Couples look for new wedding venue as Chattanooga Choo Choo cancels events for 2018

Chattanooga Choo Choo cancels 2018 events for redevelopment plans. (Image: WTVC)

Couples who booked with the Chattanooga Choo Choo for their weddings next year will now have to find a new venue, because it looks like that train has left the station.

The historic property announced this week it is cancelling all events for 2018 due to redevelopment plans.

General Manager Yaser Hanieh says those plans will be announced within the next few days.

He says all deposits will be paid back this week.

Wedding photographer McKenzie McClure says the local industry is upset and heartbroken for the couples affected.

McClure just had her dream wedding, with the Chattanooga skyline as the backdrop for pictures.

"If this would have happened to me I would be very upset, this is very unprofessional," McClure said.

One of her clients was planning to get married in April at the Choo Choo.

"I wondered immediately about her and all the the brides that have paid deposits and are under contracts, what are they going to do."

Hanieh says they feel terrible for the brides, that it's "an uncomfortable situation" but it will be progress for the hotel and the surrounding neighborhood.

He says they were two confirmed weddings next year, one in May and one in June. He didn't say how many other couples were in talks or had placed a deposit. They are working with the couples to find a replacement venue.

"I would be heartbroken, that would just be terrible," McClure said. "I probably would have gone bridezilla on them."

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