A LUXURY venue which told couples they must pay £10,000 extra or face their wedding being cancelled has said it will reverse the decision after suffering from a huge backlash.

In a U-turn on its decision to hike prices of dozens of pre-agreed weddings, Matfen Hall said it was now hoping to "put things right" and had apologised "unreservedly."

The Northern Echo first revealed how one Aycliffe couple had been left "heartbroken" after being told their wedding would not go ahead unless they paid a further £10,000.

Read more: Aycliffe couple told to pay £10k or lose Matfen Hall wedding venue

Brad Saunders and Elly Devenport, both 27, spoke out on their devastation after being advised their wedding no longer met the venue's new minimum spend of £20,000.

Meanwhile, The Echo heard from several further couples - including one from Bishop Auckland - who said their dream day had been "ruined" by the venue's actions.

The Northern Echo: Chris Marshall, left, with partner Laura Davies Picture: CONTRIBUTORChris Marshall, left, with partner Laura Davies Picture: CONTRIBUTOR

Chris Marshall and Laura Davies of South Shields said they had been left frantically trying to find an alternative venue on the same day in a bid to avoid losing thousands in deposits already paid to suppliers.

Read more: More couples reveal their 'devastation' after being told to pay £10K extra or lose wedding venue

Originally, Matfen Hall bosses defended their decision saying that it was no longer viable to honour all remaining weddings at "loss-making" prices agreed before it was took over by new owners last year.

It also previously said that a series of refurbishments carried out during the first lockdown had improved the venue and that its 2022 weddings are "selling very well" at prices above £20,000.

In the days that followed, the Northumberland hotel faced intense criticism across social media with some calling for a boycott of the venue.

But in a statement to The Northern Echo on Thursday, Matfen Hall said it unreservedly apologised for the hurt caused and that it would now be honouring all weddings at prices agreed previously.

A spokesperson for Matfen Hall said: “We unreservedly apologise for the hurt this decision has caused. It was never our intention to cause any upset for the couples involved. 

“Every wedding is a special occasion – the most precious day in a couple’s lives and it has been our privilege to host hundreds of weddings and play a part in those special moments. We will have honoured 119 weddings by the end of the year booked under the previous management. 

“It is clear that we have not explained this to a number of guests and that has caused a lot of hurt. We know it is up to us to put things right and to explain to those guests who had booked under the previous management how their wedding would be vastly enhanced.

“As is always best with matters like this, we are working privately and individually with the couples on a solution, which includes honouring the original booking.”

Since then a number of suppliers have been taking to social media to offer reassurances to those with weddings booked at Matfen Hall that they will not lose their deposit if they find an alternative venue on a different date.


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