A COUPLE’S dream wedding in the Caribbean turned into a ‘nightmare’ – with a series of blunders which even saw them return home ‘legally’ unmarried.

Andy Helsdon, 45, and his partner Heidi Brown, 49, from Lower Darwen, had spent 18 months saving up and planning the wedding of their dreams at what holiday firm TUI described as a luxury five-star family resort in Jamaica.

The whole party of 24 spent in excess of £46,000 for accommodation and flights for the April wedding and the couple themselves spent more than £5,000 including the wedding package.

Instead, they were left in shock when they arrived at the 'Platinum Collection' Rui Montego Bay hotel and felt it couldn’t have been further from the peaceful place TUI had described.

Andy said: “The place resembled a rowdy 18 to 30s resort with foam parties in the pool and women twerking on the bar.

“Most evenings the children had to stay in their rooms with an adult because the entertainment was overly sexualised and not suitable for families.”

Also among the catalogue of errors included the minister arriving late on a flight, and then rushing through the service due to flights going overhead and also their wedding co-ordinator not showing up.

But the troubled trip turned into a disaster a day later when they noticed the witnesses names were written by the minister in the wrong place on the wedding register, therefore invalidating the document, meaning they had not officially tied the knot.

Andy said: “We spent the rest of the holiday speaking to various people, including the TUI representative about how we could correct this but they didn’t take it seriously. They even tried to blame us and said we filled them out wrong.

“We were verging on hysterical and they just scribbled on our copy of the document by way of correction, even though this didn’t mean anything legally as the official register didn’t match. The whole experience left us feeling ashamed in front of our guests who had all spent a lot of money to join us.

“Heidi spent the plane journey home sobbing her heart out. We feel like we are still living in hell, in limbo about if the wedding is legally binding. We should be basking in happy memories but instead our special day will always be tarnished.

Heidi said: “We went away to get married and commit our lives to each other and it has just been one big stressful mess. This was meant to be a holiday of a lifetime for not only ourselves but our guests, making memories we could cherish forever but it will always be tainted with this memory.

“We came home not sure if we we’re even married. We are utterly heartbroken.”

The couple have spoken to the Blackburn Register Office and the National Register Office who have both advised that in England, Andy and Heidi’s wedding is not legal.

Now, the couple have instructed solicitors Bott and Co to pursue legal proceedings against TUI. David Bott, senior partner at Bott and Co said: “Under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 2018 and the Consumer Rights Act 2015, TUI had a responsibility to provide all the elements of the package contracted as they were described.

“There was a contract in place between both parties to provide a legally binding wedding which was not fulfilled.”

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A TUI spokesman said: “We are very sorry to hear of Mr Helsdon and Ms Brown’s experience in Jamaica. As this is now a legal matter, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”