Reporting Kristine Sorensen
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Weddings are beautiful occasions, especially at the Priory on the North Side.
The old Catholic church was converted into a banquet hall. The monastery next door was converted into a hotel and the courtyard in between is now a great place for a cocktail reception.
John Graf, whose family converted the Priory, discovered this new company called, Bridal Brokerage, which brokers the sale of weddings around the country that are already planned, but the bride and groom backed out.
It happens more than you may think.
“We do I’d say on average we see about two to three per year. And it’s not a happy circumstance by any means,” Graf said.
When that happens, the couple loses their deposit, and the vendors lose the rest of the payment.
Bridal Brokerage sells everything from the venue to the photography, video, flowers and entertainment, all at a discount.
Graf said in these cases, “They come out ahead and the venue comes out ahead because you have an event as opposed to being dark. So, yeah I think it’s great.”
Graf hasn’t had any cancelations since he first started using Bridal Brokerage in May, but he did have a few open dates with no bookings, so he offered them on the site for a 20 to 25 percent discount.
He’s already sold one that’s coming up in October.
So, who would buy a wedding that’s already planned and months or weeks away? Well, it could be good for military personnel or really anyone who doesn’t want to wait.
“What we see too are couples that are a little older maybe in their 30s that are more interested in tying the knot than having the long run up and so we find that they can be very flexible with their timing” Graf said.
There are open dates at the Priory on Bridal Brokerage for July 27, Aug. 3rd, Aug. 24th and Nov. 3, plus the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
The deal is there’s a $10,000 minimum and you get a 35 percent discount.
Graf said it doesn’t have to be just a wedding.
“It could be a retirement dinner. It would be a family party it could be a charity event so we welcome that with open arms,” Graf said.
Bridal Brokerage helps the venue like here at the Priory salvage what would have been an open weekend, helps the bride and groom who’s not getting married recoup some of their losses, and helps the new couple who bought the wedding save a little money.
There are other local bridal services for sale on Bridal Brokerage’s Facebook page as well.
You can find more information on Bridal Brokerage at their website.