WNY couples lose thousands after being told Hotel Henry won’t refund wedding deposits


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)– Many Western New York couples looking to tie the knot are suddenly left without a venue. Hotel Henry is closing its doors, and couples are scrambling.

“The phone call happened and she basically said they don’t have the money, they’re not going to give us anything back and that they’re not going to give anyone anything back either,” Matt Murphy said that’s what Hotel management told him Friday night.

Matt and his fiance Abby Milliron are set to lose $10,000 and say that’s half of their wedding budget. They were going to marry here in May. Now, they’re not even sure they’ll want to re-plan the wedding because of the costs.

They’ve been together for 12 years and were looking forward to their wedding day, which was already pushed back because of the pandemic.

Matt says throughout this process and the state’s regulations on weddings, Hotel Henry ensured their wedding will go as planned. Then Matt says he found out the hotel was closing on the news first.

Matt and his fiance talked to the venue yesterday and were told they would not get back their two thousand dollar deposit or the extra eight thousand they already paid.

“It definitely feels pretty bad. We thought we were being financially proactive and responsible you know giving that money to them and trusting them with it and then ultimately being taken advantage of.”

Matt Murphy, Planned a wedding at Hotel Henry

Heather Friedline also feels like that.

“At the end of the day it is what it is for us, but I think we’re more frustrated because we almost feel like we got stolen from,” she said. “We feel that way because we just booked the location four months ago.”

This is the second venue that’s closed on couple John Domino and Emily Post.

“It’s deflating and defeating to be now at this point looking for our third wedding venue and it’s been difficult,” John said.

Couples say the hotel is suggesting other venues that will offer them incentives but it’s unclear if those incentives will equal the money these couples.

During their conversation with Hotel Henry staff on Saturday, they were referred to three different venues that could offer the couple discounts if they wanted to re-book at those alternate locations. John and Emily want a guarantee that they’ll get their money back and don’t believe those options will do that.

“Our deposit was thousands of dollars, are we going to get thousands of dollars in incentives? Or what’s the situation? The gentleman was very forthright and said I can’t tell you anything. I don’t know what they will offer you but they will offer you incentive,” John said.

Earlier this week Hotel Henry told News 4 that they are communicating directly with those affected by the hotel closing. News 4 reached out Saturday for comment on how the venue is not refunding couples, but have not heard back.

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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