A DEVASTATED couple planning to get married for more than three years have been told their dream wedding has been cancelled just six months before the big day - after their Oxfordshire venue was sold.

Stephanie Wareham and her fiancé Stephen Hare booked their wedding at The Crown Inn in Pishill back in April 2019 and had everything in place for their ceremony on May 28, 2022.

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But while at the wedding of their best friends on November 1, they were dealt a blow when an email from The Crown Inn’s events coordinator revealed the venue had been sold to new owners who refused to take over any bookings for next year – and the big day they had been planning was cancelled.

Oxford Mail: Stephanie Wareham and her fiancé Stephen Hare when they got engaged on November 18, 2018Stephanie Wareham and her fiancé Stephen Hare when they got engaged on November 18, 2018

The couple, both 29 and from Wooburn Green in neighbouring Buckinghamshire, had only been alerted to the fact The Crown, a 16th century former coaching inn, was up for sale when they came across an Oxford Mail article in June.

Stephanie, a local newspaper reporter, said: “We were alarmed when we saw that article and got in touch with the venue straight away to ask if we needed to be worried. We were told that there had been a few offers the owners had turned down because they wouldn’t agree to holding any weddings in 2022, but that we could have our deposit back if we were ‘unsettled’.

Oxford Mail:  Cancellation email 01.11.21 from The Crown Inn Cancellation email 01.11.21 from The Crown Inn

“We definitely were unsettled but The Crown was special to us and we couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else, so we decided to stick with it, especially as they appeared to be committed to selling to someone who would continue with weddings.

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“So when we got that email on Monday night, while we were actually at a beautiful wedding ourselves, we were devastated.”

The pair, who have been together nearly 11 years, are now frantically trying to tell their 110 guests, cancel the DJ, live musician, photographer, hair and make-up artist, registrar, wedding cake and flowers they had already booked and look set to lose around £1,500 in non-refundable deposits.

Oxford Mail: The Crown InnThe Crown Inn

Stephen, a senior account executive, said: “We’ve basically been trying to appeal to the vendors’ better nature to try and get some money back that we’d already paid in deposits. But we’ve already lost cash on ‘save the dates’ and the wedding invites have been partially made as they were supposed to go out this month."

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The venue sent their “huge apologies” to the couple via email and have refunded their £1,400 deposit.

The Crown Inn was contacted for comment but failed to respond.

Oxford Mail: Stephanie Wareham and her fiancé Stephen Hare

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