Northamptonshire wedding venue closes just over a year after launching and neglects to tell customers

One couple found out about the closure after seeing a Facebook Marketplace post

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 5:32 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 5:38 pm

A Northamptonshire wedding venue business has dissolved just over a year after it launched and has neglected to tell customers about the closure.

Bluebell Woods Estate in Ecton Lane, Sywell launched as a wedding venue around four months before the pandemic hit.

The business has now shut down due to ‘financial reasons beyond our control’, leaving couples who had booked their weddings at the venue devastated, especially as communication from the company has not been clear.

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Bluebell Woods Estate, in Sywell. Photo: Google Maps.

A planning application was also submitted in December last year to change parts of the grounds of the Bluebell Woods Estate from a horse grazing area to a croquet ground. Permission has been granted.

One couple who were due to get married on the estate this summer found out about the closure via Facebook Marketplace, where the wedding furniture for the venue was listed for sale.

The duo, who wish to remain anonymous, contacted the company for clarification about what was happening with the venue, as the couple had not officially been told about the closure.

After chasing several times, the couple were finally able to get a letter signed by the business owner so they could claim on their wedding insurance, but they had to pick up the letter from a caterer.

The bride-to-be said: “We’d had confirmation that our wedding had been moved to this summer, so we weren’t worried, but then we were shown the Facebook post.

“We contacted the caterers we had been dealing with and they didn’t know what was going on either.

“Luckily we have wedding insurance so we kept asking for a letter from the company so we could claim on the insurance.

“We finally got one but we had to pick it up from the caterers’ last week.”

The letter, seen by this newspaper, offers no information about deposits that couples have already paid and simply says the company will ‘do all it can to help couples claim on their insurance’.

The bride-to-be, who had paid a 50 percent deposit, added: “It’s devastating.

“Any couple wedding planning has been through a lot in the last year.

“I know a lot of companies are struggling and I understand that, but I feel really disrespected with the way we found out and how we have been treated.”

The letter written to the couple says: “It is with a heavy heart that we have to inform you that due to financial reasons beyond our control, primarily linked to the length of the pandemic we are closing Bluebell Woods Estate Ltd with immediate effect (March 12, 2021).

“Sadly the launch fell just a few months short prior to the Covid-19 outbreak and (the) force Government closure has not allowed us to trade as we had forecast to survive this difficult time.

“(The caterer) has contacted me to ensure we can do all we can to ensure couples can begin to claim from their insurance policies.

“He will also work with you to begin to review other venues he subcontracts for.

“Whilst we understand that this news will have been difficult for you both, I would like to wish you every success in your planning and future together.”

As the letter was sent specifically to this couple after they asked for it several times, it is unclear whether other couples scheduled to get married at the venue have been informed of the closure or offered any clarification about deposits.

The company has been contacted for further comment about the closure and the complaints from customers about how they have been treated, but at time of writing, no response has been received.

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