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The couple’s anger over the £ 3,000 bill following the cancellation of the wedding

A COUPLE checked in with the manager of a Somerset wedding venue for only giving them back half of their money after they canceled their wedding after the venue was rumored to have closed.

The Bridgwater couple, who wish to remain anonymous, booked a wedding at Rookery Manor in Edingworth in April 2020. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the big day has been postponed twice.

The couple claim that they had very little communication with Rookery Manor staff and that no new contracts were offered to sign despite a request.

The venue says they went out of their way to help.

In August 2020, the couple heard rumors that the venue was permanently closed and emailed the venue to clarify but received no response.

The couple said, “We had heard a lot of positive feedback from people who booked their weddings with Rookery Manor and thought it would be the perfect place for us to get married.

“We started paying out our money, but we ended up talking to five different wedding planners who didn’t communicate with us that much.

“When the coronavirus pandemic hit in March, we were told our wedding had to be postponed, which was fine with us. That was understandable given the situation.

“Our wedding date was postponed twice, but we never got any new contracts to sign, even though we asked for them.

“I tried to contact the owners in August, but it took me forever to get in touch.

“Later in the month I heard rumors that Rookery Manor was closing, so I contacted the owners but got no response.

“I only heard something from contacting the spa number.

“My fiancé and I felt very insecure, we had invested a lot of money in this project and wanted to know what was going on.

“In September we were contacted by the owners and said the venue was not closed. However, we found Facebook posts from people selling large quantities of furniture from the venue and posts from staff saying the venue was closed. That’s why we canceled our wedding. ”

The couple claimed they initially struggled to get a refund for the £ 7,200 they spent on their wedding. They went to the venue and confronted the owner who told them their wedding contract was void and they would only get £ 3,624 back.

They claim they tried to get the rest of their money back through wedding insurance but can’t because the venue owner Ian Clapp has not admitted the company went broke.

In January, the couple also found a planning proposal to convert the use of the venue from a hotel / wedding venue to apartments, saying they felt lied to.

“We were shocked when we found the planning proposal,” said the couple.

“How can we get married in a place that will no longer be a wedding location?

“We feel lied to and get all our money back.”

However, Ian Clapp, owner of Rookery Manor, said, “Rookery Manor, like everyone else in the wedding and hospitality industry, has had a difficult time due to Covid-19.

“We did not receive any financial support from the government.

“We have refunded couples who canceled their weddings 50 percent of their money when we normally only give them back 40 percent.

“We have not closed for good, at the moment some of our employees are on leave and we are closed due to Covid-19.

“During Covid we decided we had to change in order for the business to survive. That is why we submitted an application to convert the venue into apartments. However, we don’t expect this to happen until 2022.

“Once we are able to do that, we will have the rest of the weddings booked at Rookery Manor during 2021 and 2022 if necessary before converting the venue into apartments.”

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