A POPULAR wedding venue has cancelled all weddings next year leaving at least one couple's dream day in tatters.

Diglis House Hotel has confirmed no weddings will take place at the riverside venue in Severn Street at all in 2023.

The managing director of the hotel says the 'tough decision' was taken after difficulties recruiting staff and will protect at least 30 jobs.

She said the hotel can offer a better service to customers if it focuses on its core offering.


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Worcester News: GUTTED: Mark Wheeler and Trudy KerrGUTTED: Mark Wheeler and Trudy Kerr

Mark Wheeler, 51, and Trudy Kerr, 45, of Worcester, booked the venue for August 19 next year.

It had always been Miss Kerr's dream to tie the knot at the Diglis and she was devastated to learn her dream would not come true on Friday morning.

Mr Wheeler said: "They said we would get our deposit of £1,500 returned but this does not help if we are unable to find a venue on the same day as we have paid deposits to a photographer and a band.

Worcester News: STUNNING: The Diglis House Hotel where the couple hoped to tie the knot.STUNNING: The Diglis House Hotel where the couple hoped to tie the knot.

"Our booking was still 14 months away and worth nearly £10,000 to them." 

Mr Wheeler, who runs a business in Redditch, got engaged to Miss Kerr, a nurse, in December 2021. The couple has been together since 2016.

Worcester News: DREAM: The Diglis House Hotel. Photo: Laura SmithDREAM: The Diglis House Hotel. Photo: Laura Smith

Mr Wheeler added: "We have been looking for an alternative venue for next year, preferably the same date, but are struggling to find anything. The Diglis was Trudy's dream venue and she is devastated.

"We have family that live in Bali and New Zealand who have started to make plans to attend the wedding."

They had already paid £500 in deposits to a band and photographer.

Mr Wheeler said: "The Diglis was the perfect venue, a traditional Worcester hotel overlooking the river, that could accommodate all of our family and friends.

"After the hardships they would have endured during the pandemic I would have thought they would be doing everything they could and not turning business away."

Managing director Debra Jones said: "Diglis House Hotel has had to make some tough decisions about the way it continues to run its business. Considering all the employment issues facing the hospitality industry, this city hotel is streamlining its offering and focusing on running a successful hotel and restaurant.

"This has meant it is protecting a minimum of 30 people’s jobs and livelihoods and can continue to offer excellent food and accommodation.

"This has unfortunately meant that some services have had to be looked at, resulting in the cancellation of weddings and events that were booked for 2023.

"The Diglis House Hotel has committed to going above and beyond to help those people affected in 2023, and all deposits are being refunded as we speak.

"Despite this meaning the Diglis House Hotel may lose some potentially lucrative revenue, they have looked to the future, the changing market, the protection of jobs and duty of care to its employees."

She also pointed out that the Diglis House Hotel had always been a hotel first and foremost - rather than a wedding venue.

In May, four weddings set to take place this year were cancelled due to issues hiring a wedding manager.