Dream days dashed as wedding venue's bookings cancelled

A BRIDE-TO-BE has told of her upset after her wedding venue cancelled the booking with just months to go.

Tuesday, 26th January 2016, 5:55 am
The Manor Barn in Buriton Picture: Gemma Klein Photography

Claire Stanley, of Portchester, was to wed fiancee Paul Smith, 29, at the Manor Barn in Buriton in August.

But along with up to a reported 50 other couples she has been told the August 13 wedding cannot go ahead.

The owner has said any weddings due to take place up to April 10 will still go ahead with cancelled events getting a full deposit paid back.

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Claire, 28, said: ‘We booked approximately last September 2014 and paid our deposit of £2,300. We then booked on site accommodation of the stable cottage and valentine suite for a further £360 in November 2015.

‘All us future brides and grooms have now had to find alternative venues, or having to plan what to do next, some with very short notice before their wedding.’

She said she previously had concerns but was reassured by staff at the venue.

Claire added: ‘We felt a bit reassured and thought no more of it and kept planning our wedding reception, booking all suppliers.

‘Then last Wednesday we received an email explaining there were worries about the barn and our wedding.

‘It turns out this was a generic email posted out to all the brides and grooms, with little empathy included.’

Claire and Paul spent £560 on accommodation.

Another couple, who asked not to be named, were due to be married at the venue and paid a £2,500 deposit.

The groom said: ‘I’m devastated, it’s horrible.’

Complaints from residents about the venue have been submitted to East Hampshire District Council, leading to a review of its licence.

The owner said this is why he has had to shut the venue.

One complaint described ‘drunken revellers from the Manor Barn behaving in an anti-social manner around the village pond area, causing fear and alarm, including to children’.

Another said: ‘We suffer from late night noise and disturbance’.

Another added: ‘Wedding guest vehicles sank into the grassy surrounds of the village pond.’

Owner Bob Camping said: ‘I’m extremely sorry, I’m selling the business and my home so I can honour the repayments.’

He added: ‘Cumulatively it’s a lot of money, I just need to sell the business, it’s very sad.

‘It’s a nightmare – I’ve upset so many brides and grooms.’