updated 10/4/2004 1:59:03 PM ET 2004-10-04T17:59:03

WeddingStores Inc., which has been selling bridal gowns for more than a century, entered Chapter 7 bankruptcy, ending almost any chance it will reopen its doors.

Objections to a bankruptcy judge's order filed Friday can be filed within 10 days, but that is unlikely, an attorney for the chain said Monday. Chapter 7 bankruptcy would require the company to sell off its assets.

Twenty-one Kaufman's Wedding World stores closed in early September, but a judge ordered them reopened for four days to allow frantic brides-to-be enough time to scoop up wedding gowns and other merchandise that had already been ordered.

The company tried to secure additional funding last month but was unsuccessful, said Salene Mazur, an attorney with law firm Campbell & Levine.

"Because of the distaste in the Western District (for a company) to operate in Chapter 11 without the ability to pay administrative expenses, we thought this was necessary and the judge agreed," she said.

A member of the Department of Justice will be appointed as Chapter 7 trustee to oversee liquidation.

The company owes Omega Bank in State College about $2.3 million, Mazur said.

"While we're considering all avenues, we have been talking with a number of liquidators and we suspect those liquidators will be cooperating with the bank," she said.

Founded in Altoona in 1884 as a general store, the company began selling wedding dresses 110 years ago.

There are Kaufman's Wedding World stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Ohio.

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