Couples left thousands out of pocket as luxury venue operator goes bust
It’s every bride’s worst nightmare: the big day scrapped, weeks out from walking down the aisle.
Central Coast bride-to-be Emily Faulks and her fiance Jacob Mosley had set their wedding date for March 25, 2023, the anniversary of the day they met.
But ten weeks out, they’ve learnt it won’t be happening.
“I was just inconsolable, to be honest,” Faulks told 9News.
The couple booked their reception in January 2021, paying a $2500 deposit to hold it at Calvin Estate in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales.
Ten weeks ago they paid another 50 per cent of their bill, totalling $5000 and claim communication has been poor with the operator since.
Then on Saturday, Faulks went on a tour of the facility, which she says went well.
“They took us around, showed us everything, took us into the venue,” she said.
“We explained how excited we were, that we had friends and family coming from America.”
The next day, they received an email from the organiser stating they’d been locked out of the site.
“It is with the deepest regret that we inform you that Calvin Estate weddings is unable to proceed with your wedding due to the business being liquidated,” it said.
“We are unable to meet our current rental obligations for the venue.”
“On your behalf, and as part of the liquidation process, we will be seeking a suitable vendor to take over your booking, potentially at an alternate venue.
“Once we have more information on this we will immediately be in email contact with you.
“As Calvin Estate is no longer able to trade it will be unable to make any cash contributions or refunds.”
Emily Faulks says she’s devastated.
She said there are at least 30 more couples also affected.
The landlord told 9News that the business operator, Venue 1, has had ongoing issues paying rent on time and is still in arrears.
“In an effort to maintain the reputation of our venue and also attempt to provide a resolution to what must be a difficult time for all clients that hoped to hold an event at Calvin Estate.
“In an effort to maintain the reputation of our venue and also attempt to provide a resolution to what must be a difficult time for all clients that hoped to hold an event at Calvin Estate… I spoke to every one of their clients who rang or texted me.
“We understand the frustration of people who have booked this venue, as the property owners we are looking for a better operator for the venue/re-brand the property so that the clients are able to hold events at the venue.
“I am keeping all clients that have contacted me up to date regarding the progress so that they are able to continue their event at Calvin Estate.”
Both parties say they are pursuing legal advice.
Emily Faulks and Jacob Mosley have had to make drastic changes to their dream day and date, as they are unable to find an appropriate venue so soon.