ST. CHARLES (KMOV.com) - With gatherings limited to 10 people or less, a backyard wedding might feel like the only option at this point.
But for one couple hoping for a bigger venue than a backyard gazebo, getting their money back for a wedding that was supposed to happen this Saturday hasn’t been possible.
Kieran Carroll and his fiance Katie spent months planning the perfect wedding. They wanted to have it at a popular venue, Stonehouse of St. Charles.
"I don’t think anybody could have predicted what’s happening right now," says Carroll. "There were supposed to be 173 people coming, many from out of town."
The couple put down $7,500 to reserve the venue for this coming Saturday. With the situation surrounding COVID-19, the wedding has been called off. Carroll says the owner isn’t offering a refund, so News 4 contact her.
"You can have an event at our place the day you booked us for, whatever government or county has deemed legal on that day," said Stonehouse owner Ruth Choate.
Choate says she’s not cancelling anyone’s wedding. If people still want to use her facility they can, but only for 10 people or less. She’s also allowing couples to move their dates to a future Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday because she claims Friday's, Saturdays and Sundays are sold out for two years.
"My response to that would be our initial agreement with her was for 173 people, we waited 14 months for her venue, so we could have a Saturday wedding with that many people. If we wanted to have a Monday to Thursday wedding, I think we could have done that a long time ago," Carroll said.
"Our contract doesn’t say anything to do with how many people show up at the wedding, it doesn’t say anything about it, not a solitary thing says you have to have x number of people there," Choate says.
Choate says offering full refunds could ultimately bankrupt her business. Customers like Carroll say they can’t absorb the financial hit either, and if he doesn’t get some money back, Carroll isn’t sure how to plan a future Saturday wedding someplace else.
"We’re trying to reschedule a wedding somewhere at some future date, we can’t even do that until we have some of our money back because we just can’t afford it right now," Carroll said.
The Missouri Attorney General's Office said they would need to see the specific contract before issuing any guidance.