Brides-to-be left in lurch over Bluemound Gardens sale

WAUWATOSA (WITI) -- Thirty couples who thought they rented a Wauwatosa banquet hall for their weddings are now left holding the bag -- instead of a bouquet.

Right now, there's a plan to turn the Bluemound Gardens from a hotel and banquet hall into a housing unit for students from China -- about 200 of them.

That's left brides-to-be like Channel Ross left in the lurch. In November, she and her fiance booked the hall at Bluemound Gardens for their June wedding. In the middle of February, they called to pay the balance and were told the facility was being sold. They could get their $500 deposit back when the deal closes at the end of March or beginning of April -- not before.

"It's causing a lot of problems, like pretty much we're getting married in three months and we have no hall. We have no hall," said Ross.

The hotel group did say they are working with other venues for about thirty couples scheduled to be married in the coming months. If everyone wanted their deposits back at once, the hotel doesn't have the money to do it.

"Everyone understands that wedding dates are important and for many of these brides this is the biggest event and that's why the hotel group has been as helpful as they can be under these circumstances. businesses close from time to time. that's why they've been reaching out to these brides," said Tim Van de Kamp, attorney for Bluemound Gardens.

But Ross says the alternatives she has been given aren't working.

"They were trying to accommodate. But their prices we were getting quotes at $12,000, $15,000 and we're telling them, 'Where are we getting this money from?' And we were told they're working with us and that's the most they can do," said Ross."

Some other couples have filed lawsuits. They can all terminate their contracts at this point. But they will not get their money back until after the hotel deal goes through -- or a couple weeks before their wedding date -- whichever comes first.