We are delighted to share an uplifting good news story for the end of the year. We do so love a happy ending and wish Victoria and Bradley all the very best for the future.
The story has been covered in the Liverpool Echo here.
The Frockery, an Angus-based small business, has helped to reunite a daughter with her late mother's wedding dress in time for her own wedding after it was lost in Liverpool more than a decade ago.
Victoria Bullen (32), who now lives in Bolton, had already issued a heartfelt plea via the Liverpool Echo for information about the whereabouts of the dress, which she believed had been donated to a charity shop following her mother's death in 2011.
In an extraordinary twist, Victoria came across an image of an identical vintage dress that had previously been sold by the Forfar-based online vintage boutique, and emailed the business to ask if she could be put in touch with its purchaser.
Frockery owner Alison Preuss said: "When Victoria's initial email arrived, I was not optimistic about finding the dress, but having heard her story and about the loss of both her mother and her father at such a young age, I became personally invested in her quest. From the photographs she attached of her mother's wedding day, the dress certainly looked identical."
Having tracked down the archived order with details of the sale from 2019, Alison emailed her customer with the back story asking if she would consider contacting Victoria directly. Happily, she still had the dress which is now back in a delighted Victoria's possession.
Victoria had redoubled her efforts to find the beautiful lace dress after her long-term partner Bradley Davies proposed to her last month. They have two children, four-month-old Gibson and five-year-old Lucy, and Victoria was keen to have the original dress altered for her daughter to wear on her big day.
She told the Echo in November: "It would mean the world to me to have the dress back in my possession, as I do not own any belongings of either my mother or father, I was a stupid adolescent and didn't think to keep anything. To be honest it was hard to look at their belongings without crying. I deeply regret that decision."
Victoria's parents, Lesley Anne Austin and Edward William Bullen, were married in Liverpool in July 1995. Tragically, Lesley suffered a brain aneurysm in 2005, leaving her in a vegetative state until her passing in 2011, aged just 55. Her father Edward died of lung cancer in 2009 at the age of 63.
Sharing a picture of the newly returned dress with Alison last week, Victoria wrote: "I'm over the moon, I never thought I was going to see the dress again. I was hopeful I'd find it but wasn't expecting it. I can't thank you enough for helping."
Alison said: "As a small business owner, I always try to go the extra mile for customers and also have a special affinity with Liverpool as my late husband's family live in the city. I love a happy ending, especially so close to Christmas, and am truly delighted to have played a part in reuniting Victoria with her mother's long-lost wedding dress."