- 9 years ago
- Wedding: June 2009
My wedding is coming up in less than 2 months, and its going to be held at a georgeous historic mansion in middletown, connecticut. I have learned some hard lessons when it comes to choosing a mansion wedding, so I thought I’d share the pros and cons.
-your wedding will be unique, elegant and stunning. Fabulous.
Unfortunately, t I’ve found that there are way more cons than pros.
-It costs a lot more (mine is around $4500)
-I thought my rental would be 8 hours, but its only 5 hours. The other 3 hours are for set up and break-down. Extra time is $400 per hour.
– The event coordinators have a holier-than-thou attitude and refuse to accomodate any requests. When I asked if my caterer could come into the facility a little bit earlierfrom the set up time, I was told that I’d be charged $200. When I asked for the fee to be waived I was told I am being ‘frugal’ and they cannot accomodate that.
– The restaurant I needed to cater from (because of ethnic food reasons) was not on their list of preferred vendors, so they charged me a lot of money for bringing in this restaurant. This is even though this restaurant has catered to parties of over 1,000 people and is critically acclaimed by the new york times. The mansion listed itself as allowing outside caterers, but in fact, they meant that the caterers could only be those selected from their "preferred vendors list". I think this was dis-honest advertisement.
-The event supervisors have been unprofessional and inhospitable to say the least. You are going to need to come by your venue multiple times to show your prospective caterers and DJs where everything should be set up. In my experience, it was impossible to get them to keep the mansion open on weeknights and weekends and this created a huge problem. We had to always discuss things with our vendors from the exteior of the building and just peek inside to figure things out. Or, we had to take time off work. I mean, your venue is in a way a bottleneck for the rest of your vendors because they all need to come there to set up, check things out, etc. If you have venue coordinators that are as pigheaded as I got, its going to be a heartache.
My parting words to you bees is to find a beautiful banquet hall or a luxurious hotel that is used to weddings. It may not be a fairy tale, but at least the owners know a thing or two about the hospitality business. People who rent out historic locations have an air of entitlement and they just don’t understand how to treat a customer. I don’t deny that my wedding is going to look fabulous, so maybe this will all be worth it in the end. But don’t close your eyes to other venue ideas. If your heart is still set on the historic location (hey, mine was in spite of the price), then read the contract closely, negotiate hard, and really test out which people are the most flexible and hospitable.