Houston-area couple left without dream wedding and venue deposit due to pandemic

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- The COVID-19 pandemic forced many people to rethink big celebrations, like weddings.

Many couples who ended up canceling their events were unable to get their deposits back, including Houston-area duo Roxanne and Randy Lewis.

Both had dreamed of their perfect day for so long. They secured a venue in Montgomery County and took out a loan of $15,000 to pay for it. The couple scheduled the wedding for March 27, 2020.

The state shutdown forced them to reschedule the wedding for May 2020, which ultimately didn't happen either.

Roxanne told ABC13 they can't get the venue to refund any of their money. The venue told the couple they could instead reschedule for this year, but they chose not to. The couple eloped last year instead.

Roxanne said the contract did state no refunds, but she feels like they should make an exception.

"It makes me feel frustrated. It makes me feel nervous," she said. "I am frustrated because we've worked so hard to try and figure out a good alternative. Regardless of what's going on, they're unwilling to budge."

The couple is now expecting their first child, and Roxanne said she doesn't want to walk down the aisle while pregnant.

Attempts by Eyewitness News to reach the wedding venue for comment have been unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, Professor Ryan Marquez at the University of Houston Law Center's Consumer Law Clinic said anyone planning an event must pay close attention to the contract.

He said people should opt for a vendor with more generous cancellation policies.

Marquez said insurance could also be an option.

"You should always look into insurance," said Marquez. "But insurance, just like anything, has exclusions. Maybe it would cover weather-related events, but will it cover a pandemic?"
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