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Experts Recommend Buying Wedding Insurance After Venue Closes

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11 News is learning how you can protect yourself when you are planning a big event.

As we've been reporting, the Craftwood Inn in Manitou Springs closed its doors this past weekend. The weddings planned there are canceled. Brides and grooms say they've been told they won't get their money back.

Sophia Holguin and her fiancé Brandon envisioned their dream wedding set to take place at the Craftwood Inn.

“We had everything set. Literally on Friday, we said to each other, 'It's so nice to have everything fall into place. It's going to be so fun.' Then it just completely turned in a matter of a day."

On Friday, Holguin dropped off her last payment for her April wedding, $1,000. Then just a couple days later she found out they were shutting down.

“I was helpless, completely helpless."

She says the Craftwood Inn owner told her she would not get any of her money back--more than $3,000. But on Wednesday, Holguin got a surprise phone call. The Pinery heard what happened and offered to host her wedding at no charge.

“I went from a nightmare to my dream come true. I can't even explain how I feel. So grateful, so grateful."

11 Call For Action anchor Betty Sexton recommends purchasing an insurance policy for your wedding.

"WedSafe has different plans available. For a $10,000 wedding, you can get $7,500 worth of coverage. It will cost you $130. So in a case where the venue goes bankrupt, you have to change the date and the venue, you can get all your money back," Sexton explained.

Sexton also says if you're planning a big event like a wedding, pay for everything with a credit card. That way, if the venue closes, or if there's a natural disaster, you can dispute the charge and get your money back.

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11 News is hearing from brides and grooms who are upset. Their wedding venue, the Craftwood Inn in Manitou Springs, shut its doors this past weekend.

It’s reportedly because business has been slow since the Waldo Canyon Fire and the flooding.

The owner told 11 News he would help couples come up with a new plan for their wedding, but some couples tell us that is not happening.

Heath Smith and his fiancée are frustrated. Their wedding is next month. He was supposed to meet at the Craftwood Inn this coming weekend to pick out the food menu, but now they are looking for a new venue. They booked their reservation there back in October. Smith says he found out about the restaurant closing through the news. On Tuesday, he got a call from the event coordinator, and he's upset about how it was a handled.

"It completely blindsighted us. We'd been in contact with the event coordinator off and on to make sure everything was going smoothly, so we had no idea this was on the horizon,” Smith explained.

Because the Craftwood Inn is filing for bankruptcy, the event coordinator told Smith it is likely they will not get any part of their $500 dollar deposit back.

So what can couples do? Attorney Mike McDivitt from McDivitt Law Firm in Colorado Springs told 11 News they have a civil recourse. He says if they have a contract and the amount paid is under $7,500, they can file a claim on their own in small claims court for breach of contract. If the amount is above that, they can go to county court and file a claim. McDivitt says they may not get their money back but it's worth a try.


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