Harrogate hotel offers Sheffield couple dream wedding after their ceremony was cancelled by Thomas Cook

A Sheffield couple will enjoy a £7,000 wedding reception thanks to the kindness of Yorkshire hospitality businesses.

Monday, 28th October 2019, 3:00 pm
Updated Monday, 28th October 2019, 4:45 pm
Craig and Kirsty, from Sheffield, will hold their dream wedding in Harrogate

Craig Williams and Kirsty Ward were offered the free package by the owner of the White Hart Hotel in Harrogate after the pair's wedding in Cyprus was cancelled due to the collapse of holiday operator Thomas Cook in September.

The pair had saved up for three years for the ceremony abroad and booked to fly out with 30 guests, including their three children.

Philip Barker, who owns the White Hart and sister venue the Fat Badger, stepped in and his generosity has been matched by several other local businesses, who have offered catering, hair and make-up, flowers and entertainment for their big day.

Greed and the £300-a-night hotel that led to Thomas Cook's collapseCraig and Kirsty visited the hotel within 24 hours of their wedding being called off.

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The couple have now been offered:-

- A 1930s vintage Beauford tourer van from Wharfedale Cars

- Hair and make-up for the bridal party from BeBaBo

- Photos by Ben Jamieson

- Flowers from Four Seasons

- Balloons and decorations from Party Fever

- A wedding cake from Mama Doreen's Emporium

- A Magic Mirror from 4D Photobooth

- Evening entertainment by Dean Sowden of Scran Restaurant & Bar

- Drinks reception by Slingsby's Gin

- Children's activities by Pots to Go

Kirsty said:-

"I’ve been completely overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity shown by so many people and we can’t thank the people of Harrogate enough for wanting to do this for us. We just didn’t expect anything like this at all! One minute we’re counting the cost of losing our wedding day and the next thing, we’re in the middle of organising something bigger and better than it was originally going to be, it’s just amazing and Craig and I can’t believe how lucky we are. We will be forever grateful to all the people who’ve been so thoughtful and kind-hearted. Particular thanks go to Simon and Fran at the White Hart who’ve helped with co-ordinating everything and helping us plan our special day, we’re just so excited!”

The living nightmare faced by Thomas Cook staff after company's collapseThe wedding takes place on Wednesday October 30.

White Hart managing director Simon Cotton added:-

“Being in the travel industry ourselves, it was a sad day to see the end of Thomas Cook as an operator and our sympathies go out to the many staff who have been left not knowing what will happen with their jobs. I’m also in the middle of planning my own wedding for next year and I really felt for this couple who’d spent all this time planning and saving up to then have it all taken away at the last minute and I couldn’t help but think we must try to do something. I called Philip to let him know of the couple’s plight. He’s great with things like this and a very generous person so didn’t hesitate to want to help out.

“What has been equally amazing is that since the story initially broke, the phone hasn’t stopped ringing with offers of further help from businesses and suppliers around Harrogate who also wanted to do their bit to help this couple out. What started as an offer to provide the wedding venue and wedding breakfast and drinks has turned into a wedding far bigger and with so much more than the couple had originally planned or could afford."

Jet2 respond to increased demand following Thomas Cook collapseThe White Hart Hotel had offered them a package worth over £3,000 including a three-course wedding breakfast and drinks, room hire, accommodation and a DJ.

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