BRIDES-TO-BE who say they face losing thousands of pounds have joined forces to complain about a Purton wedding venue.

Some couples formed a Facebook group to share their frustrations as they feel the The Pear Tree is being difficult about delaying their weddings during the pandemic.

They say they are not being given full refunds or enough notice to make a final decision.

But staff at the venue stressed that they are doing their best during difficult circumstances and that most customers have been understanding.

Rhianne Montgomery, 36, from Calne, had hoped to wed Ollie Lucas at The Pear Tree in September but now wants to find another venue.

She said: “We are having an absolute nightmare with them.

"We don’t want to get married there at all now because of how they’ve behaved and wanted a full refund but they are withholding thousands of pounds of our money.

“When we started asking questions about how much notice we would have and what happens if it doesn’t go ahead, they were quite cagey.

“The poor customer service began before the pandemic but it’s got worse.

"It’s left us feeling frustrated about a day that we should be looking forward to.”

Nikki Sheldon and partner O’Shea Robertson had planned to marry there in August.

Nikki said: “We don’t have any trust or faith in them now.

“They offered a settlement where they would keep some of our money and I agreed, which I regret, but I was so tired with the stress and upset of it all that I just wanted it to be settled.

“There are people who have lost more money than us. They have spoilt the whole process, it’s been a difficult experience.

"We felt they were dismissive of our concerns.”

Last month, Lucy Finch told the Adver she and fiancé Eddy, who were set to get married in September, faced being £4,000 out of pocket. The West Swindon couple wanted to postpone their nuptials until next year.

A spokesman for The Pear Tree said: “Customer relations is of paramount importance to us.

“The wedding industry as a whole is navigating the most challenging time in its history and while we endeavour to satisfy the expectations of all our couples, there will be some who remain disappointed.

“We have reached settlements with nearly every couple whose weddings have been cancelled or postponed through March to August.

"The reality for us now is we will lose our first year’s income while still bearing significant overheads.

“From the very outset of lockdown in mid-March, we have acted fairly and considerately, above and beyond our terms and conditions.

“The vast majority of our customers have been understanding.

"All indications suggest that weddings will be doable in September, and the refunds have been very fair and on better terms than many other venues.

“We have a duty to make sure the business is viable for those brides who have booked in or been postponed to 2021.

"We are grateful for the support of the community and look forward to celebrating with our couples as soon as government allows.”