'My niece is devastated. She's in tears' | La Raine's Bridal Boutique abruptly closes, leaving brides without dresses – 11Alive.com WXIA
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ATLANTA — Many metro Atlanta brides are scrambling after a boutique abruptly closed. Many are now left without their dresses or even a refund.
One customer said she’s out thousands of dollars after paying for her niece’s wedding dress last year. She just found out it’s been sitting at a separate manufacturer since last December because the boutique never paid them.
What happened inside La Raine’s Bridal Boutique last August started as a happy experience for Jodi Bleier.
“We found the dress of her dreams at La Raine’s,” Bleier said. “It was a wonderful day. There was champagne, there was hugs and kisses. My mom was crying.”
Bleier said she paid the full $2,500 up front for Melissa’s dress and sent 11Alive receipts.
“Shortly thereafter, they sent Melissa an e-mail stating that the dress was in production, and she could expect to receive the dress in late January 2023,” Bleier said.
Melissa never got her dress and started contacting the owner in January. She saved text message where the owner promised numerous times it was on its way.
“First it was there’s production issues due to COVID and supply chain issues. Next month, I promise it’s going to come next month every month,” Bleier said. “The latest, maybe it was three or four weeks ago, she told her that it was on the truck on the way to Atlanta, and there was a tornado that forced the truck to turn back to California.”
Bleier found out Monday La Raine’s is now permanently closed. She said the owner then demanded $950 to get the dress.
La Raines Bridal Boutique in Atlanta is permanently closed, leaving many brides without their wedding gowns.
I spoke to the aunt of a woman to be married this July, who says she started to worry after months of promises to receive the dress. Now she's out $2,500.@11AliveNews pic.twitter.com/NrDDjSlFeM
“I know she’s not the only bride that this has happened to,” Bleier said. “First, I was upset. My niece is devastated. She’s in tears.”
Another person who’s heartbroken is Melissa’s 90-year-old grandmother. Melissa lives in Colorado but flew to Atlanta so her grandma could help pick out her dress.
Jodi Bleier paid $2,500 up front for her niece Melissa's dress. She is now out of that money after La Raine's Bridal Boutique closed.
Melissa lives in Colorado but flew to Atlanta so her 90-year-old grandma could help her pick out a dress, pictured below.@11AliveNews pic.twitter.com/7gXnzd2KBo
“I think you need to pay your debts and get these dresses, and if you don’t, I sincerely hope that you will never be granted a business license again,” Bleier said.
11Alive reached out to La Raine’s on the phone, e-mail, and social media and never received a response. Our Facebook comment disappeared within minutes. We stopped by the store, and no one was there.
Jacqueline Westney, the owner of Wedding Angels Bridal Boutique, said she’s working with brides who are now without a dress. She sent 11Alive the following statement:
“The news of La Raine’s Boutique decision to discontinue operations saddened the Wedding Angels Bridal Boutique team and inspired boutique owner, Jacquie Westney, to take immediate action on behalf of Atlanta area brides. Jacquie and her team responded quickly to ensure every bride ends up with her dream gown. Because of key relationships with bridal designers, Wedding Angels Bridal Boutique is well positioned to take delivery of gowns ordered by former brides of the now-permanently closed La Raine’s. Dozens of brides orders have already been re-confirmed under the Wedding Angels Bridal Boutique name and will be arriving at the boutique’s Roswell location over the next several weeks.”
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