Brides blindsided by Lakewood wedding shop's closure

Brides blindsided by Lakewood wedding shop's closure »Play Video

LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- Kimberlee McKinney said "Yes to the Dress" at a Lakewood bridal shop for her September wedding, but now her gown is gone.

"It's just my one and only. It was the first one I picked out and the first one I tried on," the newlywed said.

McKinney knew with a husband in the military she'd be moving a lot. She gave her wedding dress and veil back to the Elegant Bride Salon at Lakewood Square, where she bought it and paid to have it cleaned and preserved.

The gown was due back in November, but McKinney says shop owners told her weather back east delayed it's return. She heard the same story in December, and she still hasn't seen her gown.

But then the calls stopped and voice mails were no longer returned, she says. After four days of trying to reach the shop, her mom drove over and found the front door chained shut.

"I cried at first and then I just got mad," she said. "And then ever since it's just been a war to get it back."

Caroline Vandiver says she's waited months to receive the gown she bought for her April wedding, but instead found the Elegant Bride windows plastered with notes from UPS, Fed Ex, worried brides, and a sign from property managers.

She said a representative from Total Property Management Services told her the owners couldn't pay their rent and she should probably go buy another dress.

After a quick search on Craigslist, KOMO 4's Problem Solvers found the bridal store newly listed. The sale includes its fully stocked inventory. McKinney suspects her sentimental gown is inside and she wants it back.

"It's just not fair. It's just the one part of my wedding that I get to keep," she said, tearing up.

The owner and landlord of Lakewood Square says he is willing to have Total Property Management staff make arrangements to let disappointed brides look for their missing gowns.

Douglas Sparks said they can call him directly and he vowed to let them in the locked shop if they have legitimate receipts. McKinney was relieved to hear that.

"I'm hopeful that it's in there and they just have to give it back," she said.