Popular Wedding Chain Abruptly Shuts Down All Venues, Leaving Couples Without $7M in Deposits

"The bankruptcy court managing our case has directed Noah's to cease operations immediately," a statement on their website reads

A logo sign outside of a NOAH'S Event Venue location in Lindon, Utah on July 29, 2019.
Photo: Kristoffer Tripplaar/Alamy

Thousands of engaged couples who have been excitedly planning their weddings are now experiencing a nightmare after popular venue Noah’s abruptly closed its doors for good last week.

The event venue, which had 42 locations around the United States, announced in a statement on their website that they would be shutting down immediately following a judge mandate in their bankruptcy case.

“The bankruptcy court managing our case has directed Noah’s to cease operations immediately,” the statement reads. “Noah’s has worked extremely hard to reorganize operations in order to continue hosting events, however negative publicity, along with the court order has made it impossible to continue current operations.”

Last May, Noah’s filed for bankruptcy after investors alleged fraud, according to CBS News. The company did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Up until last week, the venue continued booking new weddings and accepting payments, even telling couples that the bankruptcy filing was nothing to be worried about, ABC News reported.

“They said, regardless of what happens, that the building will be there and they will be running it as normal,” one bride-to-be told ABC News.

Noah’s also said on their LinkedIn page one week ago that they “would love to be the venue for your unforgettable event.”

However, a judge ruled last week that Noah’s Event Venue must close immediately, explaining that the company could not bill customers during the filing, which would subsequently cut off all of their income, according to ABC News.

The abrupt closures led to 2,800 weddings and events getting canceled, as well as thousands of couples collectively without more than $7 million in deposits and other paid wedding fees, CBS News reported.

“I blacked out, that’s the only way to explain it,” one woman told ABC News of the devastating announcement.

Following the closure, those who were affected went to the venues in their respective states only to find Noah’s doors locked, lights off, and no signs posted on the windows.

Their social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, have also been deactivated since the closure.

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“It’s a nomad’s land,” recalled one woman to ABC News.

While some have months to figure out a plan, other couples have been left desperately scrambling with only mere days to go until their big day.

“We have two and a half weeks to find another venue and another ceremony area,” a bride-to-be told ABC News, with another adding that she and her fiancé “have nothing to go anywhere with because they took [all of our money].”

Some brides, like Eva Hung, lost so much money that they’ll now be forced to miss out on post-wedding festivities, as well.

“Because we’re paying for everything, we’re probably not going to go on our honeymoon,” she told CBS News of the $10,000-12,000 that she and her fiancé likely lost.

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On their website, Noah’s said couples who lost their deposits are “eligible to file for an administrative claim.” ABC News also reported that couples who lost money have to go through bankruptcy court for any refunds, according to the company’s lawyer.

“Many building owners are willing to host events and are looking for new operators that can honor your event contracts,” the company’s statement reads. “Over the last 13 years, Noah’s has hosted over 10,000 events including hundreds of couples who, with short notice, had lost their date at other venues. We were always willing and happy to assist these couples and feel confident that your community of vendors will do likewise.”

“If you are interested in still hosting your event at your reserved location, even though NOAH’s will not be the management and servicing company please email us,” the statement, which includes an email address, continues. “Please include in the subject line your location, event date and event type.”

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