BILLINGS — Planning a wedding can be both a magical and stressful time of your life, but imagine you're 19 days away from your wedding and you just found out your wedding venue permanently shut down.
That is what happened to former Billings woman Cat Kugler.
“A year of planning has just gone down the drain,” Kugler said on Monday.
Kugler and her husband, Fabian, live in Germany. They got married there in March but were planning a ceremony in front of family and friends on Oct. 8 in Billings overlooking the city.
They booked the Billings Petroleum Club on the 22nd floor of the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in August of 2021. According to the club's phones, it shut down permanently on Sept. 13.
“This was the full ceremony, white dress and everything. This was going to be, you know, I guess my dream wedding,” she said.
The Kuglers found out last Wednesday that the Petroleum Club was closing for good when her mother, who lives in Billings, told her. It was a last-second twist not just for this couple but also their 75 guests. Seven are traveling here from Germany, and she was looking forward to having her wedding at that specific venue.
“To have that ripped away from me was one of the hardest parts of this whole wedding,” she said.
The now former president of the Petroleum Club, Mack Schicktanz, told MTN News Monday they are working with all of their scheduled clients and the hotel group to help clients still possibly use the space for their events.
Management staff provided MTN News a statement: “After 68 wonderful years serving the Billings community and surrounding area, so many memorable events and a myriad of incredible weddings, the Billings Petroleum Club’s time has come to a close."
The Billings Petroleum Club first opened in 1954 as a member-only venue. It had recently shifted to allowing nonmembers to hold events or have dinner in place offering one of the most picturesque views overlooking the entire city.
Kugler says she is grateful to have a wedding planner in Billings who stepped in right away and got her a list of other available venues.
“Nothing prepares you for someone telling you your dream wedding cannot happen. You have to settle for something that you never wanted,” Kugler said.
Kugler did get all of her money back and is hopeful she will find one in the next few days.