Hotel cancels couples' wedding reception to accommodate Redskins

Planning a wedding can be stressful to say the least, especially when it comes time to choose a wedding venue. Now imagine the sense of frustration and loss Chris Charity, 29, and his fiancée Cecilia Hall, 27, felt when the hotel where they booked their wedding reception canceled on them -- in order to accommodate an NFL football team.

Only three months away from their dream wedding -- or what they thought would be -- the young couple from District Heights, MD, are in the midst of what's best described as a logistical nightmare. Last week, the hotel they secured for their wedding reception unexpectedly canceled on them.

The Redskins' training camp has called the Omni Richmond Hotel home for the past three years. Usually, the team's pre-season training wraps up before Aug. 15, the same day of Hall and Charity's wedding. However, this year, that isn't the case. The NFL pre-season is starting a week earlier, meaning the Redskins will need to stay at their home away from home for at least a week longer.

"The Omni Hotel in Richmond asked us to move our wedding date, or move to another hotel, because the Washington Redskins had last-minute changes," Charity explained.

Needless to say, the soon to be newlyweds were utterly shocked. Earning government salaries, Charity and Hall are both paying down their student loan debt, on top of sending $600 monthly checks each to the Omni hotel since signing a catering contract in October of last year.

They've paid the hotel nearly $11,000 to date, and expect their wedding reception to cost $20,000. On average, most contemporary brides and grooms spend over $28,000 on their wedding day celebrations.

While Hall is unhappy, her dissatisfaction lies with the hotel, not the Redskins.

"I don't blame the Redskins. I'm a life-long fan and still am," said Hall. "I do blame the Omni." After receiving news of the couples' plight, the Redskins offered the couple sideline passes to a game of their choice. Charity and Hall chose a home game against the Cowboys.

Charity and Hall weren't the only guests to be displaced as a result of the hotel's double-booking gaffe. An FDA Protection Seminar with 125 attendees hailing from 14 different states and costing thousands in taxpayer dollars has also been cancelled. Needless to say, they weren't happy either. In fact, the Central Atlantic States Association of Food and Drug Officials even went as far as to threaten legal action if they are accommodated or compensated.

As for Hall and Charity, they said the Omni gave them a fair deal after media pressure. Not only will their $11,000 deposit be returned, but the hotel is also sending the couple a $19,000 check to hold their wedding reception at the nearby Jefferson Hotel.

While Hall and Charity are still unsure where all of their wedding guests will stay, they're happy they now know for sure where their wedding reception will take place. "They say, 'Happy wife, happy life,' and my job is to keep her happy,” Charity explained.

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