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Heartbreak as venue refuses wedding refund for Red Lodge couple




A Red Lodge couple are set to lose more than £8,000 after they were issued an ‘unfair’ ultimatum by their wedding venue.

Christian Lyne, and his partner of four and half years, Rain Cao, 38, were due to be married at Swynford Manor in Six Mile Bottom on June 10, but the venue was forced to cancel the event due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The couple, who have a two-year-old daughter, Mayli, requested a refund from the venue after having decided that they would rather hold a smaller affair later this year and forgo their big day.

Yarrow Walk, Red Lodge Christian Lyne and his fiancé Rain Cao have had their wedding cancelled due to coronavirus but their venue, Swynford Manor, is refusing to refund them the money. .Picture by Mark Westley. (35310081)
Yarrow Walk, Red Lodge Christian Lyne and his fiancé Rain Cao have had their wedding cancelled due to coronavirus but their venue, Swynford Manor, is refusing to refund them the money. .Picture by Mark Westley. (35310081)

“The thing is that we have future plans and really want to try for a second baby,” said 36-year-old Christian. “Rescheduling the wedding could mean that we wouldn’t get married until a year or two down the line and we don’t want to go through all the planning and stress again.

“We just want to be able to move on, do other things with our lives and start our next chapter.”

But Swynford Manor said the couple had 30 days to book a new wedding date at the venue or lose the money they had paid, which totalled £8,050.

“We explained our situation to the venue and their reply was shocking. We didn’t think it was very nice at all,” he said.

“We checked our contract and it does say later on that they will relinquish all monetary commitments if they are ordered to close by the Government.

“I do feel for the venue and I know it’s out of their control but I cannot believe that they can’t understand where we’re coming from and show some kindness at what is a difficult time for everyone.”

Christian added that he had reported the venue to the Competition and Markets Authority for what he believed to be unfair contract terms.

“We really want to urge people who are planning a wedding to read their contracts carefully and if there’s anything that seems unfair, don’t sign it,” he said.

“We have been planning our wedding for more than a year and to have it come to this is really horrible. Rain and I don’t want anyone to have to go through this again.”

Angela Ashman, the venue’s general manager, said she was unable to comment on individual cases.

“However, we are very happy to say that our venue has been extremely flexible, reasonable and understanding with all 29 couples so far affected by the government ordered shutdown of our venue,” she said.

“All other affected couples so far have engaged very reasonably with us to agree future wedding dates. All couples have chosen new dates some as far out as 2022.”