Offers of help for brides-to-be whose dresses were lost in Wednesday's fire at Eva's Bridals have come pouring in from Chicago-area bridal shops.
And Eva's is trying hard to overcome the effects of the devasting fire including a hot line for brides at 630-747-1911. The shop also has opened a temporary location at 6101 W. 95th St. in Oak Lawn. For more updates, visit their website www.evasbridalsofoaklawn.com and check their Facebook page.
Other bridal shops also stand ready to help.
Wolsfelts Victorian Bridals at 1025 S. Lincoln in Aurora, is offering significant discounts on dresses to brides whose weddings are now through January 2011. The salon has a large selection of off-the-rack gowns in all sizes, including in house alterations. To schedule an appointment, call 630-896-7166.
whiteChicago, a new sample and once-wed designer bridal boutique located in Chicago's River North neighborhood at 222 W. Huron, Chicago, is offering immediate help to brides with upcoming weddings that ordered their dresses from Eva's.
The boutique's designer gowns are off-the-rack and 30 percent to 70 percent off retail cost.
"I heard from the father of a bride who is getting married this weekend. In an event like this our dresses are off the rack. We can get a dress ASAP," owner Ursula Guyer said. "We have a seamstress on site, anything to help any of these poor brides."
whiteChicago can accommodate any bride who lost her dress in the Eva's Bridals fire. To set up an immediate appointment, call 312-397-1571 or visit their website at www.whitechicago.com.
Jamie Ruggio, owner of Bella Sposa Bridal Boutique at 9524 W. 179th St. (179th Street and LaGrange Road) in Tinley Park has also reached out to brides who need a gown this weekend or in the next few weeks.
Hearing of yesterday's fire, Ruggio called her seamstress who is vacationing in Florida.
"I called her and she's on her way home right now," Ruggio said. "She will be home tonight."
Brides whose weddings are in the next six weeks that ordered dresses through Eva's may not be able to get their dresses in time. Bella Sposa sells samples off the rack. Ruggio said that she also bought samples from another bridal boutique that recently went out of business.
"We have a ton of samples right now," Ruggio said while fielding another phone call from a bride with a wedding this weekend whose dress was lost in Eva's fire.
Ruggio said her shop can alter dresses within a few hours. In a super emergency, her seamstress can take brides at her home after hours. The shop is also offering brides that bring in a receipt from Eva's, off-the-rack, sample dresses for $200. To set up an appointment with Bella Sposa call 708-532-2100 or visit their website at www.bellasposaboutique.com.
"We'd love to help somehow," Ruggio said.
Renee Fennell, a second-generation owner of Paris House of Bridal in Michigan City, Ind., knows what it's like to watch one's bridal store go up in flames. Twenty years ago, her parents lost their small shop in Chicago.
"Anybody who can't get their stuff, we're here," Fennell said. "We had a fire, so we know what that is about. It is a tough situation for staff to be in."
Paris House of Bridal has a 10,000-square-foot showroom with thousands of dresses. Fennell is offering free dresses to any bride that lost her dress in the Eva's fire. The boutique is accommodating everybody, and 24-hour rush service is available, Fennell said.
"My parents lost everything and had to rebuild," Fennell said. "We understand the pain."
Paris House of Bridal is located at 732 Franklin St., Michigan City, Ind., in the Lighthouse Outlet Mall about an hour from Chicago. For more information, call 219-874-7786 or visit their website at www.parishouseofbridal.com.
Bella Bridal and Formal Wear, 2000 W. Main St., Suite HI, St. Charles, is offering a free wedding gown to any bride that lost her gown whose wedding is before Dec. 5. Alterations can also be turned around on as-needed basis. For more information, contact Bella Bridal at 630-443-9226 or visit their website at www.bellabridalandformal.com.
Eva's Bridals of Chicago, at 3339 N. Harlem Ave. in Chicago, which is not affiliated with Eva's of Oak Lawn, is also reaching out to brides and asking women to call the salon if their wedding gowns or bridesmaid dresses have not been shipped from the manufacturer yet. For more information call 773-777-3311 or visit their website at www.evasbridalsofchicago.com.