SAN ANTONIO - A group of brides in the San Antonio area said they were promised they could get married inside a barn at a venue, Rancho La Mission, but never ended up getting their dream location.
Terri Nelligan-Davis said some of the memories of her wedding day in October 2015 aren't the sweetest.
"We were very stressed trying to think about what we were going to do...I believe I cried quite a bit leading up to it," she said.
Nelligan-Davis booked her wedding 16 months in advance at Rancho La Mission because it had a beautiful barn. At the time the barn wasn't ready to be used for events, but she said the owner, Raul Hernandez, assured her that it would be done in time.
"Less than two months before the wedding he sat us down and said, 'there's a possibility it may not be done, I just want to prepare you for the worst case scenario'," she said.
When she found out she asked if she could cancel her contract but was told she couldn't. Hernandez's lawyer said there's a reason for that.
"A lot of times these weddings are booked a year or even up to two years in advance so my client obviously puts that down on a calendar and he turns away business, other couples wanting to book that date or other people wanting to book events, so it has to be non-refundable," Hernandez's lawyer, Matt Norris said.
The day of Nelligan-Davis' wedding the barn wasn't ready and she had to get married outside.
KENS 5 Eyewitness Wants to Know spoke to nine other brides in the area who also said they signed a contract for the barn and didn't get it.
Norris said that in the fine print of the contract it says some buildings might not be accessible for an event if they don't have the right permits. He said the barn still needs a certificate of occupancy from the Fire Marshal's office.
"In the contract, there's a section that talks about that there's a possibility of specifically the barn not being permitted by the Fire Marshal and that's what happened in this case," Norris said.
It also said Hernandez has to give two months’ notice to a bride if the venue would not be available. Hernandez did email Nelligan-Davis saying the barn might not be ready, but at that point it was too late.
"Ninety percent of our guests were from out of town, out of state, so having them change hotels or flights or anything to get to a different place would have been pretty difficult," she said.
Nelligan-Davis and the other brides didn't want to shell out more money than what they had already spent to change their wedding venue. They are angry that what was supposed to be their perfect day turned out to not be what they had hoped for.
Rancho La Mission has been doing events for the past three years and the barn still doesn't have a certificate of occupancy from the Fire Marshal's office, according to Hernandez's lawyer.
However, this past April he said they started having events inside as long as there is someone from that office present.
Hernandez did offer Terri Nelligan-Davis a refund for the barn, but said that he didn't have all the funds at the moment so he would have to refund her in payments. Nelligan-Davis refused the offer, she said she and the other brides Eyewitness Wants to Know spoke with would rather speak out about their experiences at Rancho La Mission.
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