When shop owners Paul and Barbara Blythe woke to discover their wedding boutique flooded last August, they felt like their world had come ‘crashing down.’
Paul, reflecting on the event, said: “It really was a shock, and the damage was immense. Nothing could have prepared us for the moment we walked through those doors.
“We started the business to help family dreams come true – yet here we were, picking up the pieces in flooded premises.”
Wife to Be, a popular wedding boutique in Widnes, was forced to close its doors for good to the public last August after a period of severe rainfall flooded out the shop.
Both the top and bottom floors of the property suffered severe damage, meaning their landlord had no choice but to discontinue the lease to carry out repairs.
What’s more, twelve dresses were destroyed, leaving the couple an additional £7,000 out of pocket.
Paul said: “We had a lot of torrential weather in August, and part of the roof had leaked through to the upstairs and downstairs display area. It was horrendous.
“You just don’t come into work expecting your shop to flood.”
Yet in spite of their troubles and heartaches over the past few months, the caring duo – who own two additional stores in Warrington and Runcorn – made a touching decision to ensure everyone has the chance to find the dress of their dreams.
Having donated dresses in the past, Paul and Barbara decided to give their surviving designer dresses to the local Debra charity – an organisation supporting individuals with Epidermolysis Bullosa, a genetic, skin-blistering condition.
Paul said: “We’ve donated stuff to them before, so we decided to give them some of the dresses.
“We wanted them to go to a good cause; they were really grateful.”
Dozens of designers wedding and prom dresses have been donated to the store, giving members of the public that chance to find the dress of their dreams at an affordable price.
The dresses are now on sale in the Widnes stall for £100 each, with dozens of dresses still holding their original £1,000 price tag.
An array of beautiful prom dresses, valued at £500, are currently being sold at the store for £50.
Better still, mothers of any brides-to-be can also expect to find a bargain, with a selection of outfits costing a mere £10 each.
A spokesperson for the Debra charity said: “Everyone, no matter their circumstances, deserves to feel beautiful on their big day.
“We are so grateful to Wife to Be for their generous donations, and we wish them all the best for the future.”
You can learn more about Wife to Be on the following website: http://www.wifetobe.co.uk/our_shops