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Alberta, B.C. couples say venue won’t reschedule 2020 weddings amid pandemic

Coronavirus: Alberta and B.C. couples forced to consider set wedding date or lose thousands of dollars
WATCH: Alberta and B.C. couples forced to consider set wedding date or lose thousands of dollars

From the moment Edmonton couple Steve Gross and Courtney Killips got engaged they had their sights set on the Rocky Mountains in B.C. They booked their July 4, 2020 wedding at Cherry Creek Estates. They invited 120 guests. But the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything.

“It’s so emotional, we don’t know what to tell everybody,” Killips said.

“We are at standstill.”

Steve Gross proposes to Courtney Killips.
Steve Gross proposes to Courtney Killips. Credit: B Grace Creatives
“[The venue] sent a letter saying there would be no refunds or deposits returned to anybody, and we would be expected to show up,” Gross said.
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Their nuptials are now in limbo because they said the venue isn’t allowing them to postpone, essentially forcing them to get married on the set date with restrictions. Cherry Creek sent a letter to the couple stating, “We cannot offer available dates in 2021 for couples wishing to postpone their wedding.”

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There are also guest number limitations. If they don’t agree, they’ll have to forfeit their $6,000 deposit.

“To have all of our deposits held when no services have been done, they haven’t invested any time, there’s no costs of food orders,” Gross said.

“We just want them to do the right thing.”

“We don’t plan on proceeding, the cost and expenses are too high and the risk is too high,” Gross said. “I can’t imagine our families travelling and someone getting COVID[-19].”

READ MORE: COVID-19: Struggling B.C. wedding industry urges couples to postpone, not cancel

The pair told Global News they believe the venue is breaching its own contract.

“The contract states: ‘If there is a national emergency or an act of God that prevents the venue from honoring the contract; all refundable and non-refundable deposits should be returned.'” Gross said. “It’s black-and-white in the contract they provided us, we don’t understand the fight.”

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Airdrie couple Ashleigh Ure and Scott Symon said the board of directors for the venue hasn’t been flexible at all, and their calls and emails to the manager have been ignored.

Ashleigh Ure and Scott Symon had also planned to get married at the Cherry Creek venue.
Ashleigh Ure and Scott Symon had also planned to get married at the Cherry Creek venue. Courtesy: Ashleigh Ure

“I have sent several proposals saying, ‘Just keep our money and move our date,'” Ure said. “All the couples got an abrupt letter from the board of directors of Cherry Creek stating they will not be holding any 2021 dates for 2020 couples which is very disappointing.”

“They just won’t give us straight-forward answer.”

The physically distanced version of what Cherry Creek is offering isn’t something the couples want to consider.

Ashleigh Ure and Scott Symon outside their Airdrie home.
Ashleigh Ure and Scott Symon outside their Airdrie home. Jill Croteau/Global News

“A wedding is an intimate occasion,” Symon said. “Having our guests being two meters apart, it rules out the father daughter dance. What would our pictures look like if all groomsmen and bridesmaids have to be two meters apart?”

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“They want our guests to eat the meal in their individual rooms instead of traditional sit down banquet,” Symon said.

READ MORE: Should we cancel the wedding? Couples unsure as coronavirus pandemic drags on

Global News contacted several other couples across the province and in part of B.C., who all said they’ve had the same difficulties with Cherry Creek Estate.

Dave Clarke, general manager of Cherry Creek Estate, said they are working with all current and future clients.

“A variety of different solutions are being explored with each client (depending on the specific details of their event) and during this process the health and safety of staff and clients remains the utmost priority,” Clarke said.