Bride pays $4,000 for wedding dress; store goes out of business

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PHOENIX -- The invitations are out and the ceremony is fast approaching, but a Valley woman is still missing an important piece for her April wedding -- her dress, which she says she ordered nearly 10 months ago!

"I've got 62 days," Melanie Ryan said. "You've got to be kidding me! What am I supposed to do?"

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Ryan and her fiance say they've been planning their wedding day for a long time.

"We're getting married April 4 in Sonoma after 10 long years," she said.

But instead of feeling excitement, Ryan says she's stressed. Her invitations are mailed, she found the perfect shoes, but she says she missing the most important thing!

"I have no dress and it's not an easy thing to find as it is, let alone the dress that you want," Ryan said.

Ryan says she actually found her perfect dress last Aril at a place called Bridal Couture and Evening Wear of Scottsdale. And after paying for the dress in full, nearly $4,000, Ryan patiently waited for her wedding dress to be made.

"I knew that it was going to be a while and that was fine," Ryan said. "I didn't really think about it until December."

But when Ryan expected to go in for a fitting, she discovered Bridal Couture had closed up shop and left her with no dress!

And remember she had already paid nearly $4,000 in advance.

"Why would you mess with the bride?" Ryan asked. "Why would you mess with someone's wedding day?"

With nowhere to turn, Ryan and her fiance decided to turn to 3 On Your Side.

3 On Your Side learned that Bridal Couture was run by a man named John Madonia. We went to Madonia's house a couple times, but no one would ever answer the door.

But Madonia did call us. In his first conversation, Madonia told 3 On Your Side, "If you harass us, she [Melanie Ryan] is at the bottom of the list of getting paid."

Later on, Madonia sent us a statement saying, "Due to the current economic crisis, Bridal Couture is no longer in business. Unfortunately, when a company goes out of business, usually there will be some people that will experience some sort of loss and hardship."

And Ryan sure did! Not only is she out thousands of dollars that she paid to Bridal Couture, but she had to find someone else to make her wedding dress at the last minute.

"I'm obviously angry, but I'm just more in shock," Ryan said. "Why would you do this?"

The good news is Ryan will be able to have a dress made in time for her April wedding.

As for Madonia, he claims he doesn't know if Ryan will get her money back since the company is out of business.