Bride-to-be's anger as dozens of weddings cancelled due to Tonbridge venue's closure

  • WATCH: ITV News Meridian's Tony Green speaking to a bride-to-be who's seen her wedding cancelled just 16 weeks before her big day.

A bride-to-be has told of her anger after her wedding was cancelled by a venue in Kent just 16 weeks before her big day.

It's bad news for 29 employees and 37 couples as Hadlow Manor near Tonbridge has decided to close its doors early.

The wedding venue was due to cease trading in September with planning permission to turn it into homes, but that deadline has now been brought forward.

The sudden closure has put the big day in danger for dozens of couples, with Danielle Pinfold just weeks away from tying the knot.

She said: "It's the hardest part because all of the other suppliers sort of rely on that day. Whenever you are looking for quotes and things, the first thing they ask is about the venue. What day is the timing and where - so when that went it just sort of left us in a bit of a difficult situation to know what actually to do next.

The venue is now speaking to customers and returning deposits paid, and where possible, looking for other solutions. Credit: ITV News Meridian

"We really wanted the historic background of the Georgian Manor and suddenly you sort of run into a situation where you kind of pick from what's left and you don't really want to do that."

The Wedding Dolls, wedding planners in West Malling, have offered their help free of charge to couples left without a venue.

Kathleen Laird, wedding coordinator and planner, said: "We are noticing within the industry for the cost of food for example, that catering companies are feeling the rise.

"The same with florists. The cost of flowers has now risen. I don't think the industry is trying to make money out of the cost of living. I think it is just the added increase of costs that are being passed on unaffected in the industry."

  • WATCH: Many couples felt the venue could have been more open about the challenges it was facing when they booked.

Danielle said: "I didn't hear from the venue first, I heard on social media. I ran upstairs, trying to hold it together, not breaking down. My first thought was to ring the venue because I hadn't heard directly from them but unfortunately when I was trying to ring them, they weren't answering.

"When I tried to ring the manager who I'd previously spoken to about the closure in September he answered his phone and then put the phone down on me."

The management team spokesman at Hadlow Manor, Kent, has issued the following statement: "Regretfully, due to the current market conditions, increased costs across a range of services and supplies, as well as challenges with recruitment and wages, following a consultation with employee representatives, the Hadlow Manor venue is to now set to close on Sunday January 29th 2023."This is extremely disappointing news for the 29 employees who are currently going through a consultation process lasting for a minimum of 30 days from Friday January 6th 2023, when representatives were elected on behalf of the employees."In addition, the management team has no choice but to cancel customer bookings for future events. We are currently speaking to customers and returning deposits paid, and where possible, looking for other solutions, such as finding availability at other venues. We understand this is distressing for the clients and sincerely apologise for the disruption caused. We are doing our best to communicate to customers on a one-to-one basis as quickly as possible."

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