The coronavirus pandemic, and the subsequent lockdowns across the world have left many industries in tatters, including the wedding industry…

Caterers, venues, wedding planners and dress makers all felt a major pinch in the pocket when public events were cancelled. However, a glimmer of hope was offered when South Africa hit Level 1 and couples could organise small gatherings for their ‘Big Day’.

A Sandton-based store offered brides a tantalising 50% discount on gowns, and dozens jumped at the chance to take advantage of the price drop. Unfortunately, the blushing brides are now fuming after Eurobride shut down without notice, taking their dresses, deposits, and any hope of a refund with them.

Around 30 brides were affected by the shock closure.

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The only notification Eurobride’s customers received was an email and a handwritten note on the venue’s door which stated:

 

To Our Dearest Customers,

It is with a very heavy heart we have to write this letter.

Due to the current economic state in our country and the rest of the world, Eurobride has not been able to recover financially to open our doors again.

with there being a summons issued against Eurobride, regretfully we are not able to fulfil our obligations to all our clients.

After 14 wonderful years of trading we thank every single one of our customers for their support and allowing us to be a part of one of the biggest events in your journey.

Please contact jnb@eurobride.co.za should you have any enquiries further.

Warm regards,

The Eurobride Team

 

In an interview with 702’s Azania Mosaka, one of the brides shared her story

Jessica Coetzee says she paid Eurobride a deposit of R11,000 for her dream dress. However, when she made contact with them again in September, she was sent from pillar to post. Eventually she went to the story only to find an empty space, and the handwritten note on the door.

Some of the brides managed to get in touch with each other via social media and have been communicating via WhatsApp.  They also organised a protest outside the store, and shared their story on eTV’s news with Devi Sankaree Govender.

 

 

Another bride, Nadine M, shared her experience on Hello Peter:

I bought a wedding gown at Eurobride on William Nicole (Bryanston) in August 2020, for my wedding in December 2020… I recently went to the store, as I’ve received a disturbing email stating that they have closed down.

On arrival, myself and other girls noticed that the store had been closed and empty. No phone numbers are working at all, they’ve taken our dresses along with our money. I paid R20 000 in cash for my dress, and left it there as they’d promised free alterations.

I am heartbroken by this, as this was not just money lost, it was time and effort. I need help please. I need to know who the liquidators are, how we can get our dresses or money back… # apparently they have been liquidated and evicted, but my question is why not contact the brides who have paid their dresses in full?

Why be quiet about it and then disappear with no contact details at all.

Ashley Candice Turner posted the following on 14 October:

Eurobride has taken down their Facebook account and this is just more proof that they are running as they know they are thieves!

There’s so many of us ladies that have created a WhatsApp group and are trying our best to get evidence to open up a case. We have discovered they have also affected not only SA brides but overseas brides who ordered online and they refuse to courier the dress.

We thank everyone for their support but would love more support. If you know someone in small claims court or are aware of what we could do to help our case please contact me and share this to broadcasters and investigators.

Thank you to everyone for your love and support during this time where we have been financially and emotionally affected.

What now?

The brides continue to search for the liquidators of the company and to receive some sort of compensation from the owners. Multiple cases have been opened, but the owners of the company have not yet been brought to book.

Some other companies have stepped in to offer assistance.

Bride&Co are offering discounts to brides affected by the Eurobride scam.

“We have dresses to stock and we are happy to give every single person who lost their deposits, etc, with Eurobrides 50% discount on their wedding dresses. They will be ready in time because they are on our shelves and we have all the seamstresses to do all the alterations,”  Harold Cesman, Owner – Bride&Co told 702.

Naturally Diamonds are also offering a discount on wedding bands and other jewellery.

“They are welcome to come to us, we will give them 50% on all rings, wedding bands and anything they need. We will have it all done before the wedding,” said Ian Furhman, Owner – Naturally Diamonds.

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