By Michael Bartiromo-Fox News
It was supposed to be their big day. Instead, it’s looking like a big letdown.
An estimated 7,500 soon-to-be brides and grooms are without a place to get married after a chain of wedding venues abruptly closed all of its locations this week.
Noah’s Event Venue, which operated over 40 locations in at least 20 states, had previously filed for bankruptcy in May. This week, however, the Utah-based company claimed “the bankruptcy court managing our case has directed NOAH’S to cease operations immediately,” according to a message posted to the company’s website.
For the brides and grooms who already booked the event spaces, this means they may potentially be out thousands and thousands of dollars, in addition to a wedding venue.
“Noah legally owes (refunds) to everyone, there’s no dispute about that,” said Kenneth Cannon, the bankruptcy attorney representing the company, to the Des Moines Register. “The problem is that there’s nothing that I know of, there’s not very much, to be able to repay people with.”
William Bowser, the company’s founder, had blamed Noah’s financial predicament on growing “too fast” instead of working to maintain business at its “fledgling locations,” USA Today reported, citing previously filed court documents.
The founder of the company claims its fast growth and rising expenses contributed to financial woes. (iStock)
These words likely don’t go far with customers, however, as many are now reportedly scrambling for alternate venues with whatever money they hadn’t spent on their original event spaces.
In the wake of the closures, multiple wedding venue operators have popped up to offer support to the affected brides and grooms. The owner of Chateaux at Fox Meadows in Colorado, for example, has been offering discounted rates to those seeking wedding locations, according to The Denver Channel. On Facebook, multiple other venues have offered to help with “damage control” following the closures.
“Due to the abrupt closing of Noah’s Event Venue clients across the nation are now scrambling for a place to hold their wedding and several have lost $$ in this process which they may or may not get back,” reads the description of a Facebook page called “Noah’s Event Damage Control,” which is run by a company called Wichita Event Planner. “This is a support group created for those affected by this process so that we may help you with finding venues in your area or local planners to help, and going thru the process of re-creating your vision/wedding dreams while trying to save you from additional costs $$ due to this tragic circumstance.”
On its website, Noah’s Event Venue added that some of the building owners – the ones who own the event spaces that Noah’s operates out of – may still be willing to host weddings at their facilities. He said some may also be looking for “new operators that can honor your event contracts.”
“Over the last 13 years, Noah’s has hosted over 10,000 events including hundreds of couples who, with short notice, had lost their date at other venues,” the message adds. “We were always willing and happy to assist these couples and feel confident that your community of vendors will do likewise.”