BIXBY, Okla. — A Bixby bridal shop has many soon-to-be brides frustrated after they said it closed without any warning.
Customers claim “Abelina’s Boutique” is holding their paid-in-full dresses, while other brides claim they paid for dresses the shop hasn't ordered yet.
"I was screenshotting dresses since I was like 12,” said Kaylee Harvey, an Abelina’s bride.
Harvey said she dreamed of finding the perfect dress and standing next to her special someone.
“I put on my dress here and I cried,” she said. “I was like, 'that's it, this is the dress obviously because I’m crying about it.'"
For Harvey, everything was right in the world of wedding planning until a post on social media caught her attention. The store where she purchased her dream dress, "Abelina's Boutique," in Bixby apparently closed.
“I tried to call them for like a month,” Harvey said. “I had exactly $500 even that I had to pay off and I was going to make small payments on it. I called one month, and they just didn't answer for two weeks straight."
Harvey is not the only bride whose stomach is in knots about her dress. Teresa Piper, whose daughter Marissa is set to be married, said she's concerned too.
"There were three things most important to her,” Piper said. “Number one was the dress."
Piper said she also learned on Facebook “Abelina's Boutique” had gone silent on brides, holding onto payments and dresses. Her daughter, busy with medical school, became fearful her $1,500 dress was never ordered although it's already paid in full.
"She called me Friday night in a panic and is like ‘Mom, I can't deal with this,’” Piper said.
Like Harvey, Piper tried calling the shop, but got no answer. She isn't alone, either. She said a Facebook chat had about 12 brides expressing the same frustration. Several of them reached out to the 2 News Oklahoma Problem Solvers with their stories.
One said she ordered her dress in May and paid over $1,000 in a down payment. She said she was told it would arrive in early September. However, she said she called recently to check on the status, only to find the store shut its doors.
Another bride told 2 News she purchased a dress from the boutique for $1,500 and was supposed to pick it up this week.
By chance, some of the brides said they happened to catch the owner at the store and got their dresses, however, others claim they're running out of time with wedding dates fast approaching.
The 2 News Oklahoma Problem Solvers tried calling Abelina’s, but there was no answer. Our investigators also went to the store in person and found it locked with a sign on the door reading "Appointment Only."
Because brides said they're unable to reach the store's owner, some are now scrambling to find a new dress before they say, "I do."
Piper said she was able to catch the owner at the locked store, who agreed to give her a refund after she asked to be let inside. She said she has yet to see the refund hit her account.
Harvey said she caught the owner at the locked store as well and was also offered a refund. She is currently waiting to see it be processed. In the meantime, she said she has found her exact dress at another boutique.
The store is now listed online as "Temporarily Closed."
The Problem Solvers got an alternate phone number customers said was previously listed on the store's door and later removed. However, the person answering the phone said it was the wrong number when asked to speak to the owner of Abelina’s.
Financial experts say if you find yourself in a situation like this and you've paid with a debit or credit card, dispute the charge to try and get your money back.
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