DIGGING DEEPER: Couple suing Empyrean Events and Catering, claims company owes them thousands
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Molly and Josh Craddock are suing Empyrean Events and Catering after they planned to have their wedding at one of their venues last year.
The couple got engaged in 2019 and after almost 10 years of dating they were ready to start their lives together.
“We didn’t want to wait another year to get married we’d already been together so long,” Molly said.
The couple searched for different venues in town and found Empyrean. They toured the venue at the PNC Building downtown and thought it would be a perfect venue for their New Years’ Eve wedding.
“Going down to the venue and seeing that they would have the fireworks that night and seeing that it would be at the very top of the building I was like this will be beautiful,” Molly said.
Josh went to sign the contract to book the venue for their day. He and Molly had worries about how the ongoing pandemic would affect their wedding day.
“That was kind of one of our big concerns we were like what happens in this contract to protect everybody,” Josh said.
In the contract Josh says he pointed out the force majeure clause which states “Neither parties obligations under this agreement are subject to and liable for, governmental or regulatory requirements, acts or omissions by third parties or any other cause beyond the parties reasonable control,”
“The big thing is they said that if you cant have it the biggest that you’d be out is $2500 dollar deposit and we’re like ok that seems reasonable if we can’t have it then we’re still getting married on that date,” Josh said.
Then covid restrictions began to roll in.
“The first restrictions came out it’s gonna be 50 so we’re communicating with them, they’re communicating with us we’re like ok we can do 50 well then that’s when they tell us per the contract with the cancellation you would owe 75 percent of the total contract so since youre within that cancellation period so even though its only 50 people you have to pay 75 percent of your total bill for the 125,” Josh said.
Once the number was reduced to 25 people Josh and Molly decided it would be best to cancel the wedding. But they say Empyrean’s owner Renee Miner told them they would still have to pay the full amount.
“She sends me an email saying we want in writing that you are the one that’s cancelling this contract you’re breaching the contract and with that you owe us the total contract value now since you’re backing out,” Josh said.
The couple decided to seek counsel for their issue. The lawyer they contacted told them the force majeure clause should apply. Meanwhile the couple still only had about two weeks to plan their wedding.
“I never imagined having to replan everything, a few weeks before getting married a few weeks before getting married, I never imagine Covid any of this happening and then dealing with these people that didn’t care,” Molly said.
In the end, Josh and Molly’s friends and family stepped up to make their wedding day as magical as they could. They held a small dinner party at Pine Valley.
“It was such a nice surprise, I was not expecting it all, just after everything we had gone through it was truly the best and made the day memorable forever,” Molly said.
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