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Bridal shop closes, brides wait for refunds

It's a bride's worst nightmare. You pick the perfect dress, pay for it, and it never arrives. That's what many Summit City brides say happened to them, but the store's owner says it's all been a big mix-up.

Posted: Mar. 1, 2018 8:27 PM
Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 9:19 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- It's a bride's worst nightmare. You pick the perfect dress, pay for it, and it never arrives.

That's what many Summit City brides say happened to them, but the store's owner says it's all been a big mix-up.

Kathryn Porter is a future bride who says it's been a nightmare after paying for her wedding dress. She confronted the owner of The Bride to Be in Jefferson Point Thursday.

"I have to think, do I trust another bridal salon? Do I trust anybody? Are all of my vendors safe?"

Porter says she ordered her dress last fall but recently found out it wasn't coming.

"There are brides who have weddings in 65 days and just found out yesterday that their dress was never ordered. "

Porter says she contacted the dress designers who say they stopped getting orders from The Bride To Be in September. She says the owner tried to avoid her when she asked for her money back.

"She said she was in the hospital with a heart attack. She's told people that all of her tires were slashed and that's why she couldn't meet us. She was supposed to meet me last night but she was in Ohio."

But some customers tell WFFT that although they think the owner didn't do things right at first, she is trying to correct the problem. Others say, they never had a problem.

"She offered to hold my dress for over a year, for free for me in the shop which was awesome. Eve has personally helped me throughout this entire journey, and she's just been amazing," said Mariah Widmer.

The store's phone is ringing off the hook, and the owner, Eve, helped over a dozen customers with their orders, issued refunds and some women even left with their wedding dresses.

"She's refunding everyone's cards but it's not posting so I wanted a cashier's check so I knew that I had the money," said Porter.

"Be patient because she told me 6 months but it took 8 months to come in," said Widmer.

Eve says that it all started back in October, and things started to spiral out of control after it circulated on the news and around social media.

"I'm going to get them everything I can that's available to come in, and if I can't get it, I've been trying to work with the brides to get them where they need to go to get it reordered."

But Eve says since everyone is requesting refunds, she can't afford to stay open, and has closed her doors for good.

"When you have a wedding vendor telling everyone that I'm closing my doors and to come get a refund that doesn't help business."

Eve says she will never get into the bridal business again.

"I want them to know how sorry that I am. I am not an evil person. I'm not malicious in any way. I truly mean the best for my brides."

Eve will help existing customers Monday - Wednesday of next week.

The brides in the store Thursday that were issued refunds back to their credit or debit card believe they may actually not have been refunded.

Many of the brides report that their return receipt says "offline", causing some brides not to receive their refund.

The owner says the credit card machine that's issuing returns is broken and has to be looked at by a repairman.

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