Insurance companies have planned ways to escape payment of refunds to brides and grooms who had cancelled their weddings as a result of lockdown.
This has made them face more heartbreak as insurers refuse to pay out.
The firms are using a loophole which says claims arising from government regulations are void, leaving many people hugely out of pocket.
But many venues are keeping deposits and telling couples to claim on insurance.
Adam Gibbs, 36, and Sarah Summerskill, 33, from Woking, won’t get a payout from their wedding – even though their policy states they would be covered in the event of “infectious diseases”.
They had been planning and saving for their wedding for the last 18 months and were supposed to have their dream wedding at Cain Manor in Surrey on 9 May.
The whole wedding package cost them £17,000, and the couple has so far paid £13,000, plus another £3,000 on ‘incidental’ bits for the wedding.
However, the venue has now cancelled the event and told them to pay a cancellation fee amounting to 80% of the total cost of the wedding, as listed in their wedding contract.
They were advised to claim the money back on insurance and then re-book the wedding – but the insurers say they aren’t liable because it is a government act.
Adam said: “It’s upsetting and stressful.
“It’s so much money to pay for a service we can’t use.
“We’re living in a rented flat in Woking – it’s a lot of money to lose.
“Between arguing with the insurer and the venue, it’s taken up most of April, but we’re not further forward.
“I’m insured with Dreamsavers – what an ironic name.
Wedding planner Lorraine Carroll, of Diamond Days Events, has been contacted by hundreds of couples.
She told The Sun: “I’m flabbergasted that venues and insurers are being like this.”
Jenny Maybury, 39, and Michael Bromwich, 35, from the Midlands, had paid for a Sunday wedding.
But their venue has offered them weekday alternatives and has stopped responding since they asked for their £5,000 deposit.
Jenny said: “It’s heartbreaking.”