Friday, June 13, 2008

Bridal fallout

DAVID T. FOSTER III / Staff Photographer
A note to customers is taped to the front door of La Bella Sposa earlier this week.

The sudden closing of La Bella Sposa bridal shop in Charlotte as reported by my Observer colleague Kara Lopp this week has garnered quite a bit of attention and a lot of sympathy for the jilted brides.

As the story made national news cycles (including CNN), offers for help/support in fixing the dress disaster poured in.

"We own a Bella Bridesmaid boutique in Raleigh as well, and already carry Jenny Yoo, one of the popular designer collections previously offered by La Bella Sposa, and have made arrangements with the designer to immediately begin servicing brides in the Charlotte area as well," owner Cecily Jowers said in an e-mail. "We are not interested in making a profit from someone else's loss, but feel that it is important to maintain integrity for our customers during this time."

Among the shops trying to connect brides with their dresses:

  • Bella Bridesmaid: 2133 Southend Drive, Suite 104, Charlotte; 704-817-7547.

  • J. Majors Bridal Boutique: 2400 Park Road, Suite G, Charlotte; 704-372-0082.

  • Enchanting Moments in Fuquay-Varina (eastern N.C.) will offer discounts on in store merchandise to those who have purchased from La Bella Sposa. 919-552-6393 x 102.


  1. As horrible as this whole ordeal has been for these brides, I've been so impressed by the efforts made by other retailers, designers, etc. to try and make the situation better-- for little to no personal gain.

    It shows that for every shady store owner like Shannon Starcher, there are exponentially more with good intentions.

  2. Does anyone know where La Bella Spousa sent gowns for preservation? I dropped mine off in Feb. and was told 16-18 weeks it would be mailed to me in TX, where we moved. I was told they outsourced it, and am trying to find info on the company so maybe I can figure out where my gown is. I am totally bummed, $3500 for the dress, $305 for cleaning and preservation, yet nothing to show for it. My sister was going to wear it :(

  3. Rachel--I am in the same position. I took my dress in in March. With the help of New York Bride here in Charlotte, I got in touch with the preservation company. They are located in NY. Their number is 800-305-3108. The woman I spoke to has been getting lots of calls from La Bella Sposa customers. My dress wasn't there. I was told none were. It's my understanding Shannon was reselling dresses like ours and passing them off as new. So horrific on so many levels. Definitely call though. You may get lucky. I'll keep my fingers crossed!

  4. I hope some of you decide to sue.

  5. I also heard that Shannon had not sent dresses out to be preserved for the last 6 months. I was there last Tuesday. There were definitely some dresses hanging in a back room that despite other reports, no one took. I know some of the girls were trying to get in touch with the owner of the building to get in. You may also want to check out the facebook site for this. Just search for La Bella Sposa. It's titled the La Bella Sposa Victims. Hope this helps.

  6. I took my debutante dress in to La Bella Sposa to have remade back in December. It was done by March with a few minor alterations to be done. My mother forutunately picked up my dress the Saturday before they closed their doors. No bride should have to sacrifice their dream dress. My heart is with all of them. Luckily I still have my dress but am in need of some minor alterations and have NO CLUE how the bustle works. If anyone has any suggestions I would appreciate the help.

  7. You may have already seen this but i'll post in case you haven't:

  8. In other news, Michael Kors has applied for a permit to upfit their space at SouthPark Mall!

  9. Hey in case any of you want to question Shannon on the whereabouts of your gowns, I hear she is prominently working with afterschool athletics in Union County. Check out the coaches at