptcy filing online and took it in to them.

    To the store’s credit, they hired a pattern maker, a seamstress, and a beading expert and recreated the dress. I got a custom-made dress–granted, it wasn’t done until like a day before the wedding, but the bridal shop was fantastic.

  31. bagumpity says:

    I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again now. There are three kinds of women you NEVER want to piss off: Brides, Expectant Mothers, and Grandmas. Ignore this advice at your peril. You have been warned.

  32. Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

    One word:

    ELOPE.

    Ok, I guess I have more to say. I’m a cheap ass person, frugality is my life’s ambition. I would rather take that $4K and blow it on meth that I can enjoy for longer than a few hours than a dress that will sit in my closet until the day I croak.

  33. Dilbitz says:

    Hmm…my wedding dress was $30 off the clearance rack at a local department store. Yes, it was a prom dress, but it was white and I liked it, so whatever. You don’t need to spend massive amounts of money on a dress you are going to wear for ONE day. My entire wedding cost about $600. There’s frugality for ya.

  34. deweydecimated says:

    I wore my mom’s dress. And maybe my daughter will wear it too. I went dress-shopping with my best friend when she got engaged, and that was enough to ward me off bridal shopping.

  35. electrogeek77 says:

    It’s not just a financial thing. Planning a wedding is very emotional, even to some of the least frivilous people.

    • electrogeek77 says:

      @electrogeek77: Oh, and since for some reason it matters here, I spent $88 for my dress, and $50 to practially 180 it.

    • res ipsa pasta says:

      @electrogeek77: Too bad that “planning a wedding” tends to trump the “planning a marriage” as a priority for many. It’s only emotional if you let it become an emotional, 18 month-engagement, knock-down, drag-out, argue-about-the-tablecloths monstrosity.

  36. ELC says:

    I’m sorry, but it is idiotic to pay that kind of money for a one-time-use clothing item, unless you are some mega-rich starlet who doesn’t know anything better to do with your money.

  37. CumaeanSibyl says:

    I’m going to disagree with just about everybody here and say that, as long as you don’t put yourself in debt, it’s your own damn business how much you want to spend on a wedding dress.

  38. bbb111 says:

    I just had to jump in on the cheap wedding comments. We wore clothes out of our closets, the reception dinner cost about $100 for the five people attending (the spouse of one of the two people we invited showed up – the restaurant was a place we had been going to regularly since the day after we met), and the rings cost $50 for both (plus, it had taken two dimes in the machine at the supermarket to get the engagement ring). The wedding was over 17 years ago and we never regretted it. We started our marriage with only some student loans -we paid them off early and two years after that we put 20% down on a house (avoiding the costly mortgage insurance).

    We don’t object to expensive weddings if the couple (or families) can afford it – we didn’t think it was worth it to start a marriage with a large debt.

    - – -

    As for the brides in the article – I hope they take their protest (politely) to the dress manufacturers. If the order was sent to the manufacturers, they may be able to make a deal to get the order transferred to another vendor (that might be faster than a new order and some of the money might have been sent to the manufacturer with the order). If they get lucky, the manufacturers might want to deliver the dresses directly to score some good PR [OK, the last part is probably overly optimistic considering the record of that industry.]

  39. Anonymous says:

    The store took the customers’ money and placed orders with the manufacturers but never paid the money to the manufacturers? That must be fraud. And bad luck for the brides, to be sure.