The sudden closure of a bridal shop has left brides-to-be heartbroken and out of pocket for hundreds of pounds.
Absolute Bridal Couture have gone into liquidation and customers were informed on July 3.
The owner of the Prestwich shop emailed customers to say the shop had ceased trading the day before, reports the Manchester Evening News .
And customers, who have paid thousands of pounds to secure dresses for their special days, have since been unable to contact anyone at the company.
The email said the store had closed ‘with immediate effect’ and that liquidators ‘had been instructed’.
Have you been affected by the closure? Email email@example.com
“Luckily your gowns have not been effected(sic) within this and are safe and within a stored location ready for collection”, the email said.
Owner Catherine Cook urged the brides to contact the designers directly in order to arrange collecting the dresses.
In the email she said: “At this time I would like to express my deepest sympathy to you all and I want to assure you all, that I’ve done everything in my power to stop this situation from happening but have been left with no other option.”
But customer Margaret Ramsay said that when she contacted the designer, they said they hadn’t received any payments from Catherine for the dress.
It means that brides have been left without dresses, which designers can’t release as they haven’t been paid.
Margaret had already paid the full cost of the dress, £994, in instalments to Absolute Bridal Couture, starting in September and ending on June 11.
Her partner’s mum and grandma also contributed to the costs.
Margaret also paid £75 for a bridesmaid dress which she hasn’t received.
It means she’s been left more than £1,000 out of pocket – the bank said she will only be able to recover some of that as she paid some in cash and some directly to the owner’s bank account.
The 44-year-old optical assistant, from Audenshaw, said the shop owner is no longer replying to her calls or emails, and she has no idea what to do.
“My head has been all over the place the last few days. I can’t get my head round it. This is supposed to be the best time of my life – it’s horrendous.
“I’m not even going to be able to buy a dress with the money – I can’t afford it. I’m going to get married in December. There’s me being really organised to pay it off – but I’ve still got no dress.
“I don’t know what to do. I have not stopped crying for two days. My anxiety is through the roof.”
Margaret said she doesn’t have bridal insurance, but would urge other people to buy it to avoid the same situation.
The Absolute Bridal Couture website has been taken down since it closed, as have the Instagram page and Facebook page.
The owner has not been answering calls and her mobile number is no longer available.
Absolute Bridal Couture LTD is listed as a business on Companies House, with Catherine Angelica Cook named as the director.
Jenny Scanlon, from Middleton, also paid a £700 deposit for her dress in May this year.
The 31-year-old, who is due to get married in Santorini in July next year, said she hasn’t heard a word since then from the owners.
She hadn’t even received an email to say the shop is shut, and only saw posts about it on social media.
“I started panicking when I saw the website was down. I have tried to ring the shop all week.
“The mobile number (Catherine) had has been turned off. I have still not had an email to say the business has gone into liquidation
“It was a bit of a shock to be honest. I was really let down. My mum put down the deposit as a gift. She’s feel put out. It’s more upsetting than anything” Jenny said.
Jenny does have wedding insurance, but won’t be able to claim any money back until after the wedding.
Designers are doing all they can to help brides left in the lurch before their big day, they say.
Kenneth Winston, who designed Margaret’s dress, said they are helping around a dozen customers let down by the store.
A spokeswoman said: “We are doing everything we can to help our girls out. Anyone who is in the same situation, please contact us and we will do everything we can to get these girls their dresses.”
Absolute Bridal Couture has been contacted for comment.