The abrupt closure of a bridal store chain has left some brides panicking that they may never see the expensive wedding gowns they carefully selected for their big day.
"Panic, complete and utter disarray," said Julie Jones, a San Diego bride who ordered several gowns from retailer Alfred Angelo Bridal. "I am crying hysterically. My poor fiance is tired of hearing about it because I can't stop crying about it."
Alfred Angelo Bridal stores shut down across the country Thursday, including two in San Diego County -- one in Clairemont and the other in Oceanside.
After hearing from employees that the company is filing for bankruptcy, many customers raced to the stores to pick up their dresses. The corporate office has not yet confirmed the bankruptcy claims.
Some customers were told to pick up their orders before the end of the business day Thursday. However, many brides were heartbroken when they learned their orders had not yet been filled.
"It's my dream dress -- I've been waiting for 44 years for this," said Jones.
Last June, Jones paid Alfred Angelo Bridal the full cost for her wedding gown and three bridesmaid dresses for her daughters. Her entire order came out to $3,600.
Before the doors closed, she received two veils, a dress preservation kit, and a hair comb -- but no wedding gowns. Jone's order is due in September.
NBC 7 reached out to the company through emails and calls. They have not yet responded. The bridal shop told Jones to email her order information, but she received no assurance that her order would come.
According to customers, the stores made no mention of their closure before Thursday.
Some customers claim the stores are turning away clients who paid in advance without receiving their items. Others said they were told their completed orders would be shipped directly to their homes.
The chaos is causing a lot of stress for brides, including Jones.
"You're pulling on emotional heart strings, and that's just not right," said Jones. "You don't do that to people."
She tried to get a refund but was told the credit card machines were not operating at the store.
According to the Alfred Angelo Bridal website, their line of gowns is carried at two other locations in San Diego County: Bridal & Tuxedo Galleria of San Diego in Mission Valley and Prevue Stores at Grossmont Center in La Mesa.
A store manager at the Mission Valley location told NBC 7 the store would stop carrying the Alfred Angelo line, but all the pending dress orders will be fulfilled.
Alfred Angelo stores have offered bridal dresses and wedding accessories for over 80 years, with 60 locations across the nation, according to their website.