Post # 1
This is a little long, but I really do need advice!
We have a wedding venue booked for 31st August this year for both the ceremony & reception. We loved it as soon as we saw it, the wedding coordinator seemed really knowledgable and friendly and the package was great. We put down a £500 deposit and expected to get confirmation of what we had signed up to in writing.
Just over a month later and we have a credit card receipt and a few emails with *some* information, but I’m still asking for full written confirmation etc and haven’t had it yet. In fact, I feel like the coordinator has been pretty poor at keeping in touch, being proactive about organising stuff, etc.
Recently, my photographer phoned to let me know that he hasn’t received his deposit from the venue yet and they have been avoiding his calls (he was very apologetic about having to involve me in the problem, but was desperate to try and sort it out). I immediately arranged a meeting with the venue and was told that the photographer doesn’t get a deposit (not what they had told me previously). I also questioned them about other suppliers etc and they insisted that everyone is done in house.
However I have now heard that they have been failing to pay other suppliers once work is complete and that they DO use suppliers because they don’t have the facilities that they claimed to. Something just seems really off about the place. The other bookings they had have all cancelled already, and I seem to be the only wedding they have booked this year.
When I speak to the coordinator, he continues to pretend that there’s nothing wrong. I have another meeting arrange with him for this weekend, at which I’m going to be asking to physically see things like tables, chairs, crockery, kitchen, etc but I just have a bad feeling about it all and don’t think he’ll be able to show me anything I’m asking for.
What with the venue lying, failing to pay suppliers and them not giving me full details of what they want me to pay for I’m beginning to think they’re dodgy. Should I try to sort it out with them and worry constantly that they won’t deliver on the day? Or should I just cancel and change venues with only 11 weeks to go?
Post # 3
I am a little confused. Is the photographer part of the venue? Or did you hire him on your own?
Post # 4
- Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo
YIKES, that sucks and I’m sorry you have to deal with this stress! I would give them one more chance after talking but maybe do a bit of looking for other places at the same time (with 11 weeks to go the options probably aren’t much). I’m also a bit confused why the venue would pay the deposit for an “out of house” photographer and you would not? But still, it doesn’t sound like they’ve been very helpful at all.
Post # 5
That is really strange. I have to wonder if the venue is having financial problems, and that’s whay they’re dodging you. Maybe they took your deposit and spent it on other things not related to your wedding, assuming that they would have everything straightened out on your end by the time the wedding day arrived.
Post # 6
Unless this is your absolute dream venue or the only venue near you within 200 miles, I would probably cancel with them. These are a lot of red flags and the venue is such a huge vendor (vs like a candy bar or something) that I personally couldn’t imagine not feeling 100% confident in their ability to provide everything they are supposed to. I would consider shopping around for another venue just to see if anything is still available at this point in time. If you wait any longer, it will be time to formalize invitations and get the word out and it will be a pain to change venues after that.
Post # 7
Something is wrong in thIs scenario. I would start looking for a new venue ASAP, but don’t cancel with this one until you have something else lined up.
Post # 8
I would say DOCUMENT EVERYTHING and be prepared to put in a claim with your credit card to get the funds back. I hope that you won’t need to, but I would do the legwork just in case. Since you are in Scotland I don’t know if the same consumer protections apply, but I know that in the US there are strict regulations that govern transactions conducted with credit cards and the buyer is protected if the seller fails to deliver.
Post # 9
there must be a reason why other bookings have cancelled and yours is the only wedding. if this venue is not paying their suppliers, they just won’t show up for your wedding. that would be worse than losing your deposit.
i would seriously start looking for another venue. try to get your deposit back if possible but don’t hold your breath. check your contract. did you ever get one??
Post # 10
@mainejen: Just to clarify, the photographer was included in the deal as their resident photographer (although he has now refused to continue in this capacity due to the problems with payment and the potential for their bad reputation to damage his own).
Also, we still don’t have our contract. That’s one of the things I’ve been hounding them about.
As a precaution, I have now managed to get a booking pencilled in at another venue for the same date. It’s not too much further away and gives me a backup plan if we do go ahead and cancel with our current venue.
Post # 11
There is something really wrong here. Failing to pay suppliers? Big red flag.
The whole outsourcing of suppliers thing doesn’t really surprise me, except that they presented it to you like it was all 100% in-house. Dishonesty is another big red flag.
If they can’t manage basic communication with you, how are they going to handle the big event?
I would try to find somewhere else. Sorry 🙁
Post # 12
@Shaerena: I don’t know how things are over there, but since you have no contract and things are so dodgy, i would file for a chargeback with your credit card company and let them fight it out. (Thank goodness you paid via CC btw, instead of check/cash.) As PP have said, you are the only one that hasn’t cancelled and usually, couples don’t cancel something this big/expensive like the venue! If they can’t pay their suppliers and people are cancelling left and right, then there’s a good chance this place may even shutter before your wedding happens and you are left out in the cold. Even if you get reimbursed by your CC, you still will need a venue! (This is like the brides who buy a wedding dress, pay for it, and then the place closes down before they take delivery of the dress!)
Post # 13
@lilbluebird: Thankfully we do have similar regulations in Scotland with regards credit card transations, which is why we ensured that credit card was used as payment. Every transaction with every vendor has been using credit card. I still intend to go along to my meeting this weekend so I can say I made every attempt to resolve the situation just in case I do need to go via the CC company to get money back.
My biggest worry about staying with them is that on the day none of the suppliers they use would show up, leaving us with next to nothing. I don’t mind if they use suppliers, in fact I would have expected them to, but I do need them to be honest with me. It had crossed my mind that they’re maybe having financial difficulties, but of course they’ll never admit to that.
Post # 14
None of that sounds right to me. And even if after lots and lots of trouble, it all comes out okay in the end, who wants the hassle? I think they sound shady and you could end up in real trouble. I’d start shopping around for another venue right away.