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Wedding Coronavirus ruined my wedding and I lost all of my money

13:25  12 march  2020
13:25  12 march  2020 Source:   hellomagazine.com

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SEE: How coronavirus could affect your wedding day. Lea and Ruben cancelled their wedding due to coronavirus . Lea and Ruben lost all of the money spent on the wedding . " I sobbed," said Lea. "That was more than half of our guest list. I had hoped that it would go on as most of my family live in

Last modified on Apr 14, 2020 17:06 BST Bridie Wilkins COVID-19 and lockdown forced this bride to cancel wedding and lose all of her money .

a person in a white shirt: Hello! Magazine © @Copyright HELLO! Hello! Magazine Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Lea Abergel had been planning her wedding to fiancé Ruben Fellous since he proposed in January 2019. The dress was bought, the venue booked and 250 guests confirmed, but the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak meant Lea was forced to pull the plug on her big day.

"We are devastated and heartbroken," the 24-year-old told HELLO!. "We had sent out save the dates months ago, and everyone had booked a flight out to Tel Aviv."

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That's where it gets interesting. Lea and her partner live in Israel, while their families live in London and Paris. Just 15 days before Lea was due to say I do on 23 March, Israel closed the borders from France, meaning that no French citizens would be allowed into the country.

a group of people posing for the camera: lea ruben london z © Provided by Hello! lea ruben london z Lea and Ruben cancelled their wedding due to coronavirus

"I sobbed," said Lea. "That was more than half of our guest list. I had hoped that it would go on as most of my family live in London, but in time things got worse."

Sure enough, Israel went on to enforce a 14-day quarantine for anyone arriving into the country from overseas- London included. Since her family were only arriving a few days before the wedding, this meant they wouldn't be out in time for the ceremony.

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"This was the most important part for me," said Lea. "I can't imagine getting married without my parents and siblings."

Interestingly, though the country is implementing strict rules upon entry, there is currently no protection for local businesses or residents affected by the coronavirus outbreak, including weddings. "The venue manager was happy to go ahead with the wedding," Lea told us. "Because it was our choice to cancel, they are not willing to pay us back and we have lost 100 per cent of our fees." She adds that they've also lost the money they shelled out for everything from caterers to flowers.

a person standing posing for the camera: lea ruben two x © Provided by Hello! lea ruben two x Lea and Ruben lost all of the money spent on their wedding

"We have decided to hire a lawyer," she added. "This is a situation that doesn't depend on us and it's unfair that we have to pay the price. We wanted and want to get married but we would be paying for 250 guests when over 200 of them are unable to attend because the Israeli government has closed the borders. Even if it isn't the venue's fault, something should be done to protect people who suffer the consequences."

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As for her guests, Lea says that many have lost the money they spent on flights and hotels for their stay and, to add insult to injury, Lea and Ruben have lost money from their honeymoon, too.

"We had a trip booked to the Maldives for the week after our wedding, but now we won't be going since we won't be allowed back into the country without having to go into quarantine. We wouldn't be able to work during this time which isn't an option for us." As a result, the couple have lost half of their hotel fees (this was a standard reimbursement agreement, and not a practice enforced due to coronavirus), but luckily were refunded 100 per cent of their flight fees as the Israeli airline had cancelled all flights to Asia. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak (Photos)

Lea and Ruben are too upset to look into rescheduling at this point, but Lea says that they hope to get some of their money back which they may use on a smaller wedding since they wouldn't be able to afford another of the same size.

Her advice for any couples due to marry soon? "Make sure you have some sort of wedding insurance and protection if you haven't already booked your venue. I also became aware that a lot of people are apprehensive about being in crowds and touching like they would while dancing so, if I'm honest, I would avoid getting married within the next few months."

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Weddings as we know them are up in the air for the foreseeable future. Between stay-at-home orders, social distancing guidelines, financial hardships, fears about traveling and venue closures, many engaged couples will have to adjust their original wedding plans — and that may include cutting down their guest lists.

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