After all, life is full of beautiful, irreplaceable moments, but few require the cash outlay thats part and parcel with the average wedding celebration.
And few pieces of the ceremony are as symbolic or as pricey as the wedding dress itself, which is often really meaningful to the bride and groom, and to their families, as we saw with this something borrowed wedding dress inherited from Grandma.
And knowing the incredible sentimental value behind any wedding dress, our hearts go out to countless brides and brides-to-be recently caught up in a bridal scandal sweeping the Welsh city of Newport, where the abrupt closure of a bridal shop has left uncertainty and disappointment looming over a number of couples on their big day.
Scroll through the gallery below to learn why so many brides were left in the lurch, and how women in the community are stepping up to do what they can!
For countless brides-to-be in the South Wales area, the nightmare began when abridal shop in Newport, Anna Sara, abruptly closed its doors.
Owner Melanie Bishop posted a note claiming that she had shuttered the shop after “recent verbal abuse” and “attempted physical assault.”
While Bishop’s allegations are still unproven, a contradicting picturehas emergedsince the shop closed in early July of 2016.
This version suggests a very different story, one where brides across the regionsuffered uncertainty, scamming, and victimization as patrons ofthe shop.
You’ll note that someone has appended the note with an additional sticker, which reads, “What a joke!”
Despite the note indicating that all orders would be honored, disgruntled brides from all over gathered together online, where women who had been taken inby Anna Sara compared notes and stories.
Collectively, they describe a long-time pattern of poor worksmanship and misleading information. Among the allegations made?
That customers weren’t properly sized, money was stolen or “lost,” and that many dresses purported to be designed by the shop owners or ordered from other reputable retailers actually came from far more uncertain provenance on eBay and from distant wholesale factories.
In fact, one of the labels that Anna Sara claimed to carry, SexyHer, has made efforts to reach out to customers and offer support and discounts for brides who have abruptly lost their dream dresses.
Even more heartwarming?
The Facebook page created to compare notes has begun to attract a number of brides who have already celebrated their weddings, and want to do what they can for women who simply don’t have enough time to replace their own gowns or their bridesmaids’.
After all, summertime is prime wedding season, and many of the women who lost their deposits with no promise of a dress to come are just weeks out from their wedding days.
One of the first women to chime in shared, “If anyone is interested in my dress, then I am more than willing to let you have it for free.”
Soon, many others were joining in on the fun.
Recently married brides all over the area started offering up their own lightly worn dresses.
This bride sends a picture of her dress and says she’s “more than happy to donate.” Cheekily, she also adds, “Unfortunately the husband is not included (not yet anyway).”
Anotheroffered up her own beautiful dress as a loan to a bride in need.
After all, it’s understandable that many of these brides would want to hang onto their own gowns as keepsakes, but still volunteer them to other women who have already spent their entire wedding gown budget on a dress that never materialized.
Many of the women contributing to the Facebook page describe leaving thousands of dollars worth of deposits on their gowns, and then receiving ill-fitting or damaged garments, or never receiving any clothing at all.
If you ask us, the sisterhood of supportive brides is something to be reckoned with!
Other women offer up bridesmaids gowns and tailoring services, often free or at a deep discount, to brides left in the lurch.
Some of them note that, in lieu of payment, the bride can simply donate money to a charity of her choice, or just absorb the cost of dry cleaning or touching up gowns that haven’t been worn in years.
Meanwhile, the shop remains closed, and its future remains distinctly uncertain.
A former employee went on to the support group to claim that the owner Melanie Bishop has a gambling problem, and was squandering both time and money on her addiction, saying, “Mel was barely in store most of the time. She was gambling my wages in [local]arcade.”
The owner, Melanie Bishop, has gone on record claiming that the allegations against her have no merit, but an investigation is underway, led by Newport Trading Standards.
In the meantime, we’re just so happy to see that so many other women have stepped in to help other brides out of a tough spot. We hope that every bride who lost her dress or money still gets the wedding day of her dreams!
Have you ever had an experience like this? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget toSHARE this important story to help encourage more women and retailers to offer dresses to the cause!