A COUPLE have been left ‘devastated’ after their wedding venue cancelled their booking just weeks before they were due to tie the knot.

Abby Wharne and Olli Hellmann, from Hove, had booked the Coach House in Middle Street, Brighton, for their big day.

But this week they were told that the venue has cancelled.

The couple are due to get married and then emigrate to New Zealand so the celebration was due to be a big farewell to family and friends.

Now they have appealed for help to find a new venue in time – and inform their 80 guests.

Abby, 34, who works as an archivist in Chichester, met Olli online two years ago.

She said: “I’m really disappointed and upset to be told the news with less than three weeks to go.

“We were due to get married but we are told that the Coach House has closed.

“We want to find out more about what has happened.

“They just sent an email to us and I have not been able to get in touch with them. It is not good customer service. We only paid for this two weeks ago. We are moving to New Zealand in six weeks, so it was our going away party as well.”

She said they are still determined to find a venue and have been asking friends and venues for help.

Olli, 40, a politics lecturer at the University of Sussex, said: “This was supposed to be one of the best days of our lives, so I’m pretty upset. A lot of planning has gone into it, so it is difficult to accept it is not going to happen as we planned it. We went in two weeks ago to discuss the last details.”

Their first date was at the Evening Star pub in Brighton and he later proposed there using a special beer mat, he said.

Olli added: “She didn’t spot it for about 45 minutes, so I was reaching the point of dropping subtle hints, but she saw it, then I got down on one knee to propose and she said yes.”

The Argus attempted to contact Coach House for comment. On Companies House the pub is still trading, but a director resigned on May 7. The website says it is “closed until further notice”.