A bride has been left heartbroken after having to cancel her dream wedding twice in six months after her venue became a COVID vaccination centre.
Jenna Roberts, 34, of Porth, Rhonda Cynon, Taf, was due to tie the knot with fiancé Simon Jones, 38, in July this year but due to Britons first lockdown they had to cancel.
The couple who spent £1,000 rebooking their dream wedding venue at Margram Park, Port Talbot, for July 2021 have been left devastated after it was announced the castle venue would be used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre.
Receiving a phone call last Friday evening (27/11) from the venue explaining how their dream and idyllic venue will now be shut for a whole year.
This means the couple will have to pay out a further £2,000 on new invitations, bridesmaid dresses and a videographer adding to the overall cost of the wedding.
They are now seeking compensation from Neath Port Talbot council (NPT) for having to postpone their wedding until 2022 without any prior notice and leaving them further out of pocket.
The venue as of December 13, will be used as a vaccination centre for the next 12 months to help vaccinate people from contracting COVID.
Jenna who works in the department of working pensions, explained how they had already made arrangements with the businesses involved in their dream wedding and reprinted invitations and save the dates ready for next year.
But the mother of three was left devastated after partner Simon took the phone call telling them they would have to cancel their wedding for the second time in six months.
Jenna said: “We booked our wedding in January 2018, for July this year and then COVID hit so we waited and waited until about April this year.
“We decided we weren’t going to go ahead and get married because we had such a big wedding planned and 125 guests.
“So we postponed it until July 17, 2021. We stopped planning and had nothing to look forward to because of COVID.
“But then news of the vaccine started coming out and thought that’s it we’re definitely going to get married.
“We then had a phone call from the venue on Friday evening to say they have to cancel it.
“The council and the NPT within that area had decided after much deliberation they were going to take over the Margram Orangery from December 13, for a whole year.
“In total, they cancelled about 60 other weddings and we have to wait until 2022.
“There was no offer from NPT of any compensation to any of the brides or grooms we were told nothing other than we can cancel it get the money back and move somewhere else but we can’t get a date anywhere.
“It would have been nice if the council would have provided some information to the brides beforehand.
“And a little compensation to everyone that’s been involved would have been a massive help.”
Jenna added: “We have contacted all of our suppliers and apart from our videographer they can rearrange. But we have lost that deposit for him.
“The bridesmaid dress and suits for the little boys have all got to be replaced as they are not going to fit in a year and a half – it’s just been a nightmare.
“The venue has been absolutely fantastic no arguments with them. But the way NPT council have acted it’s just been we’re sorry got to deal with it.
“We completely understand it’s COVID related if the government said to us you can’t marry because there is too many of you we would have just sucked it up and got on with it.
“But it was all going to go ahead and wouldn’t have to worry because Boris Johnson had said come next year you will be in a position where you can have your big weddings again.
“And now it’s all gone pear-shaped.
“It was my partner who had to break the news to me which resulted in lots of tears and stress.
“We have quite a lot of elderly relatives and we have just lost my Grandad last year and he always wanted to be at the wedding.
“But my nan and my partner’s grandad are not in good health and to think they have got to cling on for another two or so years.”
The couple have since received a letter from the council telling them if the vaccines are finished before the year is over they can have their wedding then.
But for the couple, this will be impossible to replan a wedding in a few weeks and change suppliers once more.
Speaking about the cost of rearranging Jenna said: “We have got to find another £2,000 to add to what we are already paying.
“We changed our honeymoon to Marrakesh but now can’t change it again so we are not going to have a honeymoon now the following year – we just can’t afford the extra money.
“After everything we have been through this last year myself and my other half are just going to have the holiday ourselves.
“And maybe find a little cottage in Wales after the wedding but it’s just not the same.”
Jenna’s mum Lynn Roberts, 57, of Caerphilly added: “We just want it out there that the council have just ripped away the venue, not a minutes thought for any of the brides or any of the venues.
“We understand about COVID but they have just taken away a massive venue – of all the places they could pick.”