METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - The sudden closure of a popular Metairie bridal shop has brides-to-be left wondering where their dresses are and if they'll have them in time for their big day. As FOX 8 discovered in this Defenders investigation, no one knows when or if the shop will reopen.
A bridal boutique is supposed to be a happy place, a place where memories are made. Instead, a group of ladies in tears gathered at Linda Lee Bridal on Veterans Boulevard.
"I'm stressed out. It's like, it's not a good time for me. I'm supposed to be happy. I'm not happy," Daniaga Darensburg said.
"This is the day I have dreamed of since I was a little girl," bride-to-be Tracy Travis said. "Now, to not have a wedding dress, your dream dress, and just to have this happen, is just - yes its very emotional."
The shop is closed with a sign on the door that reads: "Due to family emergency, closed until further notice." Wedding gowns and bridesmaids dresses are locked inside.
"If she has their dresses, give it to them. Let them go do what they need to do," said Tracy Travis' mom, Tammy.
Many of the brides we spoke to say they had no idea anything was amiss at the shop until they showed up and found the doors locked and then saw a flood of complaints on social media.
"You just don't know what to do," Brittni VanVranken said. "You hope and pray that something happens, and you get a phone call or find something."
Daniaga Darensburg is not only getting married next week, she also works at the shop.
"I pulled up and I got a phone call from one of my co-workers, and she was telling me that the shop is closed and I thought she was joking," Darensburg said.
She now finds herself without a job and trying to calm the nerves of others.
"If I knew something, I'd tell you," Darensburg said. "I talked to another bride named Donna, telling her the same thing - if I knew something, I'd tell you. Jessica, this lady, this lady over here. This lady - everybody who had my phone number."
The owners of the store, according to the Secretary of State's website, are Dina and Mark Ippolito. They are nowhere to be found. With some of these ladies getting married next weekend, with no dress in hand, the clock is ticking.
Some of the employees tell us they spoke to Dina Ippolito by phone and she indicated she had some type of medical emergency and may be in the hospital. But they believe the couple should have had a backup plan to keep the shop open, and allow people to pick up their dresses.
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