Over a June weekend we heard the devastating news that not one bridal shop, but two had gone into liquidation.
For all ‘All About Eve’ Brides that purchase a new bridal gown, receive ‘The Brides Protection Scheme’ that is supplied and underwritten by the Retail Bridalwear Association (RBA).
But so many lovely brides were left heartbroken. A number of brides were getting married in a couple of weeks with no dress!
So many paid by cash with no come back. A number paid by debit card, who may be able to make a claim. Those who paid by credit card or who had taken out bridal insurance were hopefully receiving their money back.
As owners of All About Eve we felt a genuine feeling of wanting to help in any way we could.
We opened up communication between the effected brides and the suppliers and offered a 24 hour Facebook helpline for those that needed reassurance that everything would be ok. We would find them a dress for their special day.
Along the way we are delighted to have helped some truly wonderful, inspirational young women.
All About Eve are highly honoured and very proud to be members of the RBA, a governing body similar to an ABTA or ATOL bonding when you purchase a holiday from a quality tour operator.
The RBA are highly selective of the shops they accept and accredit to the association. With a high percentage of shops refused membership. We can be proud to have passed rigorous scrutiny of the financial side of our business, which we were happy to share with the RBA because we really wanted to be a member of this elite organisation.
Just some of the strict criteria the RBA look at
- minimum of five years successful trading
- a business trading from a bricks & mortar shop
- paying business rates
- only 40% of retailers who apply for membership are accepted
- annual credit checks are carried out on all RBA members
Each RBA Member has gone through a selection process which assesses the quality of the owners/staff, the variety and condition of the stock offered and the general presentation of the shop to the public; the bride must be able to relax with experienced staff to advise her in a professional atmosphere. In addition, the financial credibility of the retail business is checked and its history examined. The business must have operated from dedicated retail premises for a minimum of five years and should not be part of a franchise organisation which could limit the choice available to the Bride.
We wanted to hear from real brides who had been affected by the closure of the two bridal stores in our area, and posed a number of questions to them. They kindly have allowed us to share these with you. Firstly, we have questions and answers with Jess Wasilewska.
All About Eve – After the devastating closure of Mystia Bridal, you were personally effected. How important was it for you to purchase your gown from a RBA store?
Jess – It was very important to me. I didn’t want to start looking for another Wedding dress as I’d already fallen in love with the one I picked so I specifically looked on the RBA website and compared it with the list of shops that stocked the designer of the dress I wanted. It was a bit of a long shot as shops often only sell certain styles by particular designer. Luckily for me All About Eve were the first shop I asked AND they had the dress in their store. I had read up about the RBA once I knew I no longer had a dress and was keen to use an affiliated bridal shop as I knew the criteria for stores was very stringent. It helped to put my mind at ease when re-ordering my dream dress again.
All About Eve – Did you find it reassuring that your deposit was underwritten by the RBA?
Jess – Definitely. Having already been burned and lost my previous deposit it was another reason I was confident about going with an RBA store the second time around.
All About Eve – Were you aware of the RBA before purchasing your gown from Mystia Bridal?
Jess – I hadn’t heard of the RBA previously. As a bride-to-be you do get rather caught up with the excitement of planning your wedding and finding your dream dress and I probably went into it with rose-tinted glasses on.
All About Eve – What advice would you give to a bride going shopping for her dream gown, given your personal experience?
Jess – My best advice is do your research. It’s so easy to jump straight in and start trying on dresses, but before all that I would ask about any available protection in place and make sure that the store is affiliated with someone like the RBA. Ask all the practical questions first and then let yourself get lost in the magical dress adventure.
All About Eve – Do you feel that the complimentary brides protection scheme, offered by All About Eve and underwritten by the RBA gives you total peace of mind, when paying your deposit?
Jess – The scheme offered by All About Eve has definitely given me peace of mind when ordering my dress second time around. I activated it before I even drove home just to be sure. It feels good to know that if anything does happen, I won’t be stuck again like I was last time. It has meant I can carry on with the rest of my planning worry free. And I can’t wait to see my dress again!
Here at All About Eve we are very honoured to be the only RBA Pronovias stockist RBA Pronovias stockist within Wales, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Bristol, Somerset and Herefordshire. We are also the only Essense of Australia stockist within Wales, Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Herefordshire and Worcestershire.