The bridal gown is the very first thing Amanda Stawarz bought when she got engaged several months ago.
Her phone was flooded with messages from friends when news broke Thursday that national bridal retailer Alfred Angelo had closed Thursday night without notice.
Her three bridesmaids eked out $190 each for their gowns and have not yet received them from the Niagara Falls Boulevard store in the Town of Tonawanda. One girl couldn’t afford the dress, so Stawarz paid for it herself.
“I’ve been working my butt off to pay for this wedding,” Stawarz said. “We’re just praying we can pull it off, and now this.”
The company, which has stores across the country, has a location in Tonawanda. News reports across the country included accounts of brides attempting to get their dresses after stores suddenly closed.
The Palm Beach Post reported that employees at the company's Delray Beach, Fla., corporate offices left the building en masse Thursday.
Stawarz is one of the lucky ones – she has her dress at home. Still, she'll lose out on the pressing and alterations that were supposed to be included in the $1,200 she paid for her dream dress.
"It may not seem like a big deal to people but when I say I'm on a tight budget, I'm on a very tight budget," she said. "I don't know what we're going to do."