Wedding Dress Nightmare...Be warned!!

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maydo3 Posts: 3
Sorry for the long post but I feel this is a cautionary tale for all brides-to-be. I'm almost a year married now and am only getting to post this as I was far too stressed at the time. Where to start… I booked and paid a deposit on a beautiful San Patrick dress nine months before my wedding in a well known bridal store. 6 months later, at my first fitting (and the first time I had seen my dress), I noticed that the bottom of the dress and the bodice was stained and dirty. I also noticed some damage to the tulle underneath. When i pointed this out to the proprietor, she quickly chopped off the tulle with a scissors to my horror. The next thing I noticed was that the dress was far too big for me. I am a size ten and always have been. The owner told me I was imagining it and that there was extra room for adjustments. Finally, there were no tags of any kind on the dress. I pointed out these concerns to the shop owner and said that I wasn’t happy. She told me that she'd been in this business for years she had seen it all before and that this was just jitters... that every bride has doubts about their dress. I was on my own that day and looking back I was probably too trusting of her. I took her at her word and, foolishly I suppose, paid the balance outstanding on the dress as this was in the contract I had signed. I went home but couldn’t get the dress out of my head...After discussing the situation with the seamstress who was making my bridesmaids dresses, and who works for a well known and well respected bridal store, I started to suspect that ‘my’ dress was infact the sample dress I had tried on at my first fitting…. My mum recalled that it too had a hole in the tulle at the back. At that point I phoned the shop and told the owner that I was unhappy and made an appointment to go back and discuss my problems with her. I also instructed her not to make any alterations. When I went back she told me to try on the dress again. To my annoyance she had already altered it and now the dress barely closed on me and there were threads and beads hanging off it everywhere. I took off the dress and then pointed this out. She took the dress and went into a back room with it telling me I didn’t know what I was talking about. When I asked to see it again she got extremely rude. I put it to her that the dress was in extremely poor condition for a new dress. With that another customer came in . The owner went down and asked them to wait outside as she was dealing with a "difficult customer". Up to that point I had been polite but now I was annoyed…. I asked to see proof of purchase of the dress which she refused. I put it to her that I suspected it was the sample and she got abusive and asked told me to get out. As I had paid for the dress in full I felt I had no choice but to take it with me and see if a professional seamstress could fix it as my wedding was now only 6 weeks away. I left the shop that day in tears and drove straight to the seamstress that was making my bridesmaid dresses. She took one look at the dress and told me to contact my solicitor that the dress had been very badly damaged by “alterations” on more that one occasion and in her opinion it was not a new dress. I contacted the national consumer agency and they gave me information on my rights. My solicitor advised me to make contact with her and give her the opportunity to rectify the situation before proceeding to bring a case in the small claims court. I went to the shop with my best friend and bridesmaid along for support. I was sick to my stomach. I had the dress with me and pointed out the flaws the seamstress had found (there were holes in the lace that you could put your finger through where the scalloped edge had been cut and stitched back hap-hazardly). I simply stuck to the facts and quoted my rights as a consumer. She actually put her hand on my back and pushed me out of the shop. When I told her I would be taking legal action and asked for her surname, she smirked at me and gave me a name that we later discovered was false. At that stage, I started frantically looking for a new dress .. I spent the next week travelling all over the country but every bridal shop I went to said they could only sell me a sample dress at such short notice (now 6 weeks to the wedding!!). Finally I was put in touch with a dress designer in Dublin who came to my rescue … She proceeded to design and create a dress for me that was very similar to the original but with a few variations due to time constraints. She would be able to make it for me in time…… Of course I was still very worried about the costs…. My old dress had cost us 1700 euros. The new one was coming in around 1800 euros. But to my great surprise, a week to the day after I'd been in the shop, a registered letter arrived for me containing a cheque for the amount of the dress. It was accompanied by a curt note saying I could return the dress to the shop at my convenience. Naturally I was delighted to get my money back but I was still extremely stressed over the whole situation. Thankfully, the dress maker I had found came through for me and produced a stunning dress for my big day (although I only got to try it on for the first time 1 week before the wedding and collected it the day before… major stress). Looking back at the whole experience, I’m more convinced than ever that the shop owner was trying to defraud me… The condition of the dress aside…. in preparation for legal action, I had done some research… I contacted San Patrick directly and they told me that they had ceased production on ’my’ dress two months before I had even chosen it!! Ultimately, the circumstances around the refund I received (particularly the speed..) are as good as an admission of guilt in my opinion. But the stress of the situation cannot be communicated in writing… I will never forget those weeks coming up to my wedding day. My entire family were tip toeing around me and my DH was very frustrated as it was the one thing he couldn't help me with. So be warned ladies… always follow your gut feeling… If I had followed mine I would have walked away from the shop on day one. Its all behind me now Thank God. I'm happily married and expecting our first child in January. Obviously I can’t post names on here but if anyone wants ’further information’ you can pm me :-)
Babyloco Posts: 964
My God thats shocking, im so glad it all turned out well for you in the end.Best wishes with your pregancy and your new baby.
perfection Posts: 837
o hell yea please pm me this shop!!!! totally out of order... you dont need that stress a couple of weeks b4 your wedding... hope she goes out of business!!!! wagon!!!! and can you pm me your dress makers name... thanks
realta Posts: 820
congrats on the pregnancy! can u please pm me the shop too please?
28dec Posts: 13
Can you pm the name of the dress. This is stress a bride can do without!
dreamscometrue2012 Posts: 1769
OMG thats awful.... can you pm me the name of the shop??
Glitzy Posts: 22
Oh My God i cant believe the cheeky mare >:o( >:o( . Im glad it all worked out in the end and Congrats on the baby!! Please can you pm me the name of this shop as i will be avoiding it! Thank You :thnk
LB Bride Posts: 79
That's awful - what a nightmare. Could you PM me the name of the shop? Thanks
azbride Posts: 120
OMG! Thats awful that you had to go through that just before your wedding. She sounds like a right bitch. Congrats on your baby news :baby3: Would you mind pm me the name of the store also, Thank's
HappyK Posts: 85
You poor thing. Can you please pm me the name of the shop too please. She is a disgrace!!! >:o(