An NI woman who paid £2,500 for her dream wedding dress has spoken of a ‘kick in the stomach’ after she arrived late and three sizes too big.
Kelly Marie Campbell, 35, got married on March 31 this year after three previous wedding dates were canceled due to Covid restrictions.
She says she couldn’t wait for her big day and wanted the perfect dress to go with it and make her feel “like a dream princess”, reports the shimmer.
Read more:Inside My Wedding: A Beautiful, Classic Couple’s Day in Galgorm
She spotted a £2,500 LiRi Sara dress by designer Riki Dalal at Si Bridal boutique and knew it was the one for her.
Kelly said: “As corny as it sounds, it was the kind of dress you dreamed of. They made me feel like a model trying on these dresses, they made you feel beautiful.
“But the biggest kick in the stomach was my wedding dress.”
Kelly ordered the bespoke dress from Newcastle-based Si Bridal in July 2021.
The dress was due to arrive six to eight weeks before the wedding.
But four weeks earlier, Kelly said she was “starting to get a bit married” because the dress still hadn’t been pulled up.
She sued the wedding dress store, Si Bridal, and claims she was told not to panic.
But another week passed with no updates on where the dress was or when it would show up.
Again, Kelly says she was told not to worry and to wait for an update.
Then, three weeks after the wedding, she was told that her dress was stuck at the Ukrainian border due to the Russian invasion of the country.
Riki Dalal is based in Israel, but has a dressmaking shop in Ukraine.
Kelly says she sympathized with the situation and asked Si Bridal if she could walk into their shop and try on a backup dress in case her dream one didn’t arrive in time.
She said: “Two and a half weeks before my wedding and I had emails with them refusing to let me in to try on alternative dresses and see what they had in store, ready to go, that would be was fine with me, because at this rate I was going to be walking down the aisle in my pajamas.”
“Every little girl dreams of her wedding day and it completely ruined it for me. My dream come true became my nightmare. They kept refusing, there was no refund option and they told me assured that my dress would be there a week before the wedding.
“I was making myself sick from stress.”
A week before the wedding, Kelly said she was “completely freaked out,” and was only able to get the dress back on short notice.
She went to Si Bridal to see her dream dress and said seeing it reminded her of “all the reasons she fell in love with it.”
But when she tried it on, Kelly said her £2,500 ‘bespoke’ dress was three sizes too big and looked ‘like a sack of potatoes’.
“It literally fell off me,” she said. “I was ready to cry and tell them where to put the dress, but I just stood there screaming in my head that it will be okay because I didn’t want to disrupt things any further.
“But as the date went on I worked up the courage to put on my big girl panties and asked ‘why is my dress too big’.”
If Bridal told her it was because she had lost weight, which Kelly disputes, and says her personal trainer took separate measurements that show that is not the case.
She had to take the day off to have the dress altered, which included serious changes like moving and adding the boning that gives wedding dresses their shape.
She paid an additional £350 for the alterations, on top of the £2,500 she had already paid.
The day before her wedding, she rushed to Si Bridal to pick up the altered dress, and said she was relieved that it went on and remained standing.
But on her wedding day, she put the dress on and was disappointed with the fit, only to find she was in too much of a rush when she went to pick it up.
“I didn’t realize how unflattering it was,” she said. “The waist was so gathered it formed an unflattering bump, with a bump where it had been altered, with silver shiny things visible.
“The cups didn’t fit my boobs and caused me embarrassing pinching all day and night in front of my friends and family during photos.”
“The boning of the dress was so uncomfortable and hurt, so much so that I ended up with blisters on my waist.
“The sleeves slipped off, even with tape, because the fabric was way too heavy. They had added snaps to attach the sleeves, but even with the most minimal movement, they popped off right away, leaving my sleeves slide right up to my elbows.
“Let’s just say, I didn’t feel like the dream princess I should have felt. But I kept going and my wedding day itself was a dream come true.”
If Bridal was approached by the Mirror for an apology and a refund.
Although the firm expressed its apologies to Kelly, it refused any reimbursement for the ordeal.
A spokesperson for Si Bridal said: “Understandably, given the current political climate, many circumstances are currently beyond our control.
“We understand this may have caused some distress, but we have and will continue to communicate any updates we receive from our designers with our lovely brides.
“We are always in constant communication with our designers internationally and remind our brides that we are always a phone call or social media message away for any advice they may need.
“That being said, we don’t think it’s professional to comment further publicly on the matter.”
Si Bridal encouraged Kelly to get in touch with Riki Dalal instead.
Despite the war in Ukraine, the firm offered to make her a custom-made red carpet dress.
Kelly said: “I said ‘where do you want me to wear it’ and they said ‘your birthday party’.
“I don’t think my story could get any stranger.”
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