Homeworkers affected by the demise of Weddings & Honeymoons Abroad have been offered a lifeline by rival Perfect Weddings Abroad.

The Midlands-based weddings abroad specialist has also offered to help couples affected by the failure.

The Hays Travel Independence Group member also questioned gaps in consumer protection which left Weddings & Honeymoons Abroad clients exposed.

Perfect Weddings Abroad is working closely with hotel suppliers which have forward bookings and with in-resort wedding co-ordinators in the destinations affected.

Marketing director Danny Waine and a number of his team have cut short their Christmas holidays to offer help to the couples affected.

Waine said: “At times like this it once again brings up the question as to why companies and websites can operate without having appropriate bonding.

“Although Weddings & Honeymoons Abroad acted as a retail agent on behalf of a selected number of tour operators, they were not ABTA- bonded themselves or offered their own ATOL protection as being part of a travel agency consortium.”

He added: “We are also aware that Weddings & Honeymoons Abroad operated a homeworking network on a franchise basis over many years, and my heart goes out to those affected; therefore we would be happy to offer any of the homeworkers affected by the failure a position with us immediately.”

Waine said staff had been drafted in to help couples caught up in the collapse of the rival company.

“There is never a good time to learn of a company failure, or the customers and staff that it affects, but particularly at this time of year and with so many couples’ wedding days affected,” he said. “We’ve drafted in extra staff to help over the next few days to offer guidance to those couples affected.

“We have excellent relationships with suppliers in the main locations in which WA offered, including Austria, New York and South Africa; so my advice is to any couple that has been affected please email us to enquiries@perfectweddingsabroad.co.uk with your names, telephone number, date of departure and wedding hotel and a member of our emergency operations team will call you back to see how we can help.”

The weddings abroad market from the UK continues to grow year-on-year, particularly because of the recession as more couples look to get married abroad to save money.

“The weddings abroad market is so buoyant at the moment it was a real shock to hear the news, particularly as the main locations affected are Austria, New York and South Africa – all peak winter wedding locations at this time of year,” said Waine.

“Sadly this may mean that more couples are affected than would have been should this have happened in the summer.”