NAPERVILLE, Ill. (WLS) -- A popular wedding venue has closed all of its locations suddenly and without warning, leaving engaged couples in a bind.
When Dawn Neville and her fiance Jim Gratzke heard the bad news about the sudden closure of Noah's Event Venue, they needed to see it to believe it. The couple had a June wedding planned at Noah's Naperville location.
"It hurts," Neville said. "We are older, it's a second wedding. We only did this because our families are so large we had to have it at a hall, not a backyard."
Neville and Gratzke had payed Noah's $5,000 - money the couple fears they won't get back. Callie Frazier and Harry Sampler are in the same boat.
'We sent our save the dates literally last week, now we have to figure it out," Frazier said.
Frazier and Sampler say they are also out several thousand dollars. The closure of Noah's came as a shock to them since Sampler just spoke to the venue on Friday after hearing rumors the business maybe closing...
"They called him back and said everything was great and everything was fine, we just signed a 15 year lease, you don't need to worry," Frazier said.
On the same day a Noah's employee told the couple not to worry, a bankruptcy judge directed the company to cease operations immediately. Besides two locations in the Chicago suburbs, the Utah-based company has dozens of venues all over the country, leaving brides and grooms scrambling to find new venues. There was no communication from Noah's until this letter went up on their website Monday afternoon.
The bankruptcy court managing our case has directed NOAH'S to cease operations immediately. This means that NOAH'S as the current operator will no longer be able to host your event, but you will be eligible to file for an administrative claim. Additionally, many building owners are willing to host events and are looking for new operators that can honor your event contracts.
NOAH'S has worked extremely hard to reorganize operations in order to continue hosting events, however negative publicity, along with the court order, has made it impossible to continue current operations. Over the last 13 years NOAH'S has hosted over 10,000 events including hundreds of couples who, with short notice, had lost their event date at other venues. We were always willing and happy to assist these couples and feel confident that your community of vendors will do likewise.
If you are interested in still hosting your event at your reserved location, even though NOAH'S will not be the management and servicing company please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include in the subject line your location, event date and event type.
In the meantime, several venues have been reaching out to local couples to offer them open dates and discounts.
"I'm not going to not marry this woman," Sampler said. "I'll do what I have to do to make it happen, well get married in the backyard if she wants to."
Noah's Event Venue abruptly closes locations in Naperville, Lincolnshire; couples left scrambling