- 9 years ago
We are having a late ceremony (8pm), so no dinner… Therefore, all we need for our reception is a place to drink, dance and eat cupcakes. Which is a good thing, because we don’t have money to rent a major venue anyway. Our original location was a pub owned by a good friend; there’s no proper dance floor and parking is tough in the area, but it’s a comfortable place run by people who care about us, and it was private for us all night, no cost but the alcohol.
Several months ago my boss offered to put in a word with the owners of another bar on the other side of town, which was preferable due to having a large proper dance floor and a large parking lot (our friend’s pub is in a busy downtown area). I got excited about the prospect and sent them a typed proposal that we would have the place private from 8:30-midnight, basically in exchange for guaranteeing them a good night of business (200 guests)… Then they could open to the public (bars close at 2am here). I got a message back: "Sounds good. Let’s plan on it." Then I mailed 200 invitations with the name of this new location, and directed friends and family to move their reservations to a hotel near this bar. I booked a DJ for the location, etc.
Now, a month out from the wedding, the reception site is saying they will open to the public at 11pm. Most of our guests are reception-only, as we’re having a tiny ceremony, so this essentially makes our entire wedding event a couple hours long for most of our 200 invitees, many of whom are traveling to celebrate with us.
The bar owners says they can’t afford to risk losing business that night by keeping people away past 11. This is certainly their right, but I am appalled that they would let me proceed with invitations and planning based on one idea, and then change it a month from the wedding.
They are playing dumb about the initial midnight plan (though I have correspondence to prove it). And we didn’t sign any kind of contract, since it was an informal friend-of-a-friend deal. Feeling like they are doing us a favor on some level and NOT being too great at confrontation, I didn’t haul out the records regarding "midnight," but instead asked what we could do to secure longer private usage of the place, including guaranteeing a certain amount for the bar, etc. Ultimately this 8:30-11 business is what they have offered, and by the time I left they had me convinced that this was fine. However, the more I think about it, the less fine it seems. The party will just be getting good, and the random folks will start streaming in, gawking at me in my wedding dress, taking tables, possibly trying to crash our open bar… Ick.
The original location is still an option, but I hate to put my guests through the inconvenience of changing hotel reservations again. I also dread the process of getting this information to everyone, though I imagine that through email and word of mouth it could be done pretty thoroughly. And it would feel like a relief to celebrate somewhere I personally know the management, who would bend over backward to make us happy, after dealing with a place that I feel has disrespected my event (They kept telling me that there will probably only be 70 people there past 10pm… Um, NO!!! The bride and groom don’t even arrive until 9pm, and our family and friends are major partiers!!).
What should I do? Tell them it’s midnight or we’re taking the party back to the original location (BIG pain in the butt, not to mention awkward since they’re my boss’s friends, but private ALL NIGHT LONG!)? Move back to the original location regardless, since this place is unpredictable and has demonstrated that it doesn’t value our event? Roll with this, since 11pm is pretty late for some people, and the rest of our guests can continue to party in a non-private atmosphere? This whole dilemma is literally over ONE HOUR of time. But one hour is pretty important when it’s like a third of your big event!
Thank you, this board is such a blessing.