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Couples forced to postpone their weddings furious at 'reckless' August Bank Holiday party attended by Love Island's Jack Fincham


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Additional reporting by Sean McPolin

Would-be-brides across the county have slammed reality stars and others for attending a party this bank holiday.

Boxley resident Kirsty Mayle criticised Love Island winner Jack Fincham and others who were seen at the party in Wrotham yesterday, saying it was "a slap in the face" to brides.

Love Island winner Jack Fincham was at the event on Bank Holiday Monday. Picture: Instagram/Jack Fincham
Love Island winner Jack Fincham was at the event on Bank Holiday Monday. Picture: Instagram/Jack Fincham

Love Island star Jack Fincham was seen partying at the event held by The Swan in West Malling .

The Swan Social, which was run by the West Malling bar, charged people £120 a ticket and claimed there would be social distancing measures in place.

However, videos emerged on social media from reality star and Swanley lad Jack Fincham, showing there was little to no distancing, which angered would-be bride Kirsty.

The 29-year-old was set to marry her partner at The Quee Suites in North Dane Way, Lordswood, but had to rearrange due to coronavirus guidelines.

She said: "We have postponed our wedding twice now after being told last week that we could marry in a register office, but my dad wouldn't be able to walk me down the aisle, our vows would be shortened to only include legal parts and guests were not permitted to speak to each other inside the venue. Then a reception would not include any music and seated at all times.

Kirsty took to Instagram to air her frustration
Kirsty took to Instagram to air her frustration

"Not only does this event make me angry as a bride it makes me angry as a local resident to this pub, while others are struggling to keep their hospitality business afloat and keeping in line with guidelines these organisers have shown a real greedy side to themselves.

"Love Island stars are paid to promote track and trace yet are promoting a rave event without social distancing.

"It's a joke and complete slap in the face to brides and the wedding industry."

Lauren Baker, from Bromley, spent the past three years planning her perfect wedding with fiancé Ollie Jaye at Cooling Castle, on the Hoo Peninsula.

The couple were due to be married on May 1 but rearranged the event because of the pandemic.

Current coronavirus guidelines mean they might have a significantly reduced number of friends and family see them get married, with the new date provisionally set for December 18, 2020.

But the 27-year-old was furious when she spotted the videos of the pub event which happened yesterday.

Lauren said: "The audacity of them thinking it's so ok that they've blasted it over social media - there's no remorse to it at all.

"It's insulting. It feels like we're irrelevant, speaking on behalf of other brides, and it's not important and that these other events are ok to carry on.

"If it was an equal playing field and everyone was in the same boat I could deal with the uncertainty but it's seeing these events happen and knowing I could go for a big brunch with my friends if I wanted, but I couldn't do the same for my wedding."

Lauren and Ollie were hoping to be married on May 1. Pic: Jennifer West Photography
Lauren and Ollie were hoping to be married on May 1. Pic: Jennifer West Photography

She added: "There have been more and more events happening recently that are ok to happen, and obviously there's still no movement on the wedding industry. We can only have 30 guests wearing masks including the registrar, and no reception."

The couple had a mock virtual wedding to mark the date of their would-be wedding but are hoping they will be able to invite all of their friends and family to the rescheduled date in December.

One wedding venue owner felt just as angry when she heard about the event.

Joanne McInnes, who owns the Barnyard in Upchurch, said: "How an earth could this event be sanctioned when they are advertising DJs, dancing, unlimited alcohol and selling tickets, when we as a wedding and events venue can't hold wedding receptions, events for anything over 30 people, and that's only dining.

"We're not allowed to dance, have DJs or live music to dance to."

Joanne McInnes runs the Barnyard wedding venue
Joanne McInnes runs the Barnyard wedding venue

Joanne added: "This event goes against everything that we've been told in this Covid pandemic that we're in."

Prior to the event, the bar claimed they would be following government guidelines, saying: "We have decided to say farewell to this extraordinary summer by holding a slightly different Swan Social.

"Tonbridge & Malling council have given us the go ahead to host a socially acceptable soiree on Monday August 31, from 1pm until 8.30pm.

"Your tables will be positioned two metres apart and you will be allowed to dance at your tables only. There won't be a dance floor and we ask that you don't form the conga at any point.

"We will be adhering to COVID-19 guidelines and expect everyone joining us to do the same, if our rules are followed we will stay healthy and safe."

Kent Police has confirmed its officers are investigating .

Spokesman Andy Saunders said: "We were aware of an event held in a marquee in Wrotham on Monday which had permission to take place under a Temporary Event Notice.

"During the event, patrols attended the venue to remind people about social distancing advice and encourage them to adhere to Covid-19 regulations.

"Photos and videos on social media have since emerged which appear to show that a number of attendees had breached the regulations and inquiries into the matter are ongoing."

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council says it gave consent for the party as the details and risk assessment "did not give rise to concerns".

But a statement from the council said media coverage of the event "does indicate that the measures agreed were not followed and rules were breached".

It added that it was working with police and would be "taking appropriate action".

The Swan has been approached for comment.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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