7 On Your Side helps Va. couple get refund after wedding venue falls through

Chris Argyros and Kelly Schauwecker. (Photo: Chris Argyros and Kelly Schauwecker)

ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) – An Arlington couple’s wedding plans were sent spinning after the company that managed the venue they booked went out of business. Making matters worse, the closure meant their $2,400 deposit was gone. That's when they called 7 On Your Side for help.

Almost the first thought that flashed through Kelly Schauwecker’s head the moment after she accepted Chris Argyros’ marriage proposal was, “I need to plan a wedding now!”

“When you’re getting married in D.C., you quickly learn that the vendors book up very easily, very quickly,” Argyros said.

The couple contacted a company called Washington Parties. At the time, the company managed the Ballroom at McLean Gardens in the District. They booked the venue, planned the reception, and signed a $13,000 contract with Washington Parties for an April wedding celebration. The planning was going well—at least for 10 months.

“People always say there’s something that always comes up in a wedding,” Schauwecker said.

“When I say it was out of the blue, I mean it was totally out of the blue that this all changed and left us out to dry like this,” Argyros said.

Washington Parties was going out of business and a reception at the Ballroom at McLean Gardens was now not an option.

“It really cut down on our options to have to find another venue at four months out,” Schauwecker said.

Washington Parties co-owners Philippe Demol and Stuart Woodroffe promised to refund the couple their $2,400 deposit. Weeks went by and several phone calls were exchanged, but the couple says no refund check came in the mail.

“I just don’t know where the $2,400 went and why they don’t have it to give to us,” Schauwecker said.

That’s when the couple reached out to 7 On Your Side.

“It’s not something we wanted to have hanging over our heads like this,” Argyros said.

7 On Your Side then called Demol and Woodroffe. They both apologized to the couple and promised the refund was on the way. In fact, less than an hour after 7 On Your Side spoke with the co-owners, a check arrived at the couple’s home—the full $2,400 refund.

The couple was able to book a new venue for their spring wedding. It wasn’t exactly what Schauwecker had in mind and it is more expensive than the Ballroom at McLean Gardens, but their wedding plans are now back on schedule.

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