The wedding nightmare that left dozens of brides without a venue -- some days before their wedding date -- are finding some hope and relief as other venues step up.
The Monte Cristo wedding venue in Everett has been silent since it announced through a text and email that it was closing immediately and canceling all weddings. Some were booked through 2021.
When employees at another venue in Snohomish, the Feather Ballroom, heard about the situation, they said they had to help.
"It's horrible. It really is or any industry to have a closure, but particularly in the wedding industry. My heart broke," said LynnD Stiles, who owns the Feather Ballroom with her husband.
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Cindy Perez and Brayan Ortiz were supposed to have their wedding at the Monte Cristo on Sunday and paid about $12,000 to the venue.
"Not even a week before their wedding. My husband heard me cry. 'Can we give them our venue? I have the date available.' He's like, 'Yes,'" Stiles said.
They're offering the venue for free to Perez and Ortiz.
"It was overwhelming. We probably cried more from that than the reality of Monte Cristo closing down because it was really touching," Ortiz said.
As for why the venue closed, the Monte Cristo said it had to shut down "because of a major decline in the owner's health."
But couples shared text messages in which the venue was asking for additional payments less than a week before the closure.
Employees say they also got no notice.
Seth Tomasevich said he worked a wedding at the Monte Cristo on Sunday, the night before the venue suddenly shut down.
"To find out they didn't say nothing to us about closing or anything, it was a big surprise," Tomasevich said.
He said employees haven't been paid in weeks and he's out about $2,000.
People are struggling to find answers and get their money back.
But couples like Ortiz and Perez are counting their blessings.
"We're two people who, when things go bad, they can go really bad for us," Ortiz said.
Both deal with chronic medical problems.
"I've been a cancer patient since I was 11, and I go in and out of remission fairly periodically, every two to three years. I'm 28 now," Ortiz said. "Cindy, since she was 15, has had these cluster headaches. And these headaches put you into a seizure state."
So they have insight on what it means for something to truly go wrong. But they say they know their wedding day will be just fine.
In fact, it will be "much better than what we originally dreamt of," Ortiz said. "It's just hard to believe a little. The full gravity of how well things are going. And that's just off of the pure kindness and goodness of the community."
The value of what the Feather Ballroom is donating is about $6,000.
Stiles said she and her husband are working with couples impacted by this closure on a case-by-case basis to see how they can help.
Ortiz said Dockside at Dukes also offered its venue for free after hearing about the sudden closure of Monte Cristo.
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