Furious brides-to-be claim their wedding dresses failed to arrive from a specialist boutique set up by a former Playboy model.
Abigail’s Bridal Boutique in Leeds is at the centre of complaints with upset customers joining a Facebook group to voice their concerns and grievances with the shop.
Founded by Lauren Stanley, 26, a former model who graced the cover of Playboy, Abigail’s Bridal Boutique has left brides in tears and terrified they won’t have a dress for their big day.
Leanne Slatcher said she ordered her fit and flare dress in 2018 after spotting the perfect outfit for her big day, LeedsLive reports.
The 36-year-old said that her wedding was delayed due to Covid, and when she finally set a date for this year she believed her dress would be the least stressful part of the process.
She claims she was ignored by the boutique with weeks to spare, got an unqualified student to do her fitting and said she began to feel ‘stressed’ and ‘worried’ if her dress would ever be ready.
Leanne said when she went to the boutique for her six-week fitting in August, she realised there was going to be a problem as she saw dozens of brides-to-be waiting outside.
She claims she was made to wait two hours for her appointment, surrounded by angry and disgruntled women.
“There was just chaos outside the shop for hours, and no one knew what was happening,” she said.
“I was so confused and I just wish they were more transparent about what they were going through.
“The biggest nightmare for me was that the woman who did my fitting didn’t seem to know what she was doing.”
Leanne said she was told that the fitting would need to be rescheduled – but claims the shop had deleted their Facebook page which was their point of contact.
She added: “I couldn’t afford another dress, so I knew I had to sort something out because the time was running out.”
In September, just a month before she was due to get married, Leanne says she still hadn’t heard from the bridal shop.
The mum-of-three said: “If they were just honest about the fact they were struggling I’m sure people would find a way to be reasonable.
“This is meant to be our big day, our happiest day, and I don’t feel like they appreciated just how we were being made to feel.
“I managed to rearrange so many different parts of the wedding after Covid, and the one thing I thought I had sorted three years ago was the one thing missing.”
Leanne said she was then shocked to learn that the dress might not even be ready in time for the wedding.
She said she asked for a refund and was told to pass her bank details on, but at the same time, the seamstress contacted her.
Leanne had her final fitting with the seamstress on September 25 – two weeks before the wedding.
She added: “I was lucky, and the seamstress was just amazing.
“But the shop caused me unnecessary stress, after all that planning I didn’t even know if I’d have my dress.”
Leanne and her partner of 11 years Richard, 33, tied the knot on October 9 at The Queen’s Hotel in Leeds – the place where they first met.
Leanne’s story is one of at least a dozen which LeedsLive has been made aware of.
The situation has got so out of hand that more than 50 brides have joined the Facebook group.
A bride-to-be said her ‘perfect day’ was ruined after the dream dress which she ordered from the boutique six months ago never arrived.
The 29-year-old from Huddersfield, who wished not to be named, has claimed that Abigail’s Bridal Boutique told her that her £1,700 had been ordered in April this year.
But she claims that just weeks away from tying the knot with her partner of 15 years, she was left in tears as the stunning princess ball gown dress was not ready for her first fitting.
She claimed that the boutique ignored her desperate calls daily, and eventually told her in October that the dress had not yet arrived in the UK.
The unnamed woman said: “I was feeling a bit of everything.
“Me and my partner have been together for 15 years, this year we were celebrating being married and having two children.
“We had planned for this for so long and I won’t even have a dress for my wedding. I won’t be able to even turn up to my own wedding.
“It’s a day I have dreamed of for so long and they have just ruined that.
“I chose my dream dress, and I have been looking forward to getting married for so long and for this to happen.
“It’s something you only do once, and now it’s a mad memory because of someone letting me down like that.
“I was crying non-stop for two days. This is meant to be a happy experience.”
The woman said she has been forced to take out a loan to buy an emergency dress, and says she still hasn’t been refunded for the original dress.
She said the boutique had the ‘audacity’ to offer her a used sample in case the dress didn’t arrive – but claims it wasn’t even in her size.
Abigail’s Bridal Boutique told MailOnline: “Covid has put many small businesses on the brink including us. We have had no help from the government.
“However we are open to solve issues for our customers because we have a duty of care.
“We have been closed for months but the bills still have to be paid and we have had supply issues since opening.
“However we are focused on staying open and servicing our customers the best we can, that is because we have a duty of care.”
The Mirror has contacted Abigail’s Bridal Boutique for a comment.