Wedding pair devastated by cancellation

A COUPLE left in the lurch when a Suffolk wedding venue cancelled their booking have today told of their devastation that their dream day was almost ruined.

A COUPLE left in the lurch when a Suffolk wedding venue cancelled their booking have today told of their devastation that their dream day was almost ruined.

Lewis Jones and Sarah Ratcliffe had everything sorted for their wedding at Westerfield House Hotel in July.

But they were forced to change their plans and desperately hunt for a new venue after the hotel cancelled on them and four other couples.

As revealed in The Evening Star last week, the hotel is due to close later this month after their wedding licence was taken away because they had not adhered to fire safety standards.


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Mr Jones, 28, who works in marketing and publications for Suffolk Youth and Connexions Service, said: “We booked in September. We'd paid a deposit and one of our relatives had even booked a hotel room.

“We'd prepared the invitations and we were just about to send them out, we thought everything was going so well.

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“We got the letter from the hotel on Tuesday, April 1, and at first we thought it was an April Fool's joke

“Then we realised it wasn't and all I was thinking about was trying to sort out a venue. It was a bit frantic.

“It was a bombshell, I panicked and it was very stressful.”

The couple, of Hayhill Road, Ipswich, have now found a new venue, Ravenwood Hall Hotel in Bury St Edmunds, and are optimistic about their big day.

Mr Lewis, who got engaged in August to 31-year-old Miss Ratcliffe, who works as an art teacher at Framlingham College, added: “When people have heard about our situation they have been really helpful.

“It may be even better now; maybe it will be a good thing.

“But I am upset with Westerfield House Hotel. They didn't even call us, just sent a letter.”

The hotel had its marriage licence renewed last July on the condition that by March 31, fire safety standards improve. As it was not achieved, the marriage licence was revoked.

The hotel refused to comment when approached by The Evening Star.

In a letter received by one of the couples, who have all got their deposits back, the director of the hotel, Mr F Howard, stated: “Due to new restrictive fire and safety practice for Grade Two buildings, this legislation means unfortunately the hotel will be forced to close.”

Have you also had to find another venue at short notice? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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