This week features a bride that had issues with a venue and the crazy demands and substitutions that she had to go through for her “perfect day.”
LoP: Hey Brittany ! Thank you so much for joining me and for allowing me into your “perfect day.” I know that we’ve had several discussions on this subject, but I do have to ask. What were the circumstances behind your “perfect day ?”
Brittany: I customized a lot and did it myself because that’s what I wanted. Everything was so “cookie cutter” and used colors that I didn’t like, but I did like the ideas that they used. Other vendors were offering more generic things and nothing specific to what I wanted.
LoP: Was there one particular thing that made it “not so perfect” and why do you think that happened ?
Brittany: With me putting all the details into it and putting it together and making sure that everyone knew what I had planned for the timeline. For things to just not work out was disappointing. For one, with the decor vendor, the vendor we had to use their services, I felt like I had put a lot of time into going to see her once or twice a month leading up to the wedding. Still, even at the last meeting, there were things that were agreed upon that were going to be there, but they were missing and there was no one there from the venue for me to ask them for it. I honestly feel like that someone should be there, as it was promised, at least up until before the wedding. I could’ve noticed that something was missing ahead of time or when I did notice it, I could’ve went and asked for it or had someone else ask for it, but if there’s nobody there, I can’t.
LoP: So, it wasn’t a total loss. There were just some elements about your décor that were missing that you thought were going to be there that you had made arrangements for that weren’t necessarily there.
Brittany: I think a lot of it had to do with the person that was coordinating the décor. She made it seem like the details were just as important to her and any changes that need to be discussed, to set up a meeting time with them. We went over it several times. I was assured everything would be taken care of, they really saw my vision, and that they were able to supply the items I wanted, but for it not to happen the day of and I was never told ahead of time, even with substitutions, I was disappointed. That was never really discussed or talked about.
LoP: What do you think caused this situation to happen ?
Brittany: I think they have too many irons in the fire.
LoP: What do you mean ?
Brittany: They have a flower shop. They have rentals. They have the event space. Just because my wedding was going on that day didn’t mean they weren’t doing flowers for another event. Who’s to say my petals didn’t go out to another event that day ? The things I was missing in my rental décor, who’s to say they accidentally get delivered to another wedding or event that day ? I just felt like there was only one person handling all the different events and that there was no one overseeing what she was doing to check the schedule and availability. Like a “check and balance.”
LoP: That’s interesting. I’ve always find that when you have someone who claims “to do it all,” a huge red flag goes up and I have to question the integrity of the final product. Afterall, you can’t be an expert or professional in everything. Knowing what you know now, what do you feel like you would’ve or could’ve done differently ? Would you have gone with the same venue ?
Brittany: I think I would’ve done more research and maybe ask for clarification up front. I was very picky and I wanted something that was about as close as a fairytale setting that you could get in west Texas.
LoP: What advice would you give to someone or what knowledge would you like to impart before they look at a venue ?
Brittany: Know what you want. Don’t let someone push you into deciding something that you’re totally against. In the end, it’s your day and those are your pictures that you look back on. If you’re not happy with it, you’re not going to have a happy day. Never let them tell you “it can’t be done cheaper” or to “fit it into your budget.” I think if that’s what they’re there for, to make your dreams come true, they can give you a substitute or another idea that you’re satisfied with and not just something that is just easier for them to do. Let them know that they are not the only option out there. If it doesn’t feel right to sacrifice what you really want, don’t do it. I think you can be overwhelmed with all the planning and all the work that you’ve done so much of yourself, you get to a point where you don’t care anymore. That is very dangerous for you (as a bride) because that sacrifices what you wanted from the start. Also, you have to be wary of those that have been in business for 50-60 years, exaggerating of course. The rental items they’re using are 100 years old, they’re not going to change no matter how times are changing, they want to try to do these cookie cutter weddings, and they want to charge ridiculous prices for ideas that have been used in your grandparents wedding pictures.
LoP: Thank you so much, Ms. Brittany, for helping to give our readers some good advice on how to avoid the pitfalls that some of us have already gone through. And for sharing your story and some of the process you had to go through yourself. I’m sure that our brides will have things that will go wrong and at least we can help them get through it and be a little closer to perfection with that help.
Helpful Tips/Questions To Ask Your Venue:
- When shopping for that “perfect” venue, make sure to ask for the rules and policies set forth by the venue. If you find there are some policies that aren’t clear or you are confused about, ask for clarification. Don’t be afraid to speak up ! It might be to your dismay if you don’t and then you’re wedding will be a disappointment.
- Ask the venue (if it has several halls/spaces/ballrooms to rent) if there are other events going on that day that might be in the same proximity of your event’s area and if there is a common space that you will have to share. That way, you know, up front, what space you have to work with and any obstacles or potential issues you will have to account for and have a back-up plan to deal with those issues.
- Always be suspect of any venue that insists on using “only what is offered” by the venue itself. Too many times, I’ve had brides tell me of these types of restrictions and outrageous demands being placed upon them at their venue. If a venue insists on only using their services (i.e. linens, flowers, rental items, etc.), maybe that venue isn’t for you. Most brides today know exactly what they want and will pay extra to acquire those items from their chosen vendor. I’m all for finding ways to increase your sales, but not at the cost of being unethical. Consider this act of “take it or leave it” a mild form of extortion. Better yet, or when a venue charges the bride a fee for moving chairs/tables if they don’t plan on using all the ones that are already set up within the venue. If a venue “demands” that extra money be paid for moving items such as tables and chairs, walk away. When this happens enough, the vendor will stop placing such ridiculous demands on clients, knowing that it should be the vendor’s normal responsibility to set up the necessary items that they supply for any events that they will have at their own venue. This outrageous form of “nickel and dime” to take more money from a client is wrong on so many levels. Don’t let someone prey upon your need for a place. There are always options and alternatives out there.
Again, a huge “thank you” to Brittany for her time. Also, thank you to everyone that has liked or commented on Claudia’s story. Keep those comments coming !
Until the next story…