Happy ending for couple after wedding plans chaos

Chantelle and Simon
Chantelle and Simon

A couple who cancelled their dream wedding at Haigh Hall are celebrating the start of married life.

Chantelle and Simon Briscoe were due to tie the knot at Haigh Hall on Friday.

Haigh Hall

Haigh Hall

But they called it off because restoration work at the iconic venue was not finished.

The couple received a refund last Monday and managed to hastily rearrange it.

They got married on Friday at Leigh Town Hall, with a reception at Leigh Cricket Club.

Mrs Briscoe, 26, who lives in Leigh, said: “It was perfect. We couldn’t have had a better day. It was amazing.”

It was perfect. We couldn’t have had a better day. It was amazing

Chantelle Briscoe

The change of venue even meant the couple could stop afterwards at their favourite takeaway - Casba in Leigh.

Mr and Mrs Briscoe had booked the grade-II listed Haigh Hall last year expecting the restoration to be complete.

But in the weeks leading up to the big day she was told only a small number of hotel rooms would be available and she would have to get ready in a makeshift room in the spa.

Mrs Briscoe, nee Foster, told the Observer: “The ceremony room at Haigh Hall is beautiful and it will be worth every single penny of the package in the future.

“But the rest of the place is not ready at the moment and if I had turned up on the day with it like this I would have burst into tears.

“If they had told me earlier when they knew it wasn’t going to be ready, they could have saved us months of stress.”

Bosses at Contessa, the firm now in charge of the historic venue, said they felt they had done nothing wrong.

A statement read: “We fully understand the pressures on a bride during the run up to her wedding.

“Although we feel that we have done nothing wrong, we sympathise with the predicament Ms Foster has found herself in.

“Although disappointed that she has decided not to hold her wedding at Haigh Hall, we wish her and her new husband an enjoyable wedding day and a happy future together.”

Mrs Briscoe said suspicions were raised months before when the venue reduced the number of hotel rooms it had said would be made available.

When guests tried to book-in they were then told by staff the room would not be ready, she claims.

And the wedding party became increasingly concerned when a family friend tried to book in January for a separate event and was told the venue would not be ready until 2018.

Mrs Briscoe had discussions with staff over a number of months and agreed to persevere with the plans.

But the issue came to a head when Mrs Briscoe, a support worker, made an impromptu visit and realised the venue was not going to be up to scratch.

She said: “This has put me through so much extra stress. We cancelled and I was in tears but we have managed to rearrange everything.

“We were considering postponing everything but we had lots of people travelling from across the country.

“May 26 is my parents’ wedding anniversary, that’s why I wanted it on that date. In the end Simon said ‘I’m marrying you on this day’ and we’ve got it sorted.”

She added: “I would have cried on the morning of my wedding. There weren’t even enough chairs in there for all my bridal party to be able to sit down.”