Updated: Feb 8
Noah's Event Venue on Yorkmont Road has closed suddenly, leaving couples scrambling
and fearing their dream wedding will end in a nightmare. Noah's, a Utah based chain, closed amid financial troubles and accusations of fraud.
The company owns more than 40 event centers in more than 20 states and has closed them all. Federal court records show it filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in May. However, it continued to book weddings and other events locally up until Thursday. Charlotte employees say they were alerted via email last night that they were no longer employed and could file for unemployment benefits. Several of them say they gave tours all week and had more scheduled for next week. Wedding Planners on the Charlotte Wedding Connection are scrambling to help clients who have booked weddings as soon as next week. The general consensus is that the company is not returning calls or emails---leaving brides frantic. In one case, a couple says they made their final payment just last week and are fearful they are out of nearly $10,000 for their March 1st wedding.
Noah's bankruptcy attorney, Kenneth Cannon, says the company expanded too fast in its attempt to become a national chain. Cannon adds that due to the liquidation, the likelihood of anyone getting a refund is "highly unlikely." However, they should file a claim with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court District of Utah just in case. To do so, click here. Customers should also complain to the Better Business Bureau and alert their bank or credit card company. A final hearing on the liquidation of the company assets is scheduled for February 20th.
How To Protect Yourself
Get wedding insurance. This is a prime example of why buying wedding insurance makes sense. Rates are based on the cost of the wedding and coverage needed, but it’s a cheap protection against venue closings as well as other problems such as natural disasters and illness. At ProtectMyWedding.com, for example, a $160 policy with no deductible covers $7,500 for lost deposits if a venue suddenly goes out of business as well as an extra $1,500 toward additional expenses of securing a replacement.
Pay with a credit card. Vendors may tack on a credit card processing fee of a few percentage points, but it can still be worthwhile to put at least the deposit on credit. The Fair Credit Billing Act allows consumers to file a dispute if, among other reasons, a product or service purchased was not delivered as agreed.
Assess reviews. Do your research! Even a well-reviewed venue or vendor can suddenly go out of business, but there may be warning signs of growing problems— for example late delivery and poor communication.