DEVASTATED brides left with their wedding dreams in tatters have been given help in rescuing their big day.
Dozens of brides and grooms were left in the lurch when Brides of Portsmouth, in Elm Grove, closed down suddenly this week.
Some of them have paid thousands of pounds for wedding packages including dresses, suits, photography, cars, flowers and cakes that they will now never see.
And by 4am yesterday the shop had been completely cleared out of all its remaining stock, which was put straight into a waiting van.
But Portsmouth has rallied, and brides are now being offered free service and goods by other companies – saving the day.
One man, Andy Thompson, was so moved by the story of Evelynn Wilkie, who has had to postpone her wedding blessing twice already due to personal tragedies, that he will be driving her to her big day on September 8 in a 1928 Rolls-Royce yellow Barker Landau – completely free of charge.
Evelynn’s husband David said: ‘This just shows the true spirit of people in this area and what they’re willing to do.
‘Devastated would be an understatement about how we feel about it all, but we smile, that’s what we do, because life still goes on.’
Evelynn still needs to find a wedding dress, five suits, flowers, cake, and a veil.
Another bride featured in The News when it was first revealed Brides of Portsmouth had shut up shop was Andrea Hill, of Milton.
She got her dress before Brides of Portsmouth closed its doors, but was left without transport, suits, flowers or photographer for her wedding on September 1.
But, just two days later, she has been offered everything apart from suits, completely free of charge.
She joined a group on the Facebook social networking internet site, dedicated to putting brides in touch with suppliers.
She said: ‘Everybody has been offering their help.
‘I can’t thank people enough for donating these things to us, and I didn’t expect that reaction at all – I thought we’d still have nothing on our wedding day.’
The Facebook page was started by Martine Fitchett, as a way of putting brides in touch with suppliers.
It is at facebook.com/HelpForThoseAffectedByBopClosure