A popular Northumberland wedding spot has shut its doors leaving a string of couples without a venue.
Longhirst Hall, near Morpeth in Northumberland, closed yesterday morning after the company which operates the hotel ceased trading.
Liquidators have been called in and the company, Hotel Lease (Number 3) Limited, is in the process of going into liquidation.
All weddings booked at the hotel are not going ahead , meaning dozens of couples have been left devastated as they begin a last-minute search for an alternative location to exchange their vows.
Samantha Lewins and partner Adam Patrick were due to get married at Longhirst Hall on March 9.
The couple, of Ellington in Northumberland, had just finished paying their £4,500 bill and had been making the final touches for their big day.
“I am very gobsmacked and angry,” said 24-year-old Samantha.
“They did not even ring us, they did not have that courtesy.
“Our only option is to find somewhere else and try and fork out another couple of thousand pounds,” said the mother-of-two.
“We paid our final bill last week and I had just emailed them to change a few things round. Everything was booked and sorted, paid for, there were no problems.
“Now we stand to lose a lot of money and we cannot afford it,” added Samantha, who has been with Adam, an accountant, for seven years.
The couple, who have paid £10,000 in total for their wedding, are now in a race against time to secure another venue as it is too late to cancel other aspects of their wedding without losing their money.
Rachel Mullarkey and partner Lee Campbell had also booked their wedding at Longhirst Hall and were due to tie the knot on March 23.
Yesterday Rachel was visiting other venues, desperate to find an alternative so her dream wedding could go ahead.
“It’s disgraceful,” said 27-year-old Rachel, of Blyth in Northumberland.
“It is three weeks on Sunday and we have made our payments, done the table arrangements.
“I found out via Facebook that it had closed and contacted them loads but got no response.
“I was then contacted by the liquidators acting on behalf of them.
“He said, ‘I am sorry to tell you your wedding is not going to go ahead, it’s cancelled’. I was pleading with him on the phone and he said they could not do anything for us.
“Basically if we got anything back it would be a small percentage of what we paid.”
Mother-of-two Rachel added: “I am hoping a venue will be able to come to the rescue.
“It is all just a mess at the moment. Everything was organised so we could enjoy these last weeks.”
Scott McGregor, director with Grainger Corporate Rescue & Recovery who are waiting to be appointed as liquidators, said: “The company is in the process of going into liquidation at the moment. The company that operates the hotel at the moment, that company ceased trading and that’s as much as we can say at the moment. The position appears to be that weddings are not going to take place, unfortunately.
“As of now the hotel is closed.”