A Perth couple planning their dream wedding in the South West have had their preparations put on hold following a shock cancellation of their venue.
Kestin Arlove and partner Chris booked the Inspiration on Wedgetail property in Eagle Bay 14 months ago, and were informed with just 12 weeks to go that their venue would no longer be able to host a wedding.
“We were searching for a property we could stay at and hold a DIY reception at mostly due to the fact that between our bridal party we have five babies under one year old to cater for,” Ms Arlove explained.
“We also have roughly 15 kids attending the wedding and were able to utilise the rooms at the property to entertain them with sitters.
“This property was advertised as a wedding venue hence why we booked it, the plan was to have everything 100 per cent at the property, including the ceremony and reception.”
The property boasts 7 bedrooms, a 20 metre indoor/outdoor pool, a 12 person spa and two lane bowling alley as well as a cinema, gym and elevator.
“Our families have booked houses walking distance to the wedding for logistical ease. Along with an array of guests of whom 50 per cent are traveling from overseas or eastern states. It’s gone from a logistical dream to an absolute nightmare.”
Ms Arlove said the couple was fully aware of strict noise standards and said they began to feel nervous after they were asked to pay another cost a few weeks ago.
We were sent an email telling us the shire had shut down the venue and effective immediately no functions or weddings were to be held at the property or the owner would face a $200,000 fine....Our wedding has gone from a logistical dream to an absolute nightmare.Kestin Arlove
“The terms and conditions outlined the strict noise curfews which we were fine with, and we organised our event to comply. We were then asked for an additional $1500 bond which would be forfeited if we breached our noise curfew.”
With invitations already sent, the couple received an email from the property managers, Eagle Bay Residences, notifying them of the cancellation.
“We were sent an email telling us the shire had shut down the venue and effective immediately no functions or weddings were to be held at the property or the owner would face a $200,000 fine.
“We were given two choices – keep the accommodation booking and find another venue or cancel the booking and receive a refund. No compensation what so ever.
“We might be out of pocket for numerous deposits paid for vendors familiar with the property. We have asked them to cover any lost deposits and also a reduction of the nightly rate as compensation.”
In the email, the couple were advised that the owners were called to an urgent meeting with the City of Busselton.
“As a result of this meeting a formal letter was sent to the owners stating that You are to immediately stop and not recommence the use of the land as a reception centre which includes the hosting of functions on formal or ceremonial occasions including weddings,” the email read.
“Therefore, as of today we are no longer able to host any weddings or events at Inspiration on Wedgetail.
“Should guests fail to comply with this direction and a complaint is received, they will commit an offence against section 214(7) of the Act and the owners will be liable to a penalty of $200,000.”
“We haven't got many options in regards to finding new accommodation for 12 adults and five babies in this this short notice.”
Ms Arlove said the disappointment and stress was compounded by the lack of personal communication and said the solutions offered did not match the standard of the property they had booked.
“The only suggestion they have given us was to book the Eagle Bay Community Hall down the road...Not really the wedding I was after.”
“We never even received a phone call which is really poor. “
City of Busselton Manager of Environmental Services Tanya Gillett said the officers met with the owners following noise and general amenity complaints from nearby residents, and advised that the property, while approved for use as a holiday home, was not approved for events or functions.
“There are a significant number of properties with approvals to host weddings and other functions in the City, and most operate most of the time without generating complaints,” she said.
“These are generally not holiday homes and not in residential areas.”
There are a significant number of properties with approvals to host weddings and other functions in the City, and most operate most of the time without generating complaints.City of Busselton Manager of Environmental Services Tanya Gillett
Ms Gillett said the City would look into any complaints that were generated by functions at other holiday homes.
“The City has only received complaints in relation to this particular property. If complaints are received that point to other holiday homes being used for unapproved purposes, the City will certainly follow up,” she said.
Ms Arlove said the wedding had been tentatively re-booked at another venue which they were heading down from Perth to visit this weekend.
“We have been assured this venue has council approval to host functions.
“That’s something we overlooked the first time but didn't think we needed to as they have been holding weddings there for years.”
The owners of Inspiration on Wedgetail declined to comment on the matter.