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Chester County parents lose thousands on daughter’s cancelled wedding and donate venue to local non-profit

  • Aniya Faulcon
Sad bride covering her face with hands isolated on white background

Sad bride covering her face with hands isolated on white background

Airdate: January 10, 2023

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Wedding venues often come with unbinding contracts, that lead to families losing thousands of dollars if their event falls through. Jaime and Michael Helbein, Chester County parents, joined us on The Spark Tuesday to tell us about their experience of paying for their daughters’ wedding venue reservation that eventually needed to be cancelled when the wedding was called off.

To turn a negative situation into a positive one, the Helbein’s gave their wedding venue reservation to a local non-profit, Art of Recycle, for a good cause.

“I guess the wedding planning was going well and at some time in May or June (of last year), the couple made the decision that they were not going to proceed with the wedding and we’re very proud of their brave choice to say, ‘even though everything was planned for just a few months away from that time frame, and if something wasn’t right that they put a halt to what they were doing and made a brave choice to do that,” Jaime Helbein said. “So we were left with a few months to make a decision on what are we going to do with our wedding venue that we were paying for in full.”

When the Helbein’s daughter and former husband-to-be called off the wedding, her parents invested over $20,000 on the venue, catering services, DJ, open bar, and other miscellaneous charges.

The Helbein’s tried to find another party that could take on the venue reservation and costs, but they couldn’t find someone in time and lost all of their money.

“At the time, you’re rushing to find places and you read the contracts, but, you know, you just think everything’s going to go well, so you move forward,” Michael Helbein said.

Jaime said, she and her husband searched for a non-profit organization to donate their wedding venue reservation to and she thought about Art of Recycle. She remembered that organization because their Art is a Necessity program was beneficial to her, as a teacher in need of supplies for her classroom. Jaime said, when she called Art of Recycle to donate their wedding venue reservation and DJ, the representatives at Art of Recycle were thrilled.

Art of Recycle is an all inclusive community educational center that aims to promote access and equality by inspiring people to use discarded, unwanted, and excess items as learning tools. They also aim to help people become more environmentally and socially conscious.

Joshua Myers, Executive Director for Art of Recycle, said the wedding venue donation made it possible for them to host their event on Saturday, Monet to Microscopes, where they aim to create a network to ensure that resources get to local nonprofits and do not end up in the landfill.

“This is not about funding another thrift store. This is about directly bypassing the dollar side of things and getting the resources directly to the people,” Myers said. “And we don’t want to be the bottleneck in all of that. We want to make sure that the conversation is started through a lot of non-profits and for-profits, all talking to each other and saying, ‘who needs these resources and getting them directly to them…”

For more information about Art of Recycle’s Monet to Microscopes event visit,

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