- 5 years ago
There is an extensive and definitely divergent range of reviews on various web sites of Twin Oaks Garden Estate (Wedding Venue), judging from reading all their available reviews. If the establishment were a human being, they would most likely be diagnosed as clinically schizophrenic. The other aspect of the operation, which is blatantly evident, is that their owners are clearly in it for every dollar they can squeeze out of each event. I believe a direct correlation can be drawn between a given wedding’s budget, the level of service provided, and the resultant level of praise offered in the review. Unfortunately my wife (mother of the groom) and I have been left with a bittersweet taste of the “total experience” Twin Oaks provided her son and the bride.
One of the ranking adverse elements were the circumstances surrounding the “loss” of two cameras, and their recorded memories of the wedding. In the case of my wife’s camera, a Canon Powershot ELPH 100 HS, it was a direct result of rank incompetence (bordering on premeditated intent) as well as reflecting an abject lack of professionalism by one of their staff, namely the assigned “wedding coordinator”.
We were the first of the guests down the aisle to be seated. The woman assigned as “coordinator” strongly suggested that she take my wife’s camera, in order that my wife be “unencumbered”. She was persistent over my repeated objections, even though it was a very small camera, which could have been easily put in my trouser pocket, or even carried discreetly in my wife’s hand. My wife, not wanting to cause a further delay (wedding already was a half hour late) or to appear to be making a scene, deferred, handing the camera in its case directly (eyeball-to-eyeball) to the woman. THAT WAS THE LAST TIME WE SAW THE CAMERA.
Common sense and courtesy, as well as expected protocol, would have seen that the “coordinator”, following the ceremony would have sought out, and promptly returned my wife’s camera directly to her either during the taking of family wedding photographs, or in the reception/wedding dinner area. THIS DID NOT OCCUR. It certainly was not my wife’s responsibility to seek her out, particularly given the specific circumstances!
According to the woman’s alleged statement, conveyed by one of the facility’s senior management (specific individual’s name not known to me), she “set the camera down on one of the tables in the bridesmaid’s anti-room of the bridal house”. This was merely a semi-private area, totally unmonitored by staff, and readily accessible to all members of the bridal party, as well as any other person on the premises.
The second camera known to have been “misplaced” was the father of the groom’s Sony Handicam DCR-SX65 digital camera. He was filming periodically during the course of the reception dinner, and eventually left it on his chair, which he slid under the table and tablecloth. As the dinner was coming to a close, and he was getting ready to leave, he went to retrieve his camera. It was not where he had left it, nor anywhere else. IT TOO WAS GONE.
After we reported the missing cameras to a Twin Oaks representative the very next day, 1 September 2013, a senior member of their staff made a cursory investigation, resulting in the statement by the “wedding coordinator” cited above. Nothing was mentioned about the video camera.
I had not personally spoken to anyone on the Twin Oaks staff until we had returned to Arizona on Tuesday of the following week, which was 3 September 2013. At that time I had an extended telephone conversation with Sean (last name unknown; mentioned in several other reviews of the facility), and who I understand to be one of their managers. After explaining in detail the circumstances regarding both cameras, I requested that if the cameras could not be recovered that Twin Oaks financially compensate us for their loss. Apparently in order to buy time, he was rather ambivalent as to what action they would take, not specifically stating that we would be compensated.
Given the circumstances surrounding the small Canon digital camera being rather clearly defined, he adroitly chose rather to focus on the video camera. He indicated that the facility had surveillance camera(s) monitoring the reception/dinner area, and that he would immediately review the tape from that camera(s). He inquired regarding a physical description of the groom’s father, and an estimate as to the timeline within which he had used the camera. This I immediately provided.
Within the hour Sean called me back, indicating that he had reviewed the tape, identified the groom’s father using the camera at various times during the course of the evening, but totally inconclusive as to anyone taking the camera from its location under the table, at or near the end of the reception. He assured me that he would “follow up” on both cameras, and in any event “get back” to me with a resolution. He also wanted the groom’s father’s cell phone number, in order to personally advise him of the status of the problem. As of this time, 4 October 2013, I have yet to hear back from Sean, even having given him the specific admonition at the time that in many cases of this nature, I have heard earnest words, but without any substantive resulting real action. UNFORTUNATELY THAT IS THE PRESENT, AND APPARENTLY ONGOING CASE WITH TWIN OAKS GARDEN ESTATE.
As if the cameras weren’t enough of a problem, my wife further experienced a significant issue with their staff regarding their abject lack of physical assistance, compounded by extremely negative attitudes. A “do-it-yourself” wagon was all that was provided to her in lifting and moving an extensive load of trays, bowls, yard games, and a wedding quilt on a display screen, from our car up to the immediate reception area. She was specifically told by one of the staff, “That’s what the bridesmaids and groomsmen are for”. Suffices that the same “level of assistance” was provided at the end of the evening. This was particularly galling in light of their specifically stated advertisement (propaganda) that “this was your special day, and that the entire facility (implying staff) was dedicated as yours for the entire day”. In turn this allowed them the rationale that a substantial deposit check (well in advance) for booking their services on that date were non-refundable, because of difficulty in their re-booking another wedding. That fact was further exacerbated by their staff conducting tours for potential clients right in the middle of preparations for our wedding.