'Overwhelmed': From tears to smiles for bride and groom

The couple were looking forward to celebrating their big day with family and friends. Photo:...
The couple were looking forward to celebrating their big day with family and friends. Photo: Supplied via NZ Herald
An Auckland couple left devastated after their wedding reception venue ditched them for a higher-paying client, have today been overwhelmed by offers from generous businesses.

April Shwe contacted the Herald in tears on Tuesday after learning management at Tom Tom Bar and Eatery had cancelled on them.

Shwe, 27, and fiance Bobby Paul, 30, booked the venue - near Auckland's Victoria Park - in July. They thought they had secured it with their $500 deposit and multiple subsequent visits.

However, when they met the event organiser on Tuesday morning to confirm the wedding menu, they were instead told the eatery was cancelling on them because it wanted to host another group willing to spend $20,000 on a party.

The couple have since endured a roller coaster of emotions, with the tears of heartbreak turning to near tears of joy after being approached by multiple businesses today.

"It's actually been overwhelming but in the best way possible," Shwe said.

"This morning we were contacted by Mikano's, the restaurant, and we were like 'what?' it's like a fine dining restaurant and the owner reached out on Facebook and said he saw the [NZ Herald] article and he said 'come in this afternoon and we'll meet you'."

They took him up on the offer, as well as an approach from Grace Hill Vineyard in Kumeu, which left the couple shocked and explaining the size of their budget.

"He was like that's fine, come in and have a chat and we'll see what we can do for you."

They plan to visit management at the vineyard on Friday.

Shwe said they had already met with the general manager of Auckland waterfront hotel M Social and been offered "an amazing deal" which had left them "shocked and super grateful".

"He said they don't do weddings but because of the story they were happy to help us out and put on a function for us. He's gone above and beyond ... my partner left that venue nearly crying because he was just like, 'wow'.

"It was such a turn around from the day we were told we were probably not going to have a reception to now. It's like, insane."

The Wedding Collective had also been in touch with a potential offer for Orakei Bay, in Remuera, while restaurant Grasshopper had also been in touch.

The Oakroom, which was just a few doors down from Tom Tom, had also contacted Shwe, along with the "lovely couple" from The Dog's Bollix in Grey Lynn.

As well as messages and calls from generous business owners, many friends had also been in touch.

"Yesterday I was like, 'oh what am I going to do now' and people were suggesting places, but now actual places are reaching out to us which is amazing.

"It's been a crazy 48 hours to say the least."

Shwe said they would make a decision on which venue best suited their needs on Saturday.

Tom Tom owner Rav Brar said the cancellation was due to a miscommunication.

"The understanding was that if we could move them next door and not compromise their plans - only then we would let them move," he earlier told the Herald.

"Because we understand that it's a wedding - we host weddings all the time - it's just unfortunate that our events manager didn't pass on the right message.

"She's experienced but she's new to the job and due to the nature of the business she just didn't know."

He had contacted Shwe and offered both options.

"We will honour her booking because she booked before anyone else did."

However, Shwe doubted the sincerity of the offer and said accepting it would be like going on an "awkward date".

"We're on the hunt for a new venue after everything that's happened - and what's to say they're going to give us good service if we stayed," she said.

"It will be like a very awkward date."







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