Thursday 19 September 2019

'Up to 200 brides' affected as Dublin wedding shop closes suddenly

Sasha Brady and Karen Birney

A wedding shop in Dublin closed suddenly this weekend, leaving brides out of pocket and without their bridesmaids' dresses for their big day.

Up to 200 brides are believed to have been affected by the closure, a representative from Dessy, the large international bridal design house that supplied the gowns to Wedding World in Marino, Dublin, said.

"We knew we might be responsible for them Thursday afternoon when they informed us they were going to cease trading over the weekend but before that we had no idea it was happening," Michelle from Dessy told RTE Radio One's Liveline.

"Dessy themselves are owed a lot of money going back over the last year, there are 130 girls whose orders, some of which we have got who have paid Wedding World that we haven't been paid for.

"We've filled as many calls as we can in order, the brides in April, May and so on - we are the only supplier to the shop."

The wedding shop shut its doors over the bank holiday weekend, leaving up to 200 women without dresses despite, the representative for Dessy said, having put down a 50 per cent deposit.

The only contact number Wedding World left was to their own contact in Dessy - who did not know they would be the only point of contact for customers.

Dessy set up a Facebook page under the Wedding World name, to inform brides of the closure and to attempt to help them to secure dresses for their weddings, however they said as they haven't received payment from Wedding World for some dresses, these brides would have to pay in full again.

"We think we know of around 130 girls in our system, we were told by Wedding World that there may be up to 200 girls. That means there are women who have placed orders who Wedding World have never ordered the dresses from us .

"We don't really know the size of it, we only know what we have got as orders. There could be more of them, we don't know."

Dessy has advised any brides left without gowns despite putting down a deposit to apply for a refund from their bank or their wedding insurance, however without a letter from the shop it is unclear how brides would prove they paid for missing dresses, or how much they gave over.

They are now covering orders, however it means brides are paying twice in a desperate attempt to ensure they will have their dresses for their upcoming weddings.

"We have to ask women to pay us, and on short notice they're happy to pay us or they'd have to start all over again," said the representative.

"I'm hoping they (Wedding World) will contact me back which they haven't done, with a letter from the receiver that they can take to.

"We'd like wedding world to do the right thing but Wedding World are refusing to speak to us," she added.

"We were dealing with the owner for quite a long time but he left us with his wife to communicate and we don't know why."

"It was generally a really uncomfortable place to work" a caller who said she was a previous employee of the shop said.

"They never wanted to engage with customers, they didn't want to offer any customer service."

Michelle she didn't know where the deposits had gone.

Caller Carmel Mulcahy explained her dealings with the shop before it closed, when her niece purchased two dresses paying a deposit of €275 and the full amount in January, on her mother's bank card.

"When they tried the dresses on they didn't fit, Wedding World said they'd change them but when they came back they were the same," she said.

Carmel and her sister called in to the shop last Saturday week and said asking for a refund, which the manager of the store refused to give.

Another bride, Laura, and her mother were also in the shop, with the bride trying on a bridesmaid gown for her friend's wedding that was "so big there was nothing you could do with it."

Laura had ordered four dresses for her own wedding, and demanded to speak on the phone to the owner.

She said she told the owner she would take it somewhere if she was not assured her dresses. She told Liveline that the owner told her she could "take it where she wants".

"We were getting nowhere and the girl in the shop was on the phone to owner but wouldn't put us on to them, then they said they wanted us to leave the premises or they would call the guards.

"None of us were being unreasonable but they called the guards.

"I wouldn't say it was the first time they called the guards," Carmel claimed, alleging that there was a sign in a silver frame on the table saying that abusive behaviour towards the wedding shop staff wouldn't be tolerated and the police would be called if that was the case.

"We eventually said we would leave the shop if we could get the name of the owner - we were told the name of the owner was James, but the guards told us another name. Then they asked for my sister's details so that the owners could lodge a formal complaint for our behaviour in the shop."

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