Share this story...
Noah's wedding salt lake citycancel
Latest News

My letter to brides-to-be after reception center abruptly closed

Debbie Dujanovic offers brides some advice after learning that an events center closed, leaving lots of Utah brides in the lurch. (Photo credit: Getty Images / quavondo)

Dear brides-to-be:

First, I want to congratulate you on your wedding day. Having planned a wedding practically all by myself, way back in ancient times (1995), I remember how utterly stressed out I was.

I was juggling my full-time news reporting career, stressed over house shopping with my fiancé, and losing my mind trying to plan a fairytale wedding on a shoestring budget.

So many questions! Like, raspberries versus strawberries on the cake; borrow or buy my dress; are we required to pay for the groomsmen’s tuxedos, too; he wanted to invite 1,000 people, I wanted to elope.

I get what you’re going through, mostly.

I can’t imagine how bridezilla I would have gone if the reception center I’d reserved abruptly slapped up a “permanently closed” sign before we’d made it to the altar.

This 1995 bride’s heart sank to hear about 2020 bride-to-be, Sicily Staley.

I think it’s safe to say we both want to keep the same thing from happening to you.

She joined me and my co-host Dave Noriega on KSL Newsradio to talk through it.

How she found out

You see, a judge ordered Noah’s Event Center to shut its doors after the company filed bankruptcy last year.

Sadly Sicily found out, in the most obscure way imaginable, that the place she’d put $1,000 deposit on wouldn’t be hosting her October 3rd wedding after all.

“My mother-in-law asked me to look up the exact address and when I typed it into Google it popped up as permanently closed. Then when I tried to call there was no answer and it went straight to voicemail.”

So, she did what all stressed out brides do.  She called her mom.

“I was crying, I was panicking, I didn’t know what to do,” Staley told us.

She’s out $1,000 and it’s unclear if she’ll be able to recoup the loss.

She’s also scrambling to find another venue to host her reception this fall.

So here’s my advice

First, before you reserve a venue send your fiancé to the federal bankruptcy court.  You want to check the records of the place you’re about to dump most of your wedding budget.

Your fiancé may roll his eyes, but this will take less than an hour.

I’m not kidding. You’re about to drop $3,000, $5,000, $10,000 on a reception center? Yeah, make sure they’re not a financial disaster.

Noah’s, according to media reports, filed for bankruptcy in the spring of 2019. Knowing this could have saved Sicily and her fiancé a lot of heartache.

Second, search the company on the Better Business Bureau’s website to see if there are complaints about their business practices. If so, they’re a red flag.

Third, pay with a credit card.

If the place goes belly up, you will head straight to your bank and dispute the bill. You won’t be getting the service you paid for, so ask your bank to remove the charge.

Finally, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart; before you go shopping for a reception center that will cost thousands, do something I should have done but didn’t.

Consider having a backyard reception

Utah is full of beautiful, secluded scenery tucked away behind quaint neighborhood fences.

Your parents’, your grandparents’, your best friends’ backyards are far more intimate and cost-effective.

I am happy to offer Sicily my backyard, purple perennials included, for her wedding reception.

And the best part is, my backyard comes with a 100% guarantee it won’t be permanently closed on her big day.

You can listen to our segment with Sicily Staley, right here:

 

You may also enjoy:

They planned the perfect fall wedding. Then a snowstorm hit

Planning A Temple Square Wedding: Everything You Need to Know