A TOP wedding shop serving customers from all across Dudley borough and north Worcestershire is closing down after 30 years – bitterly upset at the way they believe they have been abandoned in the Covid crisis.

The Bowman family took the painful decision to shut their A-Z Wedding Services shop after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a maximum limit of 15 guests.

It was the last straw for the Bowman’s whose hopes that they had survived Covid were dashed as half of the planned weddings they were serving were postponed.

Sarah Bowman, who runs the store with parents Graham and Jan, says she is upset and also baffled as to the logic of the 15-guest rule.

“If you can have 80-people in a restaurant socially distanced, why not a wedding?

“Take the Stone Manor hotel. It has rooms which can take large groups socially distanced. If it’s a private dining party its fine, call it a wedding and its banned.

“Many wedding venues are spacious and Covid-secure. I think the wedding industry as a whole has been forgotten.”

The business had come through the first lockdown and were pleased when they had a surge of customers when it was over.

But the rule of 15 saw scores of weddings planned for the next six months postponed. “In September we’d had 120 postponements. Who knows what the number is now.

”People had paid tens of thousands of pounds for weddings that suddenly they could not have or not to the extent they had paid for.”

The firm did not want to take out a loan because they fear there is no guarantee when the wedding business will be back to normal, so they decided to close the shop when they knew they were in position to fulfill all the orders.

There is a closing down sale between now and when the Stourport shop shuts its doors for the last time on December 19, with discounts of up to 70% on bridal dresses and ex-hire menswear.

But while the shop is hutting the business will continue in the form of a mobile menswear service, with fittings and deliveries to the door.

And one silver lining has been the response of local people and customers.

“I’m really upset it has come to this but the local community and customer support has been overwhelming, so many kind words and messages.

To book an appointment for a bargain visit the firm’s website or Facebook page.