Couple Left Devastated After Popular Wedding Venue Closes Suddenly
Bride-to-be, Judy Campbell, has spoken out about her recent devastation at being left high and dry after the unexpected closure of The Balmoral Hotel in Warrenpoint. The hotel closed after being taken over by new management six months prior. Over 20 couples have had their special days cancelled. 24 couples are now scrambling to find alternative wedding or reception venues.
Judy Campbell and Adam Wallace paid a £1000 deposit to the previous owners in March to secure December 7.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph she said: "I only found out what had happened when my fiancé’s sister called me to say she'd heard it had closed down,”
"I didn't believe it. I thought there had obviously been some mistake, so I started phoning but the line was dead.
"The hotel had been taken over by new management, but I'd met the new owners and I'd been told everything was okay.
"I'd even brought the woman in charge of the wedding decorations with me so she could see the venue and see where things were going to be placed.
"It was all as it was meant to be as far as I was concerned and we exchanged a few emails, right up to a fortnight before this all happened."
Judy had tried to contact the previous owner regarding her original deposit. Unfortunately, she was told that all documents were with a solicitor.
“My primary focus had to be the wedding, which is in seven weeks' time, so I spent the next 24 hours frantically trying to find an alternative venue,"
"It wasn't easy. Thankfully the Kilmorey Arms in Kilkeel was able to help us out but I had to move the date to December 6, a day earlier, and that meant we lost the photographer.
"We had to get another photographer to step in and help us. We lost the deposit for our original photographer booking and we had to pay a fresh deposit of £500."
"We had everything booked 18 months ago so this was our worst nightmare. We went from being shocked and disappointed to feeling disgusted, to be honest."
Aside from "losing £1,500 of our hard-earned cash", Judy said the most difficult part of it all was the total lack of communication from the hotel. Judy says she was “told absolutely nothing”.
On top of this, Judy and Adam have had to post pone their honeymoon after being forced to dip into their savings.
Another couple lost almost £2000 and experienced the same level of communication (or lack their of).
Painter and Decorator, Jamie McEvoy was working when someone mentioned the closure of the hotel. After hearing the news, he “packed everything up and drove straight there". When he got their he found the hotel was completely shut.
He said: “I asked someone about it I was told that it had been closed for a week. That's how I found out”. Jamie was the tasked with breaking the news to his fiancé.
“We really needed the money that we've lost for good. I'm working every hour under the sun to get money back together."
"We'll not be going anywhere on honeymoon now. It's not going to happen because of this. It's some predicament to be in."
The management company of the hotel released a statement saying: "It is very sad news, however, we were not in receipt of any money from previous management who couples had paid up to weeks before we took over."