It’s many years since I planned a wedding but I do remember how stressful it can all be trying to make it a dream day without the added hindrance of your wedding venue closing up without warning and your deposit disappearing as the aforementioned place goes down the swanny and your cash with it. So I feel terribly sorry for those couples planning their nuptials who found out the English Wine Centre at Alfriston was up for sale at auction in February and the company behind it had gone into voluntary liquidation. The brides and grooms also found themselves on a list of creditors as the £1,500 each couple handed over to company directors Rob and Annette Blackman is now part of a £100,000 debt that the firm managed to acquire in a year’s trading. While the collapse of any business is also unfortunate and upsetting for those who built it up, there is no excuse for a complete lack of communication between the Blackmans and the engaged couples they signed contracts with. The first they found out that their wedding venue did not exist anymore and their contract wasn’t worth the paper it was written on was when auctioneer Clive Emson announced the barns that make up the centre was up for sale. Then days afterwards came a letter from Mr Blackman saying he was devastated he and Annette had to close the centre and let people down. But no mention of their £1,500 deposits. Some of the couples have been lucky enough to be refunded by their bank or credit card company. One or two had wedding insurance which apparently protects against this kind of mishap. I didn’t know such a thing existed. Now there are scores of people trying to find alternative venues for their original date so they don’t lose other deposits with photographers, florists and the like for changing days. Love may be well blind but this wedding organising lark is certainly an eye opener.