WHITEHOUSE STATION, New Jersey (WABC) -- After 7 On Your Side reported that dozens of brides were left without a gown or their money after a bridal shop owner abruptly shut down, a loyal Channel 7 viewer stepped in to save their big day.
The 7 On Your Side investigation last month culminated with the owner's arrest - but the brides were still left without dresses.
"I saw your story and I was really touched when I said I had to do something to help these girls," said White House Bride owner Stacie Hiras.
Hiras said she cried for the gownless brides.
"My heart fell for these girls, I'm like this is one thing I can do to help," Hiras said.
So she and her staff at the luxury bridal boutique pulled out all the stops to give them the day and the dresses they deserve.
Deborah McNeese said I do for the first time after finding a dress at Maplewood Bridal and paying the owner Nikki Mayers $2,600 for a gown.
It was then she discovered, with other distraught brides who had gone through several fittings, the shop shuttered and Mayers was nowhere to be found.
"For her to do this to so many people is shocking," said bride-to-be Lorraine Snodgrass.
7 On Your Side brought their case to law enforcement and within hours, Mayers was arrested, charged and pleaded not guilty.
Since the original story ran featuring three brides left without a dress, other brides came to the Maplewood police to say they too were defrauded.
Police say in all, 19 brides have come forward and made complaints.
"One of my bridesmaids was watching the news and said there was an arrest," Maplewood bridal customer Tina Walsh said.
"I panicked I was trying to figure out how am I going to find another dress between now and my wedding date," Maplewood bridal customer Jonelle Coffie said.
Walsh said she was furious because her wedding is April 21.
Walsh, a Home Depot employee for 20 years, couldn't come up with another $2,600 to replace her gown until Hiras and her team stepped in.
"Now I have my dream dream dress," Walsh said.
All three original brides, plus four more brides, were gifted brand new wedding gowns they got to select for free by both Kleinfeld Bridal in New York City and White House Bride in Jersey.
There they were treated to a VIP experience.
"There's still great people even though we hear so much negativity every day," bride-to-be Sherice James said.
ALSO READ | Owner of New Jersey bridal boutique arrested
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