Newlyweds fuming after thieves steal £4,000 from gift box at reception

Newlyweds fuming after thieves steal £4,000 from gift box at reception

October 12, 2021

Newlyweds who worked five jobs to pay for wedding that was cancelled twice due to Covid are left fuming after thieves steal £4,000 cash from the gift box at their reception

  • Amy and Steve tied the knot at Woolston Manor in Chigwell, Essex last month 
  • Couple finally celebrated their big day after Covid forced them to cancel twice 
  • They asked guests to bring cash or vouchers to put toward a family honeymoon 
  • Claim the 3ft wedding post box was ‘filled to the brim’ with cards of money 

A couple’s dream wedding turned into a nightmare after their gift postbox, filled with cards and more than £4,000 in cash was stolen from ‘under their noses’ at their reception.

Amy, 38, and Steve Armstrong, 43, from Hornchurch, Essex, worked five jobs to pay for their big day on September 24, and had asked for donations for a family honeymoon with their six children instead of gifts.

Their wedding, held at Woolston Manor Golf Club in Chigwell, with 130 guests in the day and 300 in the evening, had already been postponed twice before due to Covid. 

Amy and Steve Armstrong, from Hornchurch, Essex, pictured on their wedding day, worked five jobs to pay for their big day on September 24, and had asked for donations for a family honeymoon with their six children instead of gifts

The couple, pictured ahead of their wedding, said they had been ‘like ships passing in the night’ in the five months leading up to their big day, as they both worked hard to pay for their dream wedding

Steve, 43, who works as a building fabric engineer and a DJ, said: ‘The day itself was unbelievable, better than anything we could have wished for.

‘People were piling cards into the postbox and it was full up to the point where by 7.30pm, you couldn’t get any more cards in there so people were stacking them up on the sides.

‘At one point in the evening, my mother-in-law noticed the door on the postbox was open so she closed and locked the door.

‘When we were clearing up at around 1am, my mother-in-law, who had the key, went over to the postbox and opened it up – only 12 cards fell out.’

Pictured, Amy and Steve at their reception where they danced the night away in front of 300 guests before discovering their cash had been stolen 

They had asked for donations for a ‘family moon’ so they could take their children – Lewis, 23, Georgia, 19, Daisy, 17, Billy, 11, Frankie, 10 and Harlie-Rae, three (all pictured) – on holiday, rather than traditional wedding gifts

Steve and Amy, 38, have estimated there was around £4,000 in cash gifts in the envelopes.

They had asked for donations for a ‘family moon’ so they could take their children – Lewis, 23, Georgia, 19, Daisy, 17, Billy, 11, Frankie, 10 and Harlie-Rae, three – on holiday, rather than traditional wedding gifts.

The couple said they had been ‘like ships passing in the night’ in the five months leading up to their big day, because they both worked hard to pay for their dream wedding.

He added: ‘We’ve not been on days out, been unable to afford activities and going away, plus they’ve hardly seen us due to workload.

‘All we wanted to do was just give them a family honeymoon and give them something to look forward to because they deserve it.


Amy walked down the aisle at Woolston Manor Golf Club in Chigwell, left, in front of 130 guests in the day before partying the night away with 300 in the evening. Right, the couple after tying the knot 

Steve said the wedding itself was ‘unbelievable, better than anything we could have wished for’. The couple are pictured having their first kiss after tying the knot 

‘They’ve been so supportive, they never complained and if anyone deserves this money, it’s them. Now we can’t do it and it’s a killer. We should be buzzing at the moment but we’re not.’

After fearing £4,000 had been stolen from cards in the wedding postbox, on the Monday after their wedding, Steve contacted the venue to express his concerns.

He then visited the venue in an attempt to find out more, claiming a member of staff told him the venue’s CCTV wasn’t working.

He added: ‘We had a memory stick and we wanted to get into their database that stores their footage. But a member of staff explained CCTV wasn’t working the day of the wedding.’

Steve then went to Romford police station, where he was given a crime reference number, but he claims he was told they would be unable to investigate without CCTV footage.

Amy, pictured during her reception where the cash was stolen, said losing the money was the final setback in the lead up to tying the knot 

Kindhearted friends and family have now set up a Facebook fundraising page for Steve and Amy to try to recoup some of the lost money. At the time of writing, £900 has been raised.

The newlyweds said losing the money was the final setback in the lead up to tying the knot.

Amy said: ‘We’ve had to cancel it twice due to Covid. We also got knocked for some money for some flowers; we lost around £900 but we had to swallow it.

‘We’ve been working constantly, Steve comes in from work, I go out to work at night. We’ve had no quality time with the kids.

‘It has just been an absolute nightmare. To say the least, it’s been horrible, it’s been no fun planning it, it’s just had so many obstacles.

‘I can’t fault the venue for the day itself, it was the best day of our lives but this bit now, is awful.’

Kindhearted friends and family have now set up a Facebook fundraising page for Steve and Amy to try to recoup some of the lost money. So far, £900 has been raised

Woolston Manor management commented: ‘The Wedding we hosted on 24th September was one of 40 we have had here this summer.

‘The card box provided by the decorating company came with a key so was lockable, however the key was left in the post box and this feature was not utilised meaning all 140 day guests plus the extra in the evening had access to this.

‘We were not made aware of any missing items until three days later, by then the room was occupied by two other functions.

‘We have been in contact with police and provided them with all the necessary information that they have asked for and have said we will work freely with them if they need any further details.’

A Met Police spokesman confirmed the incident was reported to police on 28 September.

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