Post # 1
I need your advice. I’m fuming over what just took place but basically my venue totally screwed me over. Just when my fiance and I were about to sign the contract, another couple was given our date and space and we were told this via EMAIL?!!! My events manager had the audacity to tell me that it was our fault that we lost it due to me not getting back to her b/c she said she lost my phone number?! And she repeatedly said that the price quote she gave us was a number they never EVER did. So yes, it all came down to the matter of money and they had no problem with losing their souls for it. i’m besides myself. So I need your help. I am not one to just sit down and take this, especially since this venue is a reputable and well-known hotel. (yes, I will be making some important phone calls and sending out some necessary letters.) At the same time, I need to move forward and find a venue pronto (I’m getting married Nov 15th of this year!) I’m looking to get married in Philadelphia but to be honest, this experience has turned me off completely to planning my wedding and I’m entering the situation very wary of trusting any of my vendors/venues. Has anyone else experienced a similar situation? How did you handle it? Also, can anyone recommend a good venue in Center City Philadelphia that won’t screw me over like the Marriott did?
Thanks in advance.
Post # 4
unfortunately, until they have a signed contract and deposit, unless other arrangements have been made, they can do whatever they want. I have said this before, but to them it IS just a job, even though to you its your "once-in-a-lifetime day". Yeah, she could have called you and said there was another couple looking at it for the same date, but they could have booked on the spot. They really aren’t obligated to do anything. I am sorry for you, but at least now you know – we loved our venue, but weren’t ready to sign that day, we had to discuss it more in depth. Thankfully, she was willing to hold the date for a week in order for us to make the decision. In the future, you should ask for this, though not all will be willing to do so. If you are over a year out too, you are more likely to get lenient vendors. Have you thought about just changing your date and staying with the same venue?
Post # 5
dreambml is correct. Without a signed contract, there isn’t much you can do. In my opinion, your first choice is way too much money for what you would have received anyway.
Check out http://www.partyspace.com There is a long list of Philadelphia/PA reception sites on there. Plus, each location has a calendar, so you see right away who has your date available without having to make a million phone calls! I’m getting married in Philly and found our location via this site.
Post # 6
To be quite honest, I don’t feel comfortable paying the ridiculous amount of money there when I feel the customer service/hospitality will be lacking. But unfortunately, due to some family events on both sides of our families this is the timeframe we were looking at.
You’re right about the no obligation until they see the money but i think what makes it hard to swallow is the fact they gave numerous empty promises and right when we were about to sign, this happened. It’s a blessing in disguise I suppose and I’m a bit smarter about it now. I just want the fun part of this planning process to begin…i haven’t experienced that yet.
Post # 7
I’m sorry you had to deal with this, but unfortunately others are right — they really had no obligation to do anything for you until they have a signed contract, and usually deposit. Sure they were huge jerks about giving away your date, but hey, now that other couple is saddled with their shady customer service, not you, right?
I went through a similar situation with photography — I had initially fell in love with a photographer whose style was great, package was amazing, and price was oh so right. I thought that since I was booking way over a year in advance, I’d have no issues, right? Well, right before I mailed in the contract and deposit, she emailed me and let me know that someone else had booked that date. Mind you, it wasn’t her fault — that potential client had a contract for over a month without a peep, leaving the photographer to believe the client wasn’t interested and the date was open, but since it was eventually mailed in, and before mine, the photographer had to honor it. It was my first wedding planning setback, and I was super bummed. But since then, things have gone pretty smoothly, so I wouldn’t let this totally get you down! Like you said, it’s probably a blessing in disguise.
Post # 8
I’m not sure what the Marriott pricing would have been for you, but I imagine it would’t be too different from the Loews Hotel, where I planned an event before. It’s a beautiful hotel (in my opinion it’s much less cookie-cutter than the Mariott), the food was great, and the event planner was excellent. It’s also the tallest building east of City Hall and very historically significant.
Also, the Independence Visitor Center seems pretty and reasonably priced… the only reason my FH and I didn’t consider it more seriously is that we didn’t want to be married in the city proper. So we’re doing ours way out almost in Bucks County.
Post # 9
Thanks everyone! I’m feeling a bit better after I "simmered" down a bit. I’m going to keep on moving forward, especially since I have little time left! 🙂
Post # 10
It sucks that this happens. However, I have to say that I was "the other bride" for at least two of my vendors. We went looking with checkbook in hand, and because we already knew what we wanted, if the date was available, we wrote a deposit check and made out the contract on the spot. Both vendors told us "That date is technically free, although I do have interest from other parties." My question was: "If I write you a deposit check today, can I reserve that date? How much do you need?"
The fact is, money talks, and until you commit yourself by writing the check the vendors know that you’re undoubtedly looking at other venues, interviewing other photographers – and they aren’t guaranteed anything either. Why would they "hold" a date for you, without you even asking? A responsible vendor should certainly tell you that their services can’t be guaranteed until they have a deposit, and that perhaps the date you’re looking at is one they anticipate to be popular. But honestly, you would probably interpret that as some kind of hard sell, and you wouldn’t be happy with that either.
Post # 11
Chalk it up as a harsh lesson learned, but please do not let it spoil such a beautiful time in your life! Being engaged and planning your wedding, while stressful, is so very special. Don’t let this hotel get you down — move on to someplace better!
Post # 12
Without a signed contract and a $ deposit…there’s really nothing you can do. Good luck in your new search.
Post # 13
All vendors are sales people too. They are going to try to get as many people interested as possible. Just like you might express interest in a vendor, but end up hiring someone else, they will meet with you while also talking to others. A signed contract is the only thing that confirms the vendor is yours – and that you want the vendor. I am sure they get tons of brides expressing interest who never sign.
I wouldn’t spend put so much negative energy into the letter writing, etc. since they really didn’t do anything wrong – just use this to learn to sign a contract as soon as you know you want something (and call them to let them know to expect it too!)
Good luck finding another venue!! There will be something better out there and wedding planning is so much fun, that you shouldn’t let this experience spoil it for you! Luckily you are in a great city with a lot to offer.
Post # 14
well it wouldve been nice to get a call from them. i know for me, this one venue i was considering, called me before they gave away the date to someone else, basically telling me if i wanted the place then they would take my deposit but i opted not to because i wasn’t sure and if another bride was so sure that she wanted to put down a deposit, i didn’t want to stand in her way cuz i know how hard venue shopping is.
Post # 15
I’m so sorry that happened to you! I wouldn’t worry, Philadelphia has many beautiful venue options. Have you looked at those owned by Conroy Catering? http://www.conroycatering.com/docs/venues.html
The Knowlton Mansion is a particularly unique space and the food is out of this world!
I’ve also heard great things about The Down Town Club in Society Hill.