Couple's anger over wedding hitch

It was to be their dream wedding. The dresses were ready, the cake was ordered and the couple was looking forward to the big day.After months of preparation Jennifer Sparkes, 23, and Gary Worts, 30, of Richmond Rise, Reepham, were set for their wedding in Reepham on March 3 and function in the heart of rural Norfolk in the 19th century Lenwade Country House Hotel.

It was to be their dream wedding. The dresses were ready, the cake was ordered and the couple was looking forward to the big day.

After months of preparation, Jennifer Sparkes, 23, and Gary Worts, 30, of Richmond Rise, Reepham, were set for their wedding in Reepham on March 3 and reception in the heart of rural Norfolk in the Lenwade Country House Hotel.

But on Tuesday, just over a month before the ceremony, their worst nightmare came true when they discovered that the Lenwade hotel had been shut down and all the staff had been laid off.

The couple were stunned, particularly at the fact they had heard nothing from the hotel, and - faced with having to rearrange the 100-guest wedding in so short a time - even considered calling it off.

Miss Sparkes said: "We have got to start again, sorting out the flowers, the photographer, the catering, sending out new invitations to 100 guests and I don't even know if half of them will be able to change it.

"We have been together five years and we have been planning this for a long time - this was supposed to be my special day."

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Leaseholder for the Lenwade hotel, Paul Lin, spoke to the EDP on Tuesday and said he was in negotiation with receivers about getting a deal to reopen the hotel and take on the hotel's staff of about 25.

A notice on the front door of the hotel advised people to contact The Old Brewery House Hotel at Reepham for accommodation.

But speaking yesterday, the manager of The Old Brewery House Hotel, David Hurst, said it had led to the hotel being swamped with irate phone calls with people expecting the hotel to take on Lenwade's bookings.

He said: "This has caused me untold problems. People are welcome to book accom-modation and weddings with us but we have nothing to do with Lenwade. We are part of Oxford Hotels and Inns."