UK

Bride left heartbroken after her dream wedding venue was turned into a COVID vaccine centre 

A bride has been left heartbroken after having to cancel her dream wedding twice in six months after her venue became a COVID-19 vaccination centre.

Jenna Roberts, 34, of Porth, Rhonda Cynon, Taf, and fiancé Simon Jones, 38, were set to tie the knot back in July but had to postpone their ceremony because of the coronavirus lockdown.

After spending £1,000 to rebook their venue at Margam Park, Port Talbot, for July 2021, they have been left devastated after learning the castle will be used as a vaccine centre from December 13.

Jenna said the couple were only informed of the decision on November 37,  will now have to make arrangements for a new wedding date in 2022, shelling out a further £2,000 on new invitations, bridesmaid dresses and a videographer.

Jenna Roberts, 34, and Simon Jones, 38, (both pictured) from Porth, Rhonda Cynon, Taf, have been left heartbroken after cancelling their wedding because their dream venue was turned into a COVID vaccine centre

Jenna, who works for the department of work and pensions, said that she and SImon had already reorganised invitations and wedding details for 2021 after the coronavirus pandemic meant they couldn’t go ahead with their original date.

She said: ‘We booked our wedding in January 2018, for July this year and then COVID hit so we waited and waited until about April this year.

‘We decided we weren’t going to go ahead and get married because we had such a big wedding planned and 125 guests.

‘So we postponed it until July 17, 2021. We stopped planning and had nothing to look forward to because of COVID.

The couple had already postponed their wedding until 2021 after the national lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic cancelled out their original date earlier this year

The couple had already postponed their wedding until 2021 after the national lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic cancelled out their original date earlier this year

‘But then news of the vaccine started coming out and thought that’s it we’re definitely going to get married.’

She explained: ‘We then had a phone call from the venue on Friday evening to say they have to cancel it.

‘The council and the NPT within that area had decided after much deliberation they were going to take over the Margram Orangery from December 13, for a whole year.

‘In total, they cancelled about 60 other weddings and we have to wait until 2022.

‘There was no offer from NPT of any compensation to any of the brides or grooms we were told nothing other than we can cancel it get the money back and move somewhere else but we can’t get a date anywhere.

The couple said they will now have to spend £2,000 extra rearranging certain wedding details for 2022 such as a new videographer, invitations and bridesmaid dresses

The couple said they will now have to spend £2,000 extra rearranging certain wedding details for 2022 such as a new videographer, invitations and bridesmaid dresses

‘It would have been nice if the council would have provided some information to the brides beforehand. And a little compensation to everyone that’s been involved would have been a massive help.’ 

All of the suppliers for Jenna’s wedding were happy to rearrange, apart from their videographer, who they lost the deposit for.

Additionally, she said all the bridesmaid dresses and suits for the young boys will have to be replaced as they will no longer fit. 

She praised her venue for the way they handled the situation but said she wished she and Simon had been given a warning ahead of time.

Jenna said she and her fiancé Simon are now looking to the council for compensation for the extra expenses they have incurred in having to postpone the wedding again

Jenna said she and her fiancé Simon are now looking to the council for compensation for the extra expenses they have incurred in having to postpone the wedding again

She said: ‘We completely understand it’s COVID related if the government said to us you can’t marry because there is too many of you we would have just sucked it up and got on with it.

‘But it was all going to go ahead and wouldn’t have to worry because Boris Johnson had said come next year you will be in a position where you can have your big weddings again. And now it’s all gone pear-shaped.’

She added: ‘It was my partner who had to break the news to me which resulted in lots of tears and stress.

The couple received a letter from the council telling them that if all the vaccines are administered before 2021 is finished, then they can have their wedding as planned

The couple received a letter from the council telling them that if all the vaccines are administered before 2021 is finished, then they can have their wedding as planned

‘We have quite a lot of elderly relatives and we have just lost my Grandad last year and he always wanted to be at the wedding.

Military carry out dry run for UK’s biggest-ever vaccination programme 

Earlier this week, the UK military carried out a dry-run of its biggest ever vaccine distribution operation after the UK become the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer jab.

Fifty hospitals are poised to roll out the coronavirus inoculation when the first of 40million doses are administered from next week, with 13 in the Midlands, eight are in the North West, South East and South West, seven are in the East of England and London, and only one in each of Yorkshire and the North East regions.

The Army held a trial run at one of the first mass vaccination sites where tens of thousands of patients will be immunised after NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens warned the logistics will be ‘complicated’. 

‘But my nan and my partner’s grandad are not in good health and to think they have got to cling on for another two or so years.’

Jenna and Simon are seeking compensation from Neath Port Talbot council for having their wedding postponed until 2022 without any prior notice. 

The couple have since received a letter from the council telling them if the vaccines are finished before the year is over they can have their wedding then.

But for the couple, this will be impossible to replan a wedding in a few weeks and change suppliers once more.

Speaking about the cost of rearranging Jenna said: ‘We have got to find another £2,000 to add to what we are already paying. 

‘We changed our honeymoon to Marrakesh but now can’t change it again so we are not going to have a honeymoon now the following year – we just can’t afford the extra money. 

‘After everything we have been through this last year myself and my other half are just going to have the holiday ourselves.

‘And maybe find a little cottage in Wales after the wedding but it’s just not the same.’

Jenna’s mum Lynn Roberts, 57, of Caerphilly added: ‘We just want it out there that the council have just ripped away the venue, not a minutes thought for any of the brides or any of the venues.

‘We understand about COVID but they have just taken away a massive venue – of all the places they could pick.’

MailOnline has approached Neath Port Talbot council for comment.


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