Post # 1
Long story short…part of the reason we chose our venue was because they offered a lot of value in their packages. All of their reviews were great, I stalked the web for photos, etc. One of the most appealing things for me was the fact that floral centerpieces were included. Well, we just went to our tasting yesterday and I ended up chatting with one of their floral vendors about some of the centerpieces that they had provided for the tasting since we have our appointment in a few weeks to finalize all of the arrangements.
When I was pointing out some that I really liked, she asked if my coordinator had notified me that it is only a $25 credit for each centerpiece and that it realistically will only get me a very small centerpiece. She went on to tell me that since they have a relationship with the hotel as a preferred vendor they give you more than what you would get if I was at a different venue, but that 95% of the centerpieces on display would be an upcharge. I am so angry! One of my specific questions with my coordinator prior to booking was about the centerpeices and what exactly fresh floral centerpiece meant and if it was your typical standard arrangement. What the florist showed me I would get was not what I consider adequate. I feel like when I brought it up she should have mentioned the credit of $25 per table to work with, but no she said nothing.I know I should have pried a number out of her, but I truly didn’t think it would be so little to work with. When I was talking with the florist, you could tell she was really upset that she had to continue to be the bad guy meeting with all of these brides who have unrealistic expectations of what they are getting, and have to let them know that if they want what they had in mind they will need to pay an additional $550+. I anticipated needing to pay extra because I was going to see about peonies and garden roses which obviously would come at a premium price, but to find out that I basically get nothing leaves me outraged.
By the time all is said and done we will be paying over $22,000 to this hotel so I feel like I should be getting nice flowers and not feeling like it was a giant switch and bait. Oh, and they just raised their prices which I knew could happen (at booking she brought up maybe a dollar or two on a specific dish if the price of beef or fish skyrocketed but this was an across the board increase) but to find out in one day that my pp price just raised $4 and I get crappy flowers, I am not happy. I am trying to figure out how to address this with her. We spoke with a bunch of the couples yesterday and a lot of them are doing the middle tier package (still includes flowers) and we are doing the top tier so I feel like my concerns are valid especially since I specifically asked about the flowers at our initial meeting.
I am just trying to figure out how to proceed with my coordinator and let her know that it is pretty unacceptable to me. I know at this point there probably isn’t much I can do. We have the venue booked we are a little over 7 months out and we’ve already paid $15,000 towards our estimated invoice. She knows we can’t just walk away at this point. I am just so mad that we now have yet another added expense! Sorry for such a long vent…
Post # 2
- Wedding: November 2015 - The Victorian
I don’t have a ton to offer on the flower thing, but I would say if you signed a contract with them, that price per person increase shouldn’t affect you. I know out contract has the price per person in there and that is our price. Even if they raise their prices going forward, that is the price we signed at. So I would maybe eat the cost of the flowers but say you will not be paying that increase per person.
Post # 3
Are there prices listed in your contract for flowers and meals?
Post # 4
You might not be able to walk away at this point but you can certainly still write reviews about their establishment post-wedding.
<br />This is what I would do. Double check your contract to make see what it says about the flowers so you know exactly what your complaint is i.e. whether the coordinator contradicted the contract and the venue is unacceptably disorganized, or whether you had a verbal agreement about the flowers that the venue didn’t live up to. Once you’ve defined your issues send your compliant in written form (email) and give them a chance to fix the situation. If they don’t take steps to compensate you in any way, or at least grovel and apologise for the misunderstanding, then feel free to let the rest of the world know what you think (AFTER the wedding, so there’s no risk to you).
Post # 5
“Estimated invoice”? As in, you don’t have a figure set in stone? It’s basic contract stuff. I wouldn’t have paid a cent without knowing exactly what this wedding would be setting me back. You just have to deal with it now.
Post # 6
do you have to use that florist. My centerpieces weren’t giant but I paid $10 a table and they were exactly what I wanted. Hydrangeas, hypernicum berries, curly willow – others had quoted me as much as triple that number for the same thing. I don’t imagine you’d be happy with what I had – I expect you’re looking for something more grand, but perhaps you can shop around and find a better deal on something you like better.
Post # 7
You may not like this suggestion, but could you just go with cheaper centerpieces? Honestly, I don’t think I remember the centerpieces from any wedding I’ve ever been to, except the annoying ones that blocked my view. So you don’t really need anything grand. Just a suggestion, if you don’t want to spend more on flowers!
