A GROOM-to-be tattooed his wedding date on his arm and forked out £4,000 on his dream venue – only for it to suddenly be CANCELLED without warning.
Heartbroken Michael Crane, 37, and fiancée Linda Brown, 42, were left in the lurch after the Best Western Park Hall Hotel in Lancashire suddenly shut on Monday.
The couple were left heartbroken after their hotel venue suddenly shut without warningCredit: SWNS
Michael got the time and date of his wedding inked on his hand – but now he’ll have to get it changedCredit: SWNS
Shocked Michael – who paid £180 to have the date and time of his wedding tattooed on his left arm before Christmas – said he was furious when he found out.
The hotel has closed as a wedding venue and plans are in place for it to reopen as a hotel for asylum seekers.
And police had to be called on Monday when furious couples turned up to demand their money back.
Michael said: “It’s shocking really. Never in a million years did we think they would shut down.
“It’s a beautiful room, they have an old medieval hall and when it’s done up it looks smashing. The room sealed it for us.
“But since we booked it, the hotel has shut down twice. It’s been a nightmare ever from the beginning.
“They blamed the lockdown but the government guidelines didn’t say they had to shut at the time.
“You don’t expect that from a hotel attached to a name like Best Western.”
The couple, who have been together four years, forked out £4,000 upfront for the wedding – which was due to be held on August 5.
Michael, from Warrington, Cheshire, said he had family coming from America who had booked to stay at the hotel too – and he now fears they won’t get any of that back.
And to add insult to injury, Michael also had the time and date of their wedding inked on his left hand.
He added: “I’ve got a lot of tattoos, but since getting my Covid jab they don’t heal very well so I wanted it to heal in time for the wedding.”
The couple have been able to rearrange their wedding for the next day at a different location – so he will get the 5 on his tattoo adjusted to 6, but the time will be wrong.
Michael said: “We booked it October.
“I only found out on the weekend when I saw a google review that somebody said they’d enjoyed the stay but the hotel was closing on February 7. We weren’t even told.”
TATS GOTTA HURT
Adam Weate, 32, and Danielle Sugden, 29, had been also due to tie the knot at Park Hall on May 7.
The groom-to-be dashed to Park Hall on Sunday night to be told that if he returned at 11am the next day there would be someone on hand to offer explanations and a refund.
But when they arrived at the allotted hour they say they faced chaos – and they weren’t able to speak to anyone in authority.
They were only given £1,000 out of the £2,500 – and said the entire ordeal had been a “rollercoaster.”
Former Wigan Athletic chairman Bill Kenyon, who owns nearby Holland Hall, has offered both couples the use of his venue for the same price they paid Park Hall.
Adam said: “It has been a total rollercoaster.
“Our wedding had been cancelled twice at Park Hall already. It was due to Covid, there was nothing they could do about that, but they didn’t handle it with any sort of empathy.
“Then on Sunday night we saw on social media that the place was going to close.
“I dashed there late at night and the told me to come back 12 hours later and all would be sorted – but it wasn’t.
“We got £1,000 of the promised refund but no explanations, including the rest of the money and all the guests who were booked in.”
Mr Kenyon said: “There can’t be many things worse than seeing lots of finely-tuned wedding plans going wrong.
“We hope we can at least help some of the couples affected.”
Jenni Halliday, Serco’s contract director for asylum accommodation services, said: “With the significant increases in the number of people arriving in the UK we have been faced with no alternative but to temporarily accommodate some asylum seekers in hotels.
“These hotels are only used as a last resort but as a provider of accommodation services on behalf of the Home Office we have a responsibility to find accommodation for the asylum seekers that are being placed in our care.
“The Serco team is working extremely hard to move people into dispersed social housing as rapidly as possible.”
Best Western has been approached for comment.
The couple, who have been together four years, forked out £4,000 upfront for the wedding which was due to be held on August 5Credit: SWNS