Matfen Hall u-turn over wedding prices

A former stately home in Northumberland that came in for strong criticism after a significant hike in its wedding prices has said it will honour the original agreements.

By Andrew Coulson
Thursday, 16th September 2021, 12:40 pm
Matfen Hall.
Matfen Hall.

A number of couples took to social media to say they had been “ripped off” by Matfen Hall after it wrote to them last Friday to say it could no longer provide the venue at the fees agreed last year. It raised the minimum spend to £20,000, which couples had to pay if they wanted to keep their booking.

The hotel initially said that it has honoured 119 weddings at prices agreed in 2019 and 2020 by the previous management at a cost to the hotel of over £1.2million, but “it is not possible to absorb those costs indefinitely”.

However, a spokesman for the hotel has confirmed a u-turn by saying that all the affected couples had now “been offered to have their weddings at the original price”.

In a new statement, the hotel said: “We unreservedly apologise for the hurt this decision has caused. It was never our intention to cause any upset for the couples involved.

“Every wedding is a special occasion – the most precious day in a couple’s lives – and it has been our privilege to host hundreds of weddings and play a part in those special moments.

“We have invested heavily in upgrading the wedding experience at Matfen Hall to make those occasions extra special for our guests and as a result, many people have been booking their weddings for 2022 with us.

“It is clear that we have not explained this to a number of guests and that has caused a lot of hurt. We know it is up to us to put things right and to explain to those guests who had booked under the previous management how their wedding would be vastly enhanced.

“As is always best with matters like this, we are working privately and individually with the couples on a solution.”

Matfen Hall opened as a hotel in 1999 with 31 bedrooms under the ownership of Sir Hugh and Lady Blackett.

In 2004, a major expansion programme resulted in the number of bedrooms increasing to 53 and the Aqua Spa and leisure facilities were created.