A COUPLE’S wedding dreams have been shattered for the second time after a hotel announced it is to close for refurbishment.
They are one of three couples ‘left in the lurch’ by the shock news that the Riviera Hotel in Weymouth is to close for a major refurbishment.
A total of 33 members of staff also face an uncertain future when the hotel at Bowleaze closes from the end of September until May next year.
It is the second time Sarah Barzilay, 29, and Mark Anderson, 37, have been let down.
They originally booked their wedding at the Portland Spa Hotel, now The Venue.
The hotel and conference centre closed last year.
Miss Barzilay said: “After we were let down by Portland Spa we booked the Riveria thinking it could never happen again.
“When we found out about this, we couldn’t believe it.
“My partner Mark is disabled so we wanted to do the wedding and reception in one place to make it easier.
“If we can’t find a venue where we can do that, it is going to be so much hassle.”
She added: “We have to get married on that day because it is also my mum and dad’s wedding anniversary and we want to share their special day.
“It would also be my 30th birthday when it turns midnight.”
Charlie Connolly, 33, is also furious that she and her fiance Jay McGee, 40, have been left without a reception venue.
Miss Connolly, of The Doves, Weymouth, said: “With nine weeks to go I’ve been told that we can’t have it at the Riviera and various family members have booked hotels.”
Miss Connolly and Mr McGee are due to wed on October 30 at St Nicholas Church in Broadwey before having their reception with a sit-down meal in the Bayview room.
They have four children, Matthew, 12, Kai, 12, Angel, nine and Hope, six. Miss Connolly added: “We’ve been planning it all since last October.
“We’ve been together for a long time and finally got around to the wedding. Everywhere is full so we are left in the lurch.”
A spokesman for the Riviera said the hotel had the three weddings booked up until January as well as 13 corporate functions and private parties. The spokesman said most of the staff were expected to leave on severance packages.
The Grade II listed art deco building will undergo a major internal refurbishment.
The 115 rooms will be reduced to 91 larger rooms. A new reception, restaurant and kitchen will be installed.
Jon Wright, hotel manager, said: “The hotel looks stunning from a distance but needs a lot of work to bring it up to modern standards.
“Some work was carried out earlier this year but the owner now believes it is more effective to close for a few months and make the major changes rather than try to work around guests and the disruption building work will inevitably cause.”