MENTOR, Ohio — Local brides-to-be are scrambling to make last minute arrangements after their wedding venue closed its doors for good.
NOAH's Event Venue in Mentor is one of more than two dozen locations of the national chain closing.
The company’s bankruptcy attorney, Kenneth Cannon II, said the company was set on becoming ta national chain and expanded too fast, led to a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in May, 2019. Cannon said the company’s plan was to continue operating. They were projecting to make a big profit from clients in January, but it didn’t pan out that way. Cannon said bad publicity was partly to blame.
At the time, there were $12 million worth of events scheduled at NOAH’s Event Venue locations, according to Cannon. He said the company fulfilled some of those events, but as of Friday about $7 million worth of events remain and may be canceled.
Couples in Northeast Ohio are now scrambling to find another wedding venue.
Ebony Culton has been planning her dream wedding for more than a year. She went to the venue with her mother Thursday night for a walk-through appointment for her May wedding.
“Everything I was promised last night is gone. They were telling me everything was going to be perfect, everything is going to be fine,” Culton said.
Culton invested thousands of dollars into what she thought was the perfect venue.
“Our budget is kind of gone,” she said.
But she’s not the only one.
“I'm just upset that we kind of took advantage of these promos that they had going on to pay in full and we'll probably never see that money again,” said bride-to-be Gabrielle Bartlett. “Luckily my parents have helped a lot, but for me to have to ask them to help again—I just don’t want to have to do that.”
Bartlett and her finance booked the venue for a June wedding last year.
She was on her way to a walk-through appointment on Friday when she started Googling the venue’s address and the venue was closed for good.
“I'm heartbroken and devastated,” Bartlett said. “It's just frustrating because I've tried to do everything so far in advance just so I could enjoy our engagement.”
These women are still hoping for a fairy tale ending, despite the unexpected cancellation.
“This wedding meant so much to me, my fiance and my family and just to have everything crash like this is a nightmare,” Culton said.
Cannon said clients of the company should file a claim with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court District of Utah. To do so, click here. However, he said it is unlikely anyone will receive a reimbursement.
More brides-to-be searching for a new venue
Candace Raheming said she was was at work when she learned NOAH's was closing. She and her husband were set to make their last payment to the company this month for their September wedding.
"I felt like they robbed us," she said.
News 5 met up with Raheming on Saturday as she set out to search for a new venue.
"We’re back looking at the same places that we looked at over a year ago hoping that we can get in, hoping that it’s affordable," Raheming said.
Other venues wanting to help
La Vera in Willoughby provides catering and other services as a preferred vendor for NOAH's Event Venue in Mentor. The owners said they had no idea what happened.
"We had 12 NOAH’s weddings booked for this year. "[We're] just trying to figure out what do we do? How do I help them?," owner Carl Santigata said. "It can't get much worse."
La Vera, which also serves as an event venue, is hoping to help as many couples as possible.
"Every situation is different," owner Anthony Verdone said. "We’re trying to work with them."