A bride who spent two years planning her dream wedding has told how she spent most of the day terrified her gown would fall apart because it was so badly made.
Heckmondwike woman Rebecca Shaw’s story was featured in Watchdog’s Rogue traders on Wednesday as it investigated Amazing Brides in Wakefield.
The programme had received scores of complaints from couples who claimed Amazing Brides ripped them off and ruined their wedding days.
Rebecca, 26, of Church Street, said she picked a £2,600 dress from Amazing Brides two years before her wedding last June, but when it came it was completely different from what she had ordered.
After a catalogue of problems she said ruined her big day, her mum Lesley Holroyd contacted Trading Standards – and Rebecca and Lesley were invited to take part in Watchdog’s Rogue Traders, which aired on Wednesday.
The show interviewed brides who said their wedding dresses were not what they paid for. Two undercover reporters were sent to try out the service at Amazing Brides, owned by Bev Hanson-Shaw, and The Wedding Dress Studio in Dewsbury, owned by Bev’s husband Dean. One was sent a dress that was so big she could turn it round and fit her arm down the front.
It was examined by Princess Diana’s wedding dress designer Elizabeth Emanuel, who said the £1,650 dress looked factory made, was 100 per cent polyester and had a size eight label in it.
Rebecca said when the dress came it was not what she had ordered.
She said: “When I saw it I burst into tears.
“I wanted off-white satin and it was grey taffeta with gold lines. It was like Little Bo-Peep’s dress.”
She said Mrs Hanson-Shaw told her it would be sorted out and a new one arrived two weeks before the wedding.
Rebecca said she had been told she must sign a form saying she would not leave a bad review online or she couldn’t take her dress. She said she signed it as there was only two weeks to her big day. But she claimed when she got home she was horrified to discover the dress was too small despite her losing more than 3st since being fitted; there was a coffee stain on the train, diamantes missing from the bodice, and pins and clothes tags holding it together.
She said: “It was so bad I wanted to cancel the wedding. We took it to a dressmaker who had to put a panel in. She told me it could split at any moment. The dress ruined the most important day of my life. I didn’t want anybody coming near me in case it ripped – all day I was scared it would fall apart. At night it tore and the train wasn’t even attached.”
“It was a nightmare.”
Bev Hanson-Shaw said Rebecca had signed a form to say she was happy with the dress, but did not want to provide further comment.
She told Watchdog: “I have been in business selling bridal wear for 20 years.
“Thousands of brides have been extremely satisfied with my service. I feel the programme makers have deliberately worked only to portray my business in a negative light.”