Alfred Angelo Disaster Shows Us Why Buying Wedding Insurance Is a Must

The exterior of Alfred Angelo, which closed its doors nationally in mid-July.
A closed Alfred Angelo store location in Tampa, Fla. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

In case you thought the Alfred Angelo disaster couldn’t get any worse, it is.

The bankrupt bridal retailer is now going back on its promise to fulfill remaining bridal gown orders.

In a new statement from the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee on the retailer’s website, any remaining orders that are unfulfilled will remain so due to the “logistical and financial strain” associated with completing them.

If you’re out money and a dress, you can file a proof of claim to attempt to recoup your losses, but there is no guarantee you’ll get your money back. Some retailers, such as David’s Bridal, are offering special discounts on new dresses for affected brides.

Meanwhile, some brides impacted by the closing are reportedly experiencing less stress than others because they made this smart money move: They purchased wedding insurance.

Why Wedding Insurance Is a Wise Financial Move

We know weddings aren’t cheap: The average wedding in 2016 cost $35,329, according to The Knot.

Considering that enormous chunk of change, buying wedding insurance is a great idea for many couples.

Also known as special event insurance, wedding insurance can cover losses when something doesn’t go as planned on the big day. It’s especially helpful if something big happens, like the venue falls through.

Will Shaffer from Tampa, Florida, experienced firsthand the consequences of not purchasing wedding insurance. He and his fiancee, Renee, put money down on a venue in nearby Ybor City last November, about a year out from their planned wedding day.

They opted to pay in installments. After paying about $6,000 toward the venue, they started to have difficulty reaching the owners. The couple called multiple times to no avail and had a feeling something strange was going on.

In late July, the venue filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, leaving them scrambling to find a new venue with less than four months until their big day.

“We never thought something like this would happen,” says Shaffer. “We saw [the venue] had great reviews, and we really weren’t worried. This was totally an unforeseen circumstance.”

They opted not to purchase wedding insurance because they knew they would get married no matter what, Shaffer says. They figured insurance was mainly in case something were to happen on the actual day, such as if someone got cold feet and called it off. He didn’t know it would cover something like the owners of a venue filing for bankruptcy.

Thankfully, his family owns property in North Florida where they will get married this November. Although money’s been tight since they lost the cash from the original venue, they have received deposit refunds and discount offers from the other vendors they initially planned to use.

How Much Is Wedding Insurance?

CNBC reports basic wedding insurance can cost between $155 and $550, depending on the desired coverage. Coverage can include reimbursement for a dress that never arrived, bad photographs, vendor no-shows and more.

Todd Shasha, managing director of personal insurance product management at Travelers, recommends purchasing insurance before you pay any deposits.

When purchasing a policy, be sure to understand what it covers and how much in reimbursements you’re eligible for — and be sure to read the fine print. Be on the lookout for any clauses stating you might not be covered in specific situations.

The last thing anyone wants is to have their big day ruined by a company going out of business or a venue shutting down. For peace of mind and financial security, purchasing wedding insurance is a smart money move.

Kelly Smith is a junior writer and engagement specialist at The Penny Hoarder. Catch her on Twitter at @keywordkelly.

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