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Couple’s wedding dreams are shattered when their venue is turned into red list quarantine hotel

A couple’s wedding dreams were shattered after their venue was turned into a red list quarantine hotel just weeks before their big day.

Jon Shaw and Wendy Thornton were due to get married at the Bromsgrove Holiday Inn on July 17 after 18 months spent planning the wedding.

The bride-to-be was enjoying a hair and make-up trial for the big day when she received a devastating call from the hotel to say the venue would no longer be available.

The couple, from Redditch, Worcestershire, said the news came completely out of the blue, having had a food tasting session with the hotel’s chef, at which they chose their wedding meal, on June 8.

The hotel, on Kidderminster Road, closed to the public on Thursday as it prepares for use as a quarantine base. 

Jon, 55, said the new development was just the latest difficulty he and Wendy had had with their venue.

Jon Shaw and Wendy Thornton wedding dreams were shattered after their venue was turned into a red list quarantine hotel just weeks before their big day

Tieran Bhuhi, spokeswoman for IHG, which runs Holiday Inn, said she could not comment on the approach to quarantine or hotel selection. Pictured: The Bromsgrove Holiday Inn, where the couple were due to wed

Tieran Bhuhi, spokeswoman for IHG, which runs Holiday Inn, said she could not comment on the approach to quarantine or hotel selection. Pictured: The Bromsgrove Holiday Inn, where the couple were due to wed

‘The Holiday Inn has been messing us about and none of this has been pleasant at what should be a happy time,’ he said.

‘The hotel hadn’t been replying to our messages for ages and then, with 28 days to go, they suddenly phone to say we can’t get married at the hotel.’

Jon said the venue did offer alternative dates or locations, like the Holiday Inn in Perry Berry but it was too short notice for the couple to register the wedding in a new area for the same date.

‘A poor events co-ordinator was tasked with phoning up all the couples who had weddings cancelled and she sounded really embarrassed,’ Jon said. 

‘She was reluctant to tell us why, but eventually said that it was because the Holiday Inn was becoming a quarantine hotel,’ he added. 

Jon said that the venue situation had led to arguments between him and his fiancee at what should be the most exciting time of their lives.

Thankfully, friends and Worcestershire registrars rallied to save the day, and Jon and Wendy can still tie the knot on July 17 at another venue after it had a last-minute cancellation.      

The couple, who met while working together at Wilkos in Redditch nine years ago, will say ‘I do’ at Westmead Hotel in Alvechurch after the local registrar organised a waiver for the venue change, costing them an extra £120. 

They have demanded that Holiday Inn pay the extra costs but have had no reply. 

‘Just two weeks ago, the chef and his team led us through a food tasting session for our wedding breakfast and obviously didn’t have a clue about what was going to happen,’ Jon said.

Thankfully, friends and Worcestershire registrars rallied to save the day, and Jon and Wendy can still tie the knot on July 17 at another venue after it had a last-minute cancellation

Thankfully, friends and Worcestershire registrars rallied to save the day, and Jon and Wendy can still tie the knot on July 17 at another venue after it had a last-minute cancellation

‘Wendy didn’t cry as she’s not that kind of person, but it has been stressful and all we wanted was to sit back, relax and have a special time in the lead up to the big day. 

‘It’s no way to treat people. I wouldn’t recommend the Holiday Inn to anyone as they ruined our wedding day.’

Tieran Bhuhi, spokeswoman for IHG, which runs Holiday Inn, said she could not comment on the approach to quarantine or hotel selection. 

‘During the pandemic, IHG and our hotels have been proud to support Government-led programmes around the world, which has seen a small number of our hotels being used as vaccination centres, while others are providing accommodation for isolation and quarantine – including as Managed Quarantine Hotels Facilities for guests that are required to quarantine on arrival to the UK, which is being managed by the Government’s Department of Health and Social Care,’ Ms Bhuhi said.

The Department of Health and Social Care has said it is expanding the Managed Quarantine Service to provide enough hotel capacity to ensure British citizens and residents were able to exercise their right to return from a red list country. 


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