When Lisa Whitefield found her dream wedding dress, she “knew it was the one”.
But now, less than seven weeks before her wedding, the young mum has been left “devastated” after discovering that she won’t walk down the aisle in that dress after wedding retailer Berketex Bride went into administration on Tuesday.
She said: “[The dress] made me feel really beautiful and comfortable in myself. I just had a baby and I was worried about my figure, and the dress I chose made me feel great.
“It made me feel confident and so excited for my wedding.”
Lisa, 23, bought the dress in August in the Frederick Street branch of the chain, which has now closed both of its Scottish stores.
Her aunt generously put the balance of more than a £1,000 on her credit card after the store offered a £200 discount for paying in full. Payment for alterations was included in the total.
Lisa, who has a 20-month-old son, is now one of the 300 brides-to-be that have been left without a dress for their big day.
She said: “I’m devastated about the dress especially as it wasn’t my money, it was my auntie’s. She has been very calm and reassuring me.”
Lisa found out the firm had collapsed after another bride posted about it on social media while she was at work as a nurse in a neo-natal unit.
She said: “It was heart-wrenching reading the post. My heart literally just sank when I read it.”
Lisa called the shop in the hopes of finding out what was going on.
She said: “I called and nobody answered, then they picked up and my heart slowed down because I thought maybe it was OK because they had answered the phone.”
But when she was told that the woman she was talking to was an administrator and not a member of staff, Lisa realised the devastating truth - she had no dress for her big day.
She said: “I was in tears in the lunch room and all the other nurses were around.”
She called her aunt straight away to break the news that she had paid for a dress they would never see again.
Lisa said: “I was devastated especially as it wasn’t my money but my aunt was calm and tried to reassure me.”
One of Lisa’s colleagues came to her rescue by putting her in touch with a former midwife who now runs a bridal boutique in Hamilton, Bijoux Bridal.
Lisa, from Livingston, rushed to the store where she was fitted for new dresses and will return this weekend with her family to make her final selection.
She said: “I’m very hopeful that the new dress will be ready for the wedding so it puts my mind at ease.
“They’ve been really phenomenal at Bijoux Bridal.”
Lisa, who is marrying fiancé Connor on Hogmanay at The Vu in Bathgate, shared that she will have to fork out around £400 for another new dress.
She said: “I paid for my dress in full on the day because I was so sure it was the one.
“It’s very stressful.”
Berketex Bride, which sold wedding dresses and other bridal wear for more than 50 years, had 15 stores nationwide, including two in Scotland and one in Dublin, as well as concessions in Debenhams, after facing mounting cash problems.
A spokesman for insolvency firm Wilson Field said: ““This is another example of the hard time retailers are experiencing – and how companies are needing to react to the demands of different shopping habits and online retail.”