San Antonio – Families across the nation, including right here in San Antonio, are left scrambling for answers after an event venue they’ve booked for thousands of dollars will officially shut down Sunday.
That venue, Noah’s Event Venue, filed for bankruptcy without warning to some clients.
“I have my wedding scheduled for May of this year and I was here at the front door for an appointment to do a walk-through to see the layout today at 12,” said one client, who asked not to be identified. “It was then I found out that this place was shutting down with no word. If I don’t have this event, then I just lost $6,000. I just want to know what is going on and am I getting my money back?"
Another client said they too found out abruptly after looking forward to their kid’s birthday party scheduled for next weekend.
“Seventy kids were expected to attend,” the client said. “There are multiple families involved here and we put together $800 - $1,000 to make this happen. “An easy solution is that the company could have changed their voicemail and said, 'We are closing. We are trying to find a solution. Please contact us or we will contact you soon.’”
Latishia Sanford-White married her husband, Bidea White, seven years ago, but was planning to have an official wedding at Noah’s Event Venue in March.
“We were hunting for venues July of last year and we went to a wedding at Noah’s Venue and the setup was beautiful,” Latishia White said. “We found out they had them nationwide and one of them was down here in San Antonio, so we had priced them and it was just a beautiful center.”
The couple has spent more than $10,000.
“It is a pretty big hardship on us,” said Latishia White. “We are not rich. We work to get what we need and we have payments this whole time. It may mean that we don’t have a wedding.”
She said they spoke with directors about a month ago and had no idea any problems were taking place.
“We talked about table linens and they were excited,” Latishia White said. “We were excited. We took pictures and had a live band coming.”
She said they had a guest list of about 170 people expected to be at the venue in March.
“I am upset because this has taken months and numerous hours to plan,” Latishia White said. “Not only my 10 bridesmaids, but my wedding dress, my husband’s suit. None of this was cheap, which is why we planned it so far in advance.”
Latishia White said this news has also taken a toll on her emotionally, as they will have invested a total of $45,000 into their wedding.
“We called them about 15-20 times today alone and we have still not gotten an answer,” Bidea White said. “Then we got an email back on February 3rd about an event to see vendors scheduled for Sunday, but that is not going to happen because they are closing down. We just don’t know where to go from here. We are just stuck.”
Latishia White said they do plan to seek legal action against the company.
“This is a big hit,” Latishia White said. “It is a big slap in the face because it was a lot of money put out for this event center. We looked on the internet under the closures, and it is multiple women screaming and crying. One lady was banging on the door begging with her guest showing up. This was supposed to be a very good memory to keep and this is going to be a memory they have. It is horrible.”
She said they are looking for other venues and though it will be more expensive and though they are uncertain if they will get their money back, they are encouraging others to not let this setback stop their dreams.
“This company has played this game with a lot of people, with a lot of people’s lives, and a lot of people’s money,” Latishia White said. “Family memories. They have taken a lot, so shame on them. I just know they don’t serve the same God I serve.
Directors for the local venue also said they too were caught off guard by the closure. They said their entire staff will be out of a job Sunday.
One director said the corporate office did say in a statement they planned to have their attorneys contact all of their clients starting Monday to discuss how they will move forward.