Heroic seamstress reunites brides with dresses after Hornchurch wedding shop’s unexpected closure

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 November 2017

Couture Bride & Groom in Hornchurch has suddenly closed with short notice

Couture Bride & Groom in Hornchurch has suddenly closed with short notice


A seamstress is salvaging the wedding plans of brides after a Havering bridalwear shop unexpectedly closed and its owner allegedly moved to Florida.

Freelance Seamstress Despina Stylianou who has come to the rescue of 10 brides so far. Photo: Despina Stylianou Freelance Seamstress Despina Stylianou who has come to the rescue of 10 brides so far. Photo: Despina Stylianou

Hornchurch wedding retailer Couture Bride & Groom closed suddenly on Sunday November 19, with the premises’ landlord claiming shop owner Steve Goodchild had fled to Florida without paying rent – an announcement made by a sign placed in the shop’s window.

Freelance Seamstress Despina Stylianou, who had been hiring a space in the shop, moved the full stock of 30 dresses to her home in anticipation of the shop’s imminent closure.

She has reunited 10 people with their dresses so far.

Fortunately, each dress had been labelled with a customer’s name and contact details.

Couture Bride & Groom in Hornchurch has suddenly closed with short notice Couture Bride & Groom in Hornchurch has suddenly closed with short notice

She said: “I have had brides cry on the phone with relief when I have said I can get their dress back.

“It is a big deal for them.”

Brides who have placed deposits on dresses which had not yet been manufactured and delivered to the shop can also expect to receive their dresses over the next year.

Brides will first need to pay the balance on their deposits to dress manufacturers, Eternity Bridal and Margaret Lee, who were used by Couture Bride & Groom.

Explaining how the dresses would be returned, Despina said: “Once they manufacturer made the dress it gets delivered to the designer who will call the brides individually to say ‘your dress is here.’”

The situation for customers who placed deposits on suits still remains complicated.

She added: “Unfortunately, to grab all the suits in the shop, there was just no way.”

Collier Row resident Rich Bonner, 32, placed his order for 10 suits from the shop in mid-June, paying a 50pc deposit of £550.

Upon learning the shop had closed, he said: “I tried to call but there was no answer. I tried to email him and there was no response.”

Rich has fortunately found replacement suits thanks to Anthony’s Formal Wear, a wedding attire shop in Billericay, who announced they will support affected couples at short notice.

The Recorder reached out to Steve Goodchild for comment and received no response.

For more information contact Des Stylianou:

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