Action News Troubleshooters: Tips if your wedding falls during COVID-19 pandemic

BENSALEM, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Due to the pandemic, many major events from birthday parties to weddings are getting canceled or postponed and the Troubleshooters are starting to hear from consumers looking for alternate dates or refunds. Some consumers told Action News that venues or vendors aren't being reasonable or accommodating.

"Our plan was to have an outdoor ceremony with our best friend, being our officiant," said Angelina Roland of Northeast Philadelphia.

Roland and her fiance are healthcare workers. Roland is an ICU nurse helping patients fight against COVID-19 and she asked the Troubleshooters for some help of her own in her fight against her wedding venue.

"It's been really, really difficult. I mean, we're working overtime. We're constantly here. And having this added stress on top of it, it's just been so difficult," she said.

Roland and her fiance paid a deposit of $9,500 to tie the knot at the Pen Ryn Estate in Bucks County on May 8.

"And Pen Ryn has just not been willing to work with us at all. Pen Ryn is stating that we are not allowed to move our wedding because of the mandate given by the government is only until April 30," she said.

In the event of a situation like a pandemic, most contracts, including Roland and her fiance's, do not require businesses to provide refunds or even exchanges without a surcharge, so the experts at WeddingWire said working with your venue to postpone and reschedule is usually the best solution.

"Because vendors will definitely be more accommodating knowing they're keeping your business," said Jeffra Trumpower of WeddingWire.

And be aware this applies even if you have wedding insurance.

"So wedding insurance currently doesn't cover a pandemic either," said Trumpower.

So if you have a wedding coming up in the next couple of months, contact your venue immediately to reschedule. If you're not getting a reasonable response, take to social media. And reach out to the Troubleshooters.

After we contacted Pen Ryn, Roland got an email stating, "We completely understand how frustrating this has been" and offered a number of alternate dates for the couple's wedding. But Roland said for her the Estate's response is too little, too late.

"I just want to be able to move on and full refund and have my wedding at another venue and have my dream wedding of an outdoor wedding at another venue," she said.

Pen Ryn released this statement to told Action News:

"Thank you for reaching out. As soon as the local and federal restrictions prohibiting public gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic were mandated a few weeks ago, we took immediate action by contacting couples scheduled to hold affairs at Pen Ryn Estate this spring, to reschedule their events. Although we offered future dates to each host, as an extremely popular venue we didn't have many weekend openings on our calendar for later this year. Therefore, while we were feverishly contacting couples, we quickly contacted government officials and initiated the process of gaining approval to fast-track the construction of a brand new 10,000 square-foot fully heated and air conditioned riverfront structure on the 100-acre property. We are excited to announce we just gained approval to begin construction this week. We are now in the process of clearing and leveling 2 acres of our waterfront with breathtaking views of the Delaware River, and expect to have the gorgeous structure operational in 8 to 10 weeks. We will be prepared to offer site tours when permitted. As you know, this is an unprecedented situation, and we're doing everything possible to orchestrate the affairs that Ms. Roland and her fiancé, and dozens of other local brides and grooms have dreamt about much of their lives. With every wedding affected by the shutdown, we have worked non-stop to offer multiple future dates and applied all deposits toward the rescheduled affairs. Advanced deposits maintain our staff (Pen Ryn has not laid off a single employee), the building and grounds, and are unrelated to direct costs associated with actual events. This isn't about profits. This is about maintaining readiness for the day the shutdown is lifted. Otherwise, refunds for all affected events would put us out of business and make Pen Ryn Estate unavailable for any brides and grooms in the future.

It is our sincere hope that Ms. Roland and her fiancé will review our plans and work with us to reschedule their wedding!

Pen Ryn Estate"
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