Raleigh wedding venue suddenly closes – leaving couple thousands of dollars

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — The Garden On Millbrook Facebook page shows off a lovely venue and for Joyce Collins and Anthony Coleman, it was the perfect spot.

“We were going to get married there, so why not hold our reception there?” said Joyce Collins.

Collins sent CBS 17 a bank statement showing that on July 22, 2020, the venue received a $2,000 deposit via debit card.

Collins also provided CBS 17 with a signed booking agreement for a May 30, 2021 wedding date. That never happened because the pandemic got in the way.

“My dad got sick and eventually passed away that year as well and we wanted to change the date of the wedding,” Collins said.

That’s when the problems with the place started.

Collins and Coleman began having trouble contacting the establishment.

She provided us with copies of emails that bounced back as “undeliverable”.

The venue’s website was no longer there.

When you click on the link, you find that it has been removed, replaced by a generic WordPress page.

“We took the necessary steps to contact these people, call them, even email them and we couldn’t get a response from anyone,” fiancé Anthony Coleman said.

When the couple complained to the BBB, they found that the agency could not help either as they received no response from the venue.

The BBB sent Collins an email, which she provided to CBS 17, saying he should close the case.

Consumer Investigator Steve Sbraccia drove to the Garden on Millbrook and found the car park secured with a chain and padlock.

The snow that fell on the steps of the site last Friday showed no signs of leaving or arriving.

The front door was locked and no one answered the intercom out front or answered the doorbell.

The Corporate Records page for the Secretary of State’s office states that Millbrook Garden is now known as Millbrook Catering.

Records list Arlee Griffin as president.

Sbraccia was able to find a number for Griffin and reached him by phone.

He said the venue was “not taking reservations at the moment due to COVID”. He declined to give further details on the location’s status.

He told Sbraccia over the phone that he would sort out the couple’s problem if they contacted him.

Sbraccia passed her number to Collins.

After speaking with him on the phone, Collins later told Sbraccia that the venue asked for proof of his contract and proof of payment which she emailed to them. He was told the site would refund the $2,000 within two weeks.

CBS 17 will continue to follow this story to let you know how it goes.

About Octavia A. Dorr

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