Wigan couple's misery over third wedding cancellation this year

A couple desperate to tie the knot have seen their wedding cancelled for the third time due to the pandemic.
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Lucy Kidd and Nick Howarth were due to be married at the Mercure Hotel in Haydock in May, with 180 people at the celebration. But this had to be postponed when the Covid-19 outbreak began, initially to August and then to May 2021.

The couple decided they would like to become husband and wife before then and changed their plans.

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Lucy, 24, said: “We are due to move house in a couple of weeks and our original plan was to get married and move into our new home.

Nick Howarth and Lucy KiddNick Howarth and Lucy Kidd
Nick Howarth and Lucy Kidd

“We decided to have a smaller scale wedding due to coronavirus and the restrictions. We booked for Wigan Town Hall at the beginning of October and then were recommended Albert’s in Standish for the meal afterwards. There were only eight of us - Nick’s two children, our parents and us.”

Lucy, a teaching assistant who lives in Leigh, emailed Albert’s to inquire about booking and agreed to pay a £500 deposit to hire a room on November 28.

She was sent an email with three attachments - payment details, an invoice and the contract - and paid the money.

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Lucy says it was only then that she read the contract and discovered the deposit could be transferred - but not refunded - if the booking was cancelled due to the pandemic.

She says coronavirus had not been mentioned in the email exchange, though she was told there could be no cancellations and the money would only be refunded if the venue double-booked the room.

Lucy said: “There was no mention of Covid, no rules, nothing in place. She said the room was available and they needed a £500 deposit. We had to send it over to secure the booking of the room.”

When Greater Manchester was placed in tier three in the coronavirus restrictions, she was reassured the booking could still go ahead.

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But it had to be cancelled when the national lockdown was imposed this month.

Lucy and Nick, who have been together for five years, are now trying to get back their £500 and have turned down an offer for gift vouchers for the same amount.

They did ask to transfer the booking to New Year’s Eve, but claim they were told to be “realistic” as it would not go ahead then.

Lucy said: “Because of the way that they have sent it [the contract] and the way that when we have offered them another date they have told us no, we feel like how can they say no when they have our money? That’s how I feel. I think something proper should have been put in place.”

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Lucy says she received refunds from other businesses and now plans to wait until May to marry joiner Nick, 34.

James Ramsbottom, Albert’s managing director, said: “The booking was made last month and we agreed in writing with Lucy and Nick that should the event be cancelled due to Covid the deposit would be transferable to another date. They chose to cancel the event but as a gesture of goodwill we offered them gift vouchers for the restaurant which they accepted.

“We are very sorry to hear that the couple are now unhappy but we would still love to host their event if we can agree to a new date.”

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