- Johannesburg bride-to-be *Narissa was pained when she received an email from Eurobride in Sandton announcing its permanent closure without allowing her to collect a wedding dress she had paid for.
- On the day she purchased her dress, she says the sales consultant who attended to her offered her an alterations service that needed her to leave the dress at the store.
- She has banded with other women to raise awareness about what they believe was a scam.
* Since this article was published, the attorney for Eurobride, Johan Du Toit of DuToit’s Attorneys & Mediators, informed us that one bride, Presha, who had complained about not receiving her dress on Hello Peter, has since received her dress and has amended her original complaint.
Another bride, Daniella Gomez, who also wrote a Hello Peter complaint, has received her gown which was sent via courier and received on 5 November 2020.
The attorney also informed us that another complainant, Claudia Rule, who says she lost R12 000, was aware of Eurobride’s cancellation Terms and Conditions and there is nothing due to her.
We can all acknowledge that 2020 has been an unfavourable year for brides-to-be. What is often marketed as the ‘happiest day of your life’ was the cause for much stress and sadness as brides had to figure out whether to postpone or cancel their weddings as the coronavirus spread across the world.
When a glimmer of hope surfaced as restrictions eased and couples could hold intimate weddings, some brides' joy was stolen when the dresses they ordered and paid for from Eurobride never arrived.
Narissa is one of the brides who spotted an ad on Facebook from Eurobride promising a 50 percent discount on wedding gowns. Ahead of her wedding this December, she was ecstatic to find the deal but her happiness about it was unfortunately short-lived. She details her experience with the company.
On a Friday in August, Narissa arrived at her appointment to do a dress fitting. “When I went to my dress fitting everything was well, they treated me well,” she says.
“That dress was R20 000 and I paid R10 000 because of the 50 percent discount. I was excited, [the consultant] even said ‘oh you look so gorgeous’. [She] then said to me, ‘do you want to keep your dress here or do you want to take it with you because you can keep your dress with us and we can do alterations for you’,” Narissa recalls.
She thought it would be convenient to keep her dress there, however she still paid the full amount for the dress that day in cash. “I owed nothing I paid in full.”
Within that week, Narissa recalls feeling uneasy about the encounter but she let it go.
When October came by she realised she needed to have the alterations done soon as her wedding day was nearing, however when she phoned the store she got no response on the other end. Eventually her mother managed to reach the company on the phone and was told the day for alterations would be on 16 November 2020.
“Little did we know, exactly a week and a half after my mother called them I got an email … I looked at that email [and] I literally went crazy,” says Narissa.
“I literally dropped everything I was doing, went to my car and drove to Sandton … I rushed in, listen, I ran up those stairs. As I arrived at those doors, nothing. Not a pen, not a paper, not a computer, not even fans not even dust. Nothing was there, the place was cleared out clean. I started panicking and I started crying.”
When they released this announcement, Narissa says they did not make mention of refunds for the payments made.
The company left only a handwritten notice announcing it has been liquidated.
“As I walk out more bride come and I’m thinking ‘I’m not alone’. More brides come, more brides come and that’s how we came together and started a group chat because of that because we didn’t know what was going on.”
READ MORE: Why do brides wear white?
Since then the group banded together to get the word out on what they saw as a scam. They shared their experiences on Facebook bridal groups and left multiple reviews on business review website, Hello Peter.
Daniella G shares her following account:
On 22 September 2020, Claudia R shared how her request to Euro bride had been ignored:
Narissa says all the brides that joined on their WhatsApp group started emailing the company back but all their messages bounced back.
“We tried to phone our consultants, we phoned everybody, no messages going through. We tried inboxing them on Facebook, we tried Instagram. All of them are not contacting us, including our consultants. Nothing,” says Narissa.
“The most heartbreaking thing is that I have lost R10 000, R20 000 other girls have lost R30 000 of things that we couldn’t just give. This is a wedding we’re planning there are other expenses.”
She says as a collective on the WhatsApp group they have approached the police to open a case and have reached out to lawyers and are keeping in contact to see if any new developments arise and to support each other.
Narissa says two brides from the group have received dresses via courier but it’s not the dresses that they wanted and they arrived in poor condition.
“We don’t even want our dresses, we want our money back. This is injustice, we’ve been robbed, literally,” she says.
“This hurts, it really hurts deeply and if anybody can help anywhere, anyhow some way to help get our money back. All we want is justice. I don’t want anything else I just want my money.
“I’m glad that I can be vocal about it now because the next time girls [should] know to be vigilant of what they are doing. Don’t just purchase a dress and leave it there, take it with you, hold on to it. My advice would probably be - research. Do you research because when you’re planning a wedding you become excited.”
Narissa has managed to buy another dress as her wedding will take place in a few weeks.
W24 was unable to reach Eurobride and its representatives for a response.
However, the Johan du Toit is quoted by TimesLive as the attorney representing Eurobride saying: “Our client was forced to make difficult decisions, due to the fact that they do not satisfy the solvency and liquidity test, and will be negligent if they continue trading; Eurobride unfortunately has to close as it cannot continue to operate. Every gown in Eurobride’s possession is being sent out to clients, and our client is prioritising this by wedding date.”
Do you have a wedding story to share with us? Send us an email here.
*Not real name
Sign up to W24’s newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our stories and giveaways.