Sheffield bride-to-be battles to reclaim £500 on wedding dress after firm goes bust

A Sheffield bride-to-be has said she was left 'horrified' after losing £500 on her dream wedding dress.

Monday, 16th January 2017, 2:49 pm
Updated Monday, 16th January 2017, 2:56 pm
Thea Gallacher with the dress she bought from Formal Affair

Thea Gallacher, aged 21, of Synons Crescent, Southey Green, has been left out of pocket after wedding specialists Formal Affair was put into administration.

She picked her perfect dress over ten months ago but was told over Christmas the firm had gone bust and her dress would not be arriving before the big day in May this year..

Formal Affair in Chesterfield

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The West Midlands-based company had to shed 39 jobs and hundreds of couples including many from Sheffield are now battling to secure full refunds.

The Formal Affair store on Castle Street in Sheffield city centre has since been boarded up.

Thea, who is to marry fiancé Neil Rice, 29, at Whirlowbrook Hall in Whirlow on May 13, told The Star she expected something was wrong when she tried to contact the company but had little or no response.

Luckily for the bride-to-be, Thea has managed to find another wedding dress thanks to Rotherham bridal store Wed To Be - but others may not be so lucky.

Formal Affair in Chesterfield

She said: "When I first received the news I was horrified - the wedding is not too long away and the stress of finding a new dress and the alterations that comes with hasn't been ideal.

"What makes this really upsetting is they kept taking money from me despite them knowing they would be going into administration - it's unbelievable they can do that.

"It's disgusting really, I'm not the only person this has happened to. It's caused me no end of stress."

Dean Nelson, head of business recovery and insolvency at Smith Cooper accountants, said: “The management of Formal Affair Weddings Limited have continuously attempted to reduce costs and restructure the business in light of current fashion and purchasing trends, however this has proven challenging with the formal and wedding attire market changing considerably over the last couple of years.

We are currently in the process of assisting the company repatriate its stock to the head office with a view to a closing down sale being instigated in the New Year. Once appointed Administrators, we will be in contact with creditors regarding the financial position of the company and dividend prospects.”

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