Attorney discusses couples' options after Wichita venue's unexpected closure
A local event center's unexpected closing leaves couples scrambling as they're out thousands of dollars and left to find a new place to get married.
As planning for some starts at square one, couples looking to get at least a partial refund from Noah's Event Center could face challenges after the venue filed for bankruptcy..
Monday, Eyewitness News spoke with an attorney about what couples can do to try to get at least some of their money back. Part of the challenge is that the company operating Noah's Event Center is based in Utah.
"Somebody would need to obtain a proof-of-claim form and probably go to the Utah district bankruptcy court website to find that claim form and file a claim," attorney David Eron says.
He says couples may need to get an attorney who practices in Utah to help with the case.
For now, brides-to-be like Tierra Poyner, who was planning to be married at Noah's Event Center on March 7, say they're trying to stay positive.
"Everybody wants that day to be perfect. Of course, you can't have the perfect day without a few hiccups, so I'm just looking at it as a very small hiccup because I don't want to make it bigger and cause more stress," Poyner says.
Event planners and venue owners in Wichita are stepping up to offer help to those impacted by Noah’s closing.
“It’s the community getting together to help solve a crisis,” said Ronni Johnston, an Accredited Bridal Consultant who has been in the wedding planning business for more than 20 years.
When Johnston heard the news about the closing Saturday, she created a Facebook group to help connect brides and venues.
Villa Luna in west Wichita is offering brides who booked with Noah’s a free venue as long as their date is available. Brides must provide proof of their contract with Noah’s, as well as use Villa Luna’s catering company.
“To help these displaced brides, we’re making our space available to them at no charge,” said Bill Rowe, Villa Luna owner. “These brides have been devastated by the financial loss and emotional pain.”
A Wichita event space abruptly shuts down leaving brides-to-be and others scrambling to find new venues. Noah's Event Venue filed for bankruptcy, according to the company's bankruptcy attorney we spoke with.
“With only 6 months to go until our wedding, it’s kind of thrown a giant wrench in our plans,” said Bailey Blue.
Bailey Blue and Jacob Myers planned to get married in July and say they’ve already paid for most of their wedding, including use of the Noah’s Event Venue.
“That’s $5,000 that we’re not going to get back. And we’ll have to pay again,” said Blue.
Once news broke on social media about Noah’s Event Venue closing permanently, worried and confused customers began knocking on the venue’s door looking for answers but no one was there to answer them.
“We were hoping to talk to someone in person and clarify what’s happening so we can move forward but nobody’s here,” said Emma Schrag.
Schrag and her fiance were making payments for their September wedding and are now left scrambling for a new location.
“I'm heartbroken. I mean the problem is, we're not going to get any of this money back. We're sunk like $4,000. So a lot of people are like, 'Oh you'll find another venue,' but I don't have the money to pay for another venue at this point," said Schrag.
We talked with the company's bankruptcy attorney in Utah and he confirms that all of its locations nationwide will be shutting down, if they haven't already. The company filed for bankruptcy in May of last year.
He says people with planned events may not get their money back.
“I really thought it was a dream," said Blue. "Thought this possibly could not be happening.
"And they just took a payment out two days ago too,” added Myers.
“There are people that are literally saying, ‘I’m going to have to cancel my wedding because I don’t have any more money for another venue,’ that should never happen,” said Evelyn Myers, mother of the groom.
The company's bankruptcy attorney says the company is very unhappy and worked hard to avoid this result.
Families say they’re frustrated they weren't notified or haven’t been contacted yet.
“Furious, I am furious about it. The unprofessional-ism of Noah’s and not being notified in advance, I am furious,” said Mrs. Myers.