Hertfordshire wedding venue Rothamsted Manor in Harpenden steps in to help save bride and groom's big day after they faced cancellation nightmare

Tim Mathews and Cassie Banks. Picture: TIM MATHEWS/CASSIE BANKS

Tim Mathews and Cassie Banks. Picture: TIM MATHEWS/CASSIE BANKS

Archant

It is the nightmare scenario which every soon-to-be-married couple dreads.

Tim Mathews and Cassie Banks. Picture: TIM MATHEWS/CASSIE BANKSTim Mathews and Cassie Banks. Picture: TIM MATHEWS/CASSIE BANKS

But thankfully when Tim Mathews, 37, and 39-year-old Cassie Banks’ long-planned wedding was thrown into doubt after their St Albans venue was cancelled, people rallied round to ensure they still walked down the aisle.

The couple had painstakingly spent months organising all the fine details of their perfect day including catering, photography, transport and the all-important guest list.

They had even scheduled the blessing service for a few days after their formal registry office wedding in a bid to cap off the perfect week.

But three weeks before the big day on Friday, June 9 they received news that the blessing could not go ahead because the venue they had booked, the Royal National Rose Society in St Albans, had closed.

Rothamsted Manor in Harpenden. Picture: JOHN MATHEWSRothamsted Manor in Harpenden. Picture: JOHN MATHEWS

“We were all upset and bewildered,” said John Mathews, father of the groom.

“We didn’t know what to do.”

Luckily, social worker Miss Banks’ bridesmaids rallied round to hold an appeal on social media for locations that could step in to help at the last minute.

With wedding venues often booked up months in advance, the couple could have been forgiven for thinking all their carefully-laid plans were in jeopardy.

Rothamsted Manor in Harpenden. Picture: JOHN MATHEWSRothamsted Manor in Harpenden. Picture: JOHN MATHEWS

But Rothamsted Manor, in Harpenden, agreed to host the couple on the same day so they could still say: “I do.”

That still led to a stressful few weeks rearranging their previous carefully-laid plans, including telling all their guests of the new venue.

“It was a big panic and a nightmare,” said Mr Mathews Snr, of St Leonard’s Crescent, Sandridge, St Albans, whose son grew up in the area.

“It took about 10 days to find a venue and we had to change all the arrangements for the taxis, caterer and photographer. We had to contact all the guests with the change of location.

“Thankfully and fortunately, they were all able to come because it was on the same day.”

He praised Rothamsted Manor manager Katie Simmons for her help, adding: “We had less than a month to find a new venue and Katie did everything possible to enable us to have a great time.

“She and her staff were so helpful and sympathetic and we feel that their reaction to our plight was so exceptional.”

Ms Simmons said: “Any change in plan so soon to the wedding is a bride’s worst nightmare and so it was our pleasure to be able to accommodate Tim and Cassie on their special day.

“Even the weather smiled on them on the day and the guests were able to enjoy the grounds.”

The blessing service was followed by a reception at Mill Green Golf Club in Welwyn Garden City.

The couple, who live in Shortstown near Bedford, are due to celebrate with a honeymoon in Morocco this month.

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