Bombshell report slams failed wedding planner

A MAJOR wedding company that left couples devastated and creditors owed thousands of dollars may have been insolvent for at least three years before it collapsed, a bombshell report has revealed.

Wedding Planners Whitsundays, the Queensland region's largest planner, went into liquidation in October, leaving 39 couples stranded, employees and 65 small businesses owed $305,000

Investigations into the company's finances by liquidator Dennis Offermans found the company may have been insolvent as early as June 2016.

His analysis found deficiencies in working capital reported in the company's historic financial statements.

Mr Offermans' report found director Jessica Lawrence "breached the duty in relation to insolvent trading" but because she does not own property and has a limited ability to meet any compensation claim, it is not likely any prosecution action will be launched.

Four employees of Wedding Planners Whitsundays were owed $12,034.

The company provided wedding planning services in Airlie Beach since 2014.

It acted as an intermediary, receiving instructions from couples intending to marry and then booking suppliers on their behalf.

 

Suppliers rallied to support the affected couples.
Suppliers rallied to support the affected couples.

 

The couples paid the company and the company would manage a dedicated wedding package.

Mr Offerman's investigations show the company's lack of cash meant it could not pay for ongoing wedding package bookings.

The lack of resources within the company meant customer payment was not enough to meet supplier commitments.

Mr Offermans said his investigations were continuing to "enable us to evaluate the timing and causes of the shortfall".

The liquidator said 39 weddings were on the books and some were scheduled for within days of his appointment.

"Our immediate response was critical," Mr Offermans said.

Whitsundays businesses operating in the wedding industry rallied to support the couples and, thanks to their generosity, went ahead.

"The industry response and gracious actions by the supplier community was well received delivering the supplier services that the company had been unable to pay for in the lead up to our appointment," Mr Offermans said.

Fish D'Vine director Kevin Collins said there were about $100,000 in lost deposits his business had to cover.


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