A petition was launched by the family of Fiona Mullins who was planning to marry fiance Kevin Elliott in a fairytale wedding abroad.

The online campaign called for Miss Mullins, from Workington, to be given a full refund by Carlisle-based Wedding Warehouse – to the tune of £1,200 – for a wedding dress she ordered in November last year.

Tragedy struck on Boxing Day when Kevin, 34, was found dead in the Northside shore area of Workington. It not known what caused his death. It meant Fiona, 44, of Westfield, Workington, had to cancel the plans for their wedding. They had hoped to tie the knot in September next year and had been considering Mexico as a destination.

However, when members of Fiona’s family approached the firm for a refund, they said they were initially told that wasn’t possible.

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“We had a brilliant day [picking the dress], the service was second to none and they made us feel special. It was her dream dress and it looked amazing. She fell in love with it and that was the one for her,

“Since then we have just had a constant battle with them. £1,200 for a cancellation fee – it’s a lot of money for anyone,” said Fiona’s daughter Rhiannon Clark, 20, who led the petition. She has got my little brother Luke, who is 15, to pay for, plus the house and animals, she’s a single parent. Losing Kevin is devastating enough – it’s left my mum in bits. It’s so heartbreaking. It’s disgusting the way she’s been treated.”

Rhiannon said the family were aware that legally the firm may not be obliged to give the money back, but morally they should. The firm initially gave back £180 – the cost of dress alterations.

More than 6,500 people signed the petition and took to social media to support the campaign and yesterday the firm agreed to give Miss Mullins, a sales assistant in Workington’s Morrisons store, a full refund.

The petition attracted signatures from as far away as Canada, Spain, USA, Australia, South Africa, France and Holland.

Rhiannon added: “It’s brilliant news, we are over the moon and overwhelmed with the support we have received.”

Wedding Warehouse’s managing director Ailsa Taylor explained that the company would be taking a financial hit, but said she didn’t “begrudge giving the refund”.

“We are very sorry for her tragic loss and have been from the beginning. It’s a terrible situation,” she said. “We have never had this situation ever before, we have never let a bride down in the 20 years that I have run the business.”

A statement from the managing director on the Wedding Warehouse’s Facebook page said: “ I spoke to Fiona and offered her a full refund of the balance of her deposit and a cheque has already been sent to her. We apologise for any distress caused.”

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