THE most important day of a Wirral bride’s life has been placed in jeopardy after her choice of wedding venue closed without notice.
The popular Grange Country Club in Thornton Hough ceased trading on Sunday after being sold to a third party.
It is understood that staff were told that they were out of a job last week, with just receptionists now left at the club to deal with calls from distressed brides and grooms-to-be.
Jennifer McCombs, from Saughall Massie, is just one of dozens of brides left at the altar after the closure.
The 26-year-old, who is due to marry partner Richard Flanigan in August next year, is now frantically trying to rearrange their special day.
She told the Globe: “I am by no means the worst off as my wedding is on August 1 next year but I am going to lose more than £1,000 and they are doing nothing about it.”
Deposits will be fully refunded by the Grange but mother-of-one Jennifer says this is not good enough.
“Apparently they phoned me to tell me but I have got no record of a call on my phone for them – it was my partner’s friend who text us asking what’s going on. We didn’t know anything about it until then,” said the primary school teacher.
“I rang the Grange and they offered me a refund for what I had paid for the venue but I have rang every other wedding venue on the Wirral and I can’t get the same date.
“I am going to lose my deposit on save the date cards, invitations, photographer, they have already been booked.”
Jennifer added: “I am set to lose over £1,000 but I’m not in the worse situation – there are going to be weddings booked for this year.
“But I have got a new baby and we’re moving house next week – that money is something I can’t afford to lose.
“It is going to cost me three or four times as much for a different venue but nowhere has got my date anyway but I’m a primary school teacher so the summer holidays is the only time I can get married.
“We have got family coming over from Australia – thankfully they haven’t booked their flights yet but all of my family live over the water in Liverpool and we have booked the Merebrook for them to stay in.
“We’re going to have to pretty much start from scratch.”
Fellow bride-to-be Rachel Mace, from Prenton - is also in the same position as Jennifer, with her wedding to fiancé Mark Murphy due to take place at The Grange on May 23.
The 26-year-old teacher told the Globe: "You feel dreadful for the people all out of jobs and you feel for the people getting married this year - at least we have got time to put it right but I just pray that they do as they said and send out the cheque for the deposit this week.
"It's £600, it's not the kind of money to be thrown about. I'm kicking myself as I've been saying for months I should get wedding insurance but I thought I had plenty of time.
"You don't expect something like this to happen at this point, you think closer the time things might not turn up, but not this."
Paula Blease, from Bromborough, was due to marry fiancé Martin Drury at The Grange on March 28 – the same day Martin celebrates his 50th birthday.
“I was heartbroken, I was absolutely devastated when I found out,” said singer Paula.
“You book your cars and everything. We now have to go back and go through everything again with the registrar – they hadn’t even told the registry office that they had closed.”
Paula added: “You chose your venue, your date and you’re exciting and then bang, we find out on Facebook that it’s closing.”
Staff at the Grange are currently in the process of ringing customers to inform them of the closure and will be offering full refunds.
“We closed on Sunday, July 27 – the country club has been sold but I do not have any information on who to,” said one of the remaining staff members.
“We are not reneging of payments and everybody will get a refund on their deposit. Anything other than that needs to be put into writing and we will be dealing with that as soon as we get them.”
When asked what would happen to those due to get married in the coming weeks, the staff member added: "We are arranging all of that."
Were you due to get married at the Grange? Let us know by calling 0151 649 4018 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org