A former star of TV show Real Housewives has snapped up a historic Kent castle - and says weddings are back on at the venue.
Ann Kaplan Mulholland has confirmed she is the new owner of the £11 million Lympne Castle, near Hythe, which made headlines last week when dozens of heartbroken couples were told their big day had been cancelled.
The firm previously running weddings at the site had emailed those set to marry to say their bookings had been scrapped following the sale, and they would be receiving a full refund.
But multi-millionaire Kaplan Mulholland says she and her husband, Dr Stephen Mulholland, intend to honour "each and every wedding contract".
The 62-year-old, who was recently pictured with Richard Branson on his luxury private island, says she wants to set the record straight and reassure couples their "magical" day will still go-ahead.
"We are devastated that anyone had to panic or to be concerned that their special day was somehow 'cancelled'," she said.
"We had, and have, full intention to honour each and every wedding contract."
Kaplan Mulholland says to help those who were "taken by surprise", they are giving every couple who had a wedding booked a 20% discount.
They will also receive a "beautiful wedding gift basket on their special day”.
Luke Jones and Natalie Holness, from Folkestone, were among those told their wedding for next summer had been cancelled after booking it just three months ago.
Bride-to-be Natalie was left "crying in the supermarket" after receiving a "cold and unsympathetic" email from bosses at the venue.
But Mr Jones says he has now been contacted by the the new owners, who have been "very accommodating".
The 30-year-old said: "From what we gather, it doesn’t seem like the new owners were aware that the old owners were intending to cancel all the bookings in the manner they did and they have been very apologetic and have even offered us a generous discount.
"We haven’t made any final decisions. We arranged some new viewings after the original cancellation and we figured we may as well still see these as we have yet to formally sign on with the new owners and are not contract-bound to stick with them.
"We are considering it as the new owners have been accommodating and seem genuinely sorry for what’s happened.
"Overall I’m feeling more positive than I was previously, and hope that they are able to deliver on the new promises.
"Our anger is mostly with the [previous wedding business] who were very blunt, refused to answer questions and have still not processed our refund that they promised us 10 days ago.
"I understand that due to GDPR they weren’t able to send our details to the new owners, but there was no need to cancel the contracts so bluntly with little explanation given.
"Had they just informed us that they were unable to send our data and politely requested that we get in touch with the new owners to transfer the booking ourselves I doubt anyone would have had an issue."
Due to the retirement of the former owner, the 700-year-old castle was put on the market for £11 million in 2021, but the sale was only finalised yesterday.
A spokesperson for the team previously running events at the venue last week told KentOnline that the weddings were wound up as the castle was sold as a property, not a business.
They added: "Regrettably, this has meant that we have had to formally cancel our booked events and were unable to transfer them directly to the new owners.
"We fully understand the distress this has caused and hope that bookings/rearrangements can be made very soon."
On Valentine's Day - the day KentOnline broke news of the cancellations - Kaplan Mulholland posted a video of her dancing in the grounds of the Grade I-listed castle to her 46,600 Instagram followers.
Twelve says before she had posted another selfie outside the castle, captioned: "House hunting in England".
The entrepreneur is the founder of iFinance, author of four books, and a television host.
She also formerly starred in The Real Housewives of Toronto, having been married to her plastic surgeon husband for 22 years.
Between them they have eight children, and live in the affluent Bridle Path neighbourhood in the city.
Kaplan Mulholland founded iFinance Canada Inc. in 1996 and has taken the company from a start-up to one of the largest consumer finance companies in Canada.
She has received more than 40 international and national awards for business, and has hosted television shows including Global’s NYtv, The Ultimate Makeover, and CosmedicTv.
She is also frequently seen on the lecture circuit discussing viewpoints on bank regulation, credit lending and entrepreneurship, and is a keen motivational speaker.
She holds a Doctor of Business Administration, Masters In Business, Master in Science and a Corporate Governance Designation.