Meet the world’s unluckiest bride whose honeymoon was cancelled by Thomas Cook collapsing, hen do ruined by a stripper breaking his leg and a big day scrapped – by coronavirus.
Mum-of-two Steph Carr, 31, had been over the moon when her partner of 13 years James Fuller, 35, popped the question.
But a month later her dream wedding venue booking was cancelled when Netflix bought the venue.
She booked another place and also a two week trip to Florida for her honeymoon but devastatingly lost the £3,500 holiday when Thomas Cook collapsed.
But then her hen do ended in disaster when the ‘Dreamboy’ broke his leg and knocked an elderly woman unconscious after falling in the crowd.
And now her wedding next week and her subsequent rebooked honeymoon have been cancelled – due to coronavirus.
Mum-of-two Steph said: “It has been absolutely devastating – you start to feel like your wedding is cursed, like how could so many things go wrong?
“This is supposed to be every girl’s dream come true and a fairytale day but it has been more like a nightmare.
“I’m really organised, I had the venue booked a month after we got engaged and by January 2019, everything was sorted – the dress, the caterers, the lot.
“Every time something went wrong, I’d work so hard to fix it and find an alternative, but with coronavirus hitting the UK weeks before the wedding, there was no way it was going ahead.
“We are having to postpone the wedding now, our venue have been helpful with looking for another date but I don’t know if our suppliers can do then so it’s all a mess.
“I am really upset, I just wanted to marry James and it seems like the world has done everything it can to stop that which is so devastating.
Groom to be and assistant branch manager James proposed to his long term partner Steph in August 2018 at their home in Staines, Surrey.
Enlisting the help of their children Sophie, 11, and Harry, 6, James and the kids surprised management accountant Steph with flowers, prosecco and a beautiful ring.
Just one month later, the happy couple had booked their dream wedding venue – Littleton Park House at Shepperton Studios.
With the venue booked, Steph busied herself with organising the rest of the wedding but was shocked to receive a call from the venue in April 2019 cancelling her big day.
Steph said: “The venue rang me and just said ‘we’re really sorry but we’re cancelling your wedding and you’ll get refunded’.
“I was devastated, I’d fallen in love with the venue and when I asked them why, they were super vague and just said they’re not doing weddings any more.
“We’d already set our wedding date by then and loads of venues had been booked so we struggled to find another one at late notice and the cheapest we could get was £2,000 more than we’d spent on the first venue.
“I sued Shepperton Studios for the £2,000 excess because it was their fault we were left paying that much for a new venue, and they settled out of court with us and paid us the money.
“It wasn’t until three months later that I saw in the press that Netflix had signed a production deal with Shepperton Studios and I realised that’s why they’d cancelled my wedding.”
In July 2019, Netflix announced they had struck a deal to set up a permanent production base at Shepperton Studios, guaranteeing the streaming service exclusive access to most of the facilities there.
A spokesperson from Shepperton Studios said: “Unfortunately, a vendor scheduled events when our facilities were unavailable. We are very sorry to any parties that have been impacted by this.”
Steph booked another venue and focused on the rest of her wedding, planning an exciting honeymoon through Thomas Cook at Disneyland Florida for two weeks with James and their children.
In another cruel turn of events, Steph was devastated to learn of the collapse of the travel agency, meaning she lost her £3,500 holiday.
Steph said: “I couldn’t believe it, I was in total shock.
“We had chosen to get married in 2020 so that we could combine it with taking the kids to Florida as Harry wanted to swim with dolphins and he turned 6 that year which is the minimum age you have to be.
“We’d been saving up forever for this holiday and the kids were so excited and it was all coming crashing down around us.
“I couldn’t get hold of anybody at Thomas Cook, it was mayhem, I had no idea if I would get my money back at all and we totally panicked.
“As soon as we could put a claim in for our money back, we did, but they said it would take three months before we could know if we were getting a full refund.
“I took a gamble and booked the holiday on credit cards before we knew if we’d get the refund, and I booked through Disney directly this time with American Airlines.
“It was more expensive as prices had soared due to the collapse, but we did thankfully get a full refund from Thomas Cook three months later.”
With a new honeymoon booked, Steph thought that would be the last of her troubles and everything seemed to be going well again for the rest of the year.
Dressed up with her friends in February 2020, the bride to be climbed into a limo and headed to London for a wild hen do.
Arriving at the ‘For Your Eyes Only’ club in Shoreditch to watch the sexy male strip show ‘Dreamboys’, Steph and her friends were just entering the venue when disaster struck.
A stripper shattered his leg after jumping onto a 20ft fireman’s pole that ripped out of the ceiling, sending him crashing into the audience and knocking an elderly lady unconscious.
Steph said: “We’d literally just arrived when it happened and the club was carnage.
“We were all sent to the back of the room whilst this poor guy lay on the stage with his leg facing the wrong way.
“It was an absolute mess, the night was ruined and we didn’t want to stay in London so we just called the limo back and went straight back home.
“We ended up in a cocktail bar back in our local town and we still had a good time but I wanted my hen do to be at the show so it was disappointing to leave so suddenly.”
It had been disaster after disaster for the poor couple, but they had still hoped to walk down the aisle as planned on 27 March 2020.
But as coronavirus took hold of the country, Steph and James have had no choice but to postpone the celebrations indefinitely.
Steph said: “I’ve got elderly relatives who wouldn’t be able to come, the hotel advised us to reschedule and with the rule about social distancing, we had to make the decision to postpone.
“We’re looking at rescheduling it for September 2020 as the venue said they can give us a date then, but all our wedding stuff has our original date on and I don’t know if my suppliers would be available.
“Speaking to Disney about the honeymoon is proving to be a nightmare – they won’t honour our free breakfast dining if we reschedule for October and the hotel isn’t available so would cost loads more to rebook.
“I’m absolutely gutted. I’ve had two guests say to me today that they don’t think they can get time off for the new date which is understable but so upsetting.
“James is obviously upset and so are the kids – my son Harry actually said ‘I hate this planet’ when we told him.
“I’m feeling very stressed and deflated and I don’t really know what more I can do to make everything work like it did before.”
Groom to be James said: “I’m devastated that this has happened and there is nothing I can do to change it or make things better.
“It’s all been very upsetting for all of us but I am still looking forward to marrying Steph, whenever that will be.”