A shuttered bridal shop in Villa Park has left at least 15 brides -- and in some cases the entire wedding party -- without dresses for the big day.
The closing of Irena Bridal Shop is a function of the economy, the store's attorney said Tuesday, but that's of little consolation to the brides-to-be, some of whom fear they're out the hundreds of dollars they've already paid.
"Unfortunately for my client, she has been in business for 27 years, poured her entire life savings into this store, and as a result, she, as well as the store, are now forced to file Chapter 7 bankruptcies," said attorney Les Ottenheimer.
In some cases, the suppliers have already been paid, Ottenheimer said.
"She's in contact with the suppliers on where to ship the product. And on other cases, she has not yet paid the suppliers, and that's what she's attempting to secure funds for in order to fulfill those orders," adding that the store owner will likely be borrowing money from family and friends.
Some brides, like Karyn Schwarz, didn't know about the store's struggles until her mom drove by the shop last week and found the empty store with a sign in the window stating the shop was closed from remodeling. There was no phone call from the store, no letter and no dress.
"If I hadn't driven past, I'd still be oblivious," said Kris Schwarz.
The bankruptcy has left the bride-to-be on a frantic search for new dresses. And she said she doesn't know the dress maker or the brand, making the search all that more difficult.
"The receipt only has numbers, so I can't even look it up to see who -- if I can buy it somewhere," said Karyn Schwarz.
It's been a bad week for bridal shops. An Oak Lawn store was destroyed in a fire last week Wednesday, leaving several brides without gowns.