A COUPLE whose wedding reception was cancelled when the venue closed have been inundated with offers to help.

Abby Wharne and Olli Hellmann have faced an uphill struggle to find an alternative after the Coach House in Brighton cancelled their reception.

It gave the couple, from Hove, just weeks to find a new venue.

They had planned to hold the party at the pub in Middle Street but were told it had “closed”.

Abby, 34, and Olli, 40, are set to emigrate to New Zealand together, so their wedding was also a chance to say farewell to friends and family members.

But since their story appeared in The Argus they have been flooded with offers from business owners concerned by their plight.

Among the business owners to contact The Argus to help was Martina Packham, who has a cafe in Portland Road, Hove.

The 63-year-old said: “I felt really sorry for them. I saw their story when I was having a break from work and thought just how awful it is. Getting married can be enough of a stress so to have it cancelled was very sad.

“I just thought about if it had been my own son or daughter so I have offered to provide the venue for free.”

Mrs Packham said she has taken on the cafe and called it @AvaBetsy, as a family venture with her children Briony, 27, and Reese, 32.

She has already had interest in the cafe as a potential wedding venue and is creating a flower wall inside. The couple have also had offers from friends and family.

Meanwhile Roger Collins from the Constitutional Club in Burgess Hill also heard about the story and offered to help as did Paulo Agostinho from Bohemia in The Lanes, Brighton.

He said: “I was really touched by their situation, I can only imagine how distressed they may be to have their wedding plans cancelled with such a short notice.

“It may be too late and they may already have sorted out new plans, I just thought I should offer some help since we may be able to.”

Abby, an archivist, previously told The Argus she is still “determined” to hold the ceremony with Olli, a politics professor at the University of Sussex.