CHANDLER, AZ — Several soon-to-be-married Valley couples say they're worried they've lost the thousands of dollars they invested on their wedding venue.
NOAH's Event Center in Chandler sent an email to couples who booked the venue off Cooper and the Loop 202 saying they were canceling their highly anticipated events.
“I had to re-read it again honestly. I was like, 'What? Is this real?'" said Melanie Stephenson, whose wedding was set for March of 2020. “I just mailed out my invites in November, so I had to re-message everyone like, 'Sorry wedding is postponed until I don’t even know when.'"
Stephenson says she paid off the cost of the venue last December forking over $10,000 to rent the entire building for the night and for NOAH to provide bartenders for her big day.
“It just really sucks," she added. "This is like a hit in the face pretty much for all of us."
Stephenson says NOAH's story doesn't add up.
“I made sure to choose a company that I thought was solid because they have 30 other buildings throughout the United States," she said.
Court records show NOAH filed for bankruptcy in Utah in May, listing more than a dozen NOAH's locations across the country. However, the email sent to customers this month gives a different explanation behind the sudden closure and last minute notice.
"Our building is older and requires a lot of updates," wrote Kate Jensen, VP of Sales for NOAH's of Chandler. "After much discussion with the owners of the venue, they have decided to sell the building and we are therefore unable to host your event."
"Our staff has been unaware of our deliberations with the building owners until this weekend," added Jensen. "They are at no fault and have no additional information."
The e-mail though did mention NOAH's bankruptcy filing, but stated it's the only reason the company's able to offer partial refunds. "In May, our company filed for Chapter 11 restructuring bankruptcy. As such the court will only permit us to repay up to $3,025 pre-restructure."
That's only 30% of the $10,000 Stephenson paid.
“It makes me furious because I feel like they did it on purpose when it’s so close to everyone’s date and they can’t even do anything," she added. "Ours is literally three months away, I just sent out the invitations, and I would’ve never guessed.”
Other couples say NOAH's is still booking tours and worry the company may still be taking money from customers.
Elizabeth Jimenez and Alan Castro say they received a confirmation email for a tour of the Chandler location on December 12. They showed up Wednesday to find doors locked and no employees inside.
"We started talking to them last week, trying to book a tour of the place to see if we want to have our wedding here," said Castro. "Everything went as normal, the booking appointment, they were emailing us, texting us and we just didn’t get a response when we went to knock on the door."
Eric Mia of Laveen says he's continued paying for his wedding scheduled for September of 2020. His last payment went through in November, months after NOAH's filed for bankruptcy.
ABC15 has reached out to NOAH for comment, but has not received a response.