Brides left in the lurch after venue’s closure

A BRIDE-to-be who has been left in the lurch after the sudden announcement of a wedding venue closure has said that she will now probably have to go abroad to get married.

Lois Reader and her fiance, Ross Kent, had booked their dream wedding at Codicote’s The Node in February. They were hoping to get married there next July.

But, as reported by The Comet last week, the popular wedding venue is to shut, leaving the couple without anywhere to hold their big day.

“It was a bit of a shock because we booked it about a year and a half in advance for the reason that we were getting married in peak time,” said 26-year-old Miss Reader.

“It’s very disappointing. It’s cheaper to go abroad, so now we’ve completely changed our plans. We are looking at going to Italy. As much as we would love to do it over here, it’s really expensive now.

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“We hadn’t sent out invitations, but a lot of people were aware of the date and had booked holiday for that date.”

Miss Reader was told that she couldn’t have Hitchin Priory, which is owned by the same company, because it was booked up on that day.

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She has also only just received her deposit back after an administrative error.

“We had to put down a �2,000 deposit and what made it even worse is when my mum called up for a refund, they took another �2,000 out instead of refunding it,” she added.

“We can’t fault the staff though, they are in a state like we are.”

Another engaged couple, who didn’t wish to be identified, had booked their wedding at The Node for June 2012.

The bride-to-be, who was also told that The Priory wasn’t available on the selected date, has been left out of pocket, meaning her and her fiance can’t afford a honeymoon.

She told The Comet: “The news came as quite a shock as we have planned other parts of the wedding around the venue and the date.

“We were left in a situation whereby we needed to book a venue on the same date, or we would lose money elsewhere and disrupt the travel plans of some of our guests.

“We have had to book a more expensive venue which has meant that we now have to sacrifice our honeymoon to pay the additional costs. After emailing Chartridge but receiving no reply we have finally been in touch with the manager of the group to ask if they could provide us with any form of compensation but have been told that this is not an option.

“I find it disgusting that a company as large as Chartridge can treat people so poorly and not offer any type of compensation, not even a token thought.”

The venue, which is also used as a conference centre and hotel, is due to shut at the end of this month.

It leaves 25 contracted staff, plus many more casual, out of work.

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