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KAUFMAN (CBSDFW.COM) – Emily Coleman and Cory Metcalf were just waiting to walk down the aisle.
“We were finally, like, ‘Ya! Cool… February 4th…we’re almost done’,” says Cory.
Their wedding — paid in full at Kaufman’s Victorian House since May — included the food, flowers, even fireworks. They just had to wait. But, then early Wednesday morning Emily opened an email that turned their wedding plans upside down.
“I opened it and for ten minutes, I just read it over and over again,” says Emily; unwilling to believe what she was seeing.
The email was informing the Dallas couple that the venue was closing — effective immediately.
“I was starting to panic, tears welling up, like ‘what am I going to do?’,” says Emily.
The email signed by April Bishop read: “We understand this is disruptive to your wedding plans, and want you to now that we had no other choice.”
Email and phone calls to Bishop were not returned. The email went on to blame a “serious illness” in the family for the closure.
But, there was more. The email warned couples that the vendor would not issue refunds and discouraged further contact. Their $5,500 dollars was gone, not including other expenses like invitations and party favors.
“That’s the infuriating thing,” says Cory, “When they said ‘don’t bother contacting’.” Adding, “no one’s there, you can’t call, even if you drove up there, the gates are locked: like, ‘thanks for your money. Bye‘.”
The couple’s wedding is next month? Emily is especially stressed but, she’s also angry.
“There’s no wedding, there’s no cake, there’s no food, there’s no venue. Where is my money? Did you spend it already? Because, the money is for the wedding and there’s no wedding so what happened to it?”
The email directs couples to file claims on their event cancellation policies. Emily and Cory now say the owner’s insistence on the policy appears suspicious.
“After we paid in May, she kept emailing me saying ‘I need your proof of insurance’,” says Emily, referring to April Bishop. “Every time I’d email her, she would reply back with an answer and ‘I need your proof of insurance!’.”
“They knew this was going to happen,” suspects Cory, “from what it seems like, because we were told that we had to get cancellation insurance. Very big deal.”
The couple says an ad on Groupon led them to the venue.
“And they said, ‘oh, if you’ll go directly through us, we’ll give you the same Groupon deal; but, it’s better for us because we don’t have to pay the fees to Groupon that they charge,” says Emily.
Ultimately, that decision, too, worked against the couple. According to a Groupon spokesperson, the company will reimburse those couples who purchased the services through them. For those that did not? They’re waiting and hoping that the insurance will pay something… at some point. Right now, Cory and Emily are trying to figure out how to pull off a wedding no money, and very little time.
“I waited a year and a half to get married,” says Emily, “and now it’s just like everything is gone!”