Post # 8
I’m sorry to hear that. I definitely think she should have told you that you only get a $25 credit. Your menu pricing should be locked in when you sign the contract.
Post # 9
My 2cents is to get your future husband and your most demanding and loud family members to back you up in your negotiations. The future husband part is sexist, I know, but people be sexist!! Damn it!
Our venue was gorgeous but a nightmare to work with. Constant changes, price influxes, providing linens then not, etc etc. We were on them for every.single.thing. That meant the second they sent an incorrect invoice we had all the documents including contract, paid invoices, etc to back up our issues.
By about half way, my husband took over because I wanted to slap the coordinator/venue owner. I was always in the background like, What? WHAT!!?? LOL!!
It was WORK. But we feel we got the wedding we wanted. We gave them honest feedback. By the last invoice, still incorrect, they withdrew 8,000 and covered some of our would have been gratuities. We were gracious but still let them have it in their reviews.
All the way down to the sit down get it all out, the coordinator was full of BS. She’d say, well usually this, or normally we’d do this. And I made it clear to her that negating a concern is NOT the same as addressing it and that it was really time for her to own up to her professional responsibilities.
Post # 10
Also, we had to pay an additional 1-2$pp. It was stated in the contract that it could go up, like you said for changes in outsourcing charges. We made them put in writing the absolute most it would go up and if it would have been too much we would have walked away.
If you can get them to put it in writing that the price is NOW final..that would be awesome.
OH, and if I didn’t make it clear before, GET EVERY DAMN THING IN WRITING!!!! Even if it’s on the phone, first thing you say is, “I’m going to write down what we say in this meeting and I will email you what we agreed to.” Then send that email!
Post # 11
What does your contract say? As in specifically? If it just says floral centrepieces included then you have no recourse. If it says 12 rose plus greenery centrepieces then that is what you get etc.
It also sounds like the contract had a disclaimer about increasing costs being passed on to customers. Again you have no recourse if that is what you signed.
Understand your contract before you storm down there with relatives or write bad reviews like a pp suggested. A lot of the time the fault actually lies with the customer who didn’t understand or even read the contract.
Also just because you purchased the top teir does not mean you get what you want. The inclusion for that package should be in the contract and if not, whilst a little shady, it is the customers fault for signing the contract without understanding it.
Post # 12
Thanks everyone for the input, I truly appreciate it. I wrote her an email going over my concerns and she is fuming, luckily not with me. I am not sure if she is blowing smoke up my ass to save face or what, but I feel like the issue has been resolved. The florist in question is a pretty reputable one and I am assuming that they aren’t happy with the fact that they are getting so little from the hotel, but if that is what they negotiated that obviously is their problem. The coordinator assured me that everything I saw at the tasting as far as the center peices were definitely part of my package and if it was an issue she would deal with the florist herself. I don’t need to know what the hotel pays for my stuff to their vendors, I just need to know that I will get it; but I get the feeling there may be some tension there. I am going to meet with the other florist that they also have a relationship with and hopefully will have a better experience.
I definitely did read through my contract and yes, my fault I didn’t speak with both florists before signing. No, it didn’t give specific numbers for the center pieces but verbally we talked about them and I felt very comfortable with what was included. But yes, shame on me for not insisting on more clarity in the written contract!
Other than this hiccup, I feel like things with my venue have been fantastic and a great experience so far. Like I said, I am not sure if she is just trying to appease me by saying she is outraged by what I experienced and this is really the common practice for their weddings and I just happened to call her out on it, or if there really is a bigger issue going on with this particular florist. She claims the hotel’s general manager will be meeting with the owner of the company to discuss it. I am glad that it seems to be resolved on my end.
Lesson learned, get every little stinkin’ detail in writing to the penny. I remember thinking that a few things were rather broad when I went through the contract. I certainly should have known better since I handle private party sales with my own job. I was just very comfortable with our conversations and the fact that I know quite a few people who have used this venue that I didn’t think an issue like this would arrise.
Thanks for the help and opinions everyone!
Post # 13
- Wedding: November 2015 - The Victorian
I’m glad you got almost everything worked out and it sounds like you are in a pretty good spot as far as flowers go. Can I just say, I hate when someone asks for advice and someone says “well I never would have done that!” WELL GOOD FOR YOU, MISS PERFECT!