Brides in limbo after NC shop suddenly closes

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Some North Carolina brides are in limbo after the shop where they purchased their wedding gowns suddenly shut down, according to WRAL.

When Joanne Wroblewski went to pick up her dress on Friday, the doors of La Belle Mariee in Raleigh were locked.

“So, my dress, that I was supposed to pick up today is literally right there, and all I want to do is just go through this window right now and get it,” Wroblewski told WRAL.

Approximately 500 brides could be in limbo after ordering anything from bridal gowns to flower girl dresses from the store.

The vice president of La Belle Mariee, Kathy Purser, has had complaints from customers before, according to WRAL.

In 2013 Purser’s bridal store, Victorian Rose Bridals, was the subject of a series of complaints. Customers reported dresses arriving late, in the wrong color and the wrong size.

Last fall, Purser relocated the store under a new name, according to WRAL.

The store manager, Tiffany Ragston, told WRAL she last spoke with Purser on Thursday when she changed the locks.

Then, on Friday, she never showed up to open the store.

Ragston told WRAL that she could see through the window that Purser had wiped the place of everything from laptops to financial records.

“She changed her phone number and blocked everybody off her Facebook,” Ragston said.

Now Purser’s home is up for sale and she is nowhere to be found.

Ragston was able to get Wroblewski’s dress from the store, along with the orders for 15 other brides.

She is now trying to find more than 70 dresses that were in the store for other brides.

Ragston said anyone waiting for dresses should email her at

She explained that many of the brides may lose their money because the designers were never paid. Ragston said some of the dresses were never ordered.

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