A couple have been left ‘devastated’ after their dream wedding party weekend was cancelled.
Phil Birkhead and Sophie Georgewilliams were shocked to receive an unexpected refund of their £2,708 deposit through the post which they had given to Leeds-based holiday agency Luxury Breaks Ltd to stay at entrepreneur Terry George’s luxury house, Carr Hall Castle on Shaw Lane in Holywell Green.
They had booked the venue almost a year ago for two nights and three days on the same weekend as their wedding at St James Church in Hebden Bridge and their reception but got the cancellation, which came with no explanation, just three months before their wedding on August 14.
And despite trying to contact the agency, which books people to stay at the house when Terry George and his partner Michael Rothwell are not at home, Phil and Sophie still do not know why their ‘dream’ stay cannot go ahead.
They had hoped to use the castle from Friday, August 14, as a venue to host the bridal party, as a place to stay for themselves and six relatives from New Zealand and for a barbecue for 30 family and friends the following day.
Phil, of Grange Close in Outlane, said: “We just can’t believe what’s happened and have been left devastated.
“We had initially booked to use the castle the year before but Sophie fell pregnant so we put the wedding on hold for one year which the manager of the agency, Nicola Davis, said was fine.
“She confirmed our new booking and sent us an invoice confirming she had received our deposit on June 3 last year.
“Everything seemed to be going to plan until the beginning of this year when we tried to get in touch with her to arrange to pay the rest of the money but couldn’t get through.
“I then found out she’d left the company and when I contacted its offices I got no reply there either despite making numerous phone calls and sending emails.
“Then out of the blue we were sent a letter by the company earlier this month which included a refund for our payment and had a very brief statement saying that they could no longer honour our booking.
“The way they have treated us is absolutely disgusting – we want an explanation.”
The pair are now frantically trying to find somewhere else to accommodate them at short notice.
“Everything seems to be booked up but we’ve got to keep on looking,” said Phil.
“Luckily our wedding service at St James Church in Hebden Bridge remains unaffected, as does our reception.
“But if we don’t find anywhere then that will cost us because we will have to cancel our barbecue caterers and possibly the other people we’ve hired.”
Luxury Breaks and Nicola Davis were contacted for comments but have not replied.
Castle owner Terry George said: “I wasn’t made aware of the booking until very recently and it has nothing to do with me – the bookings are dealt with by Luxury Breaks Ltd.
“I think there’s been a breakdown in communication.”