North East brides; avoid this venue!

Hi all, after a bad experience with my own wedding (see below) I would like to advise any North East brides to avoid 'The Pullman' in Sunderland as a venue. Read below about my experiences;

I had my wedding in the function room here on May 25th. We chose the venue because yes, it did look beautiful and the package seemed great value for money. Unfortunately looks can be deceiving. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you would like any more information.

*We extended the complimentary room we received for the wedding night to include the night before the wedding, naturally we asked for a double, but with a cot as my young nephew would be staying there the day before we the wedding, we arrived to a twin and no cot.

*the wedding package included a dedicated wedding coordinator. We dealt with no less than 4 different managers and wedding coordinators. No one seemed to take responsibility, we were just passed around. We only met the actual wedding coordinator once, she was no where to be seen on our actual wedding day and we haven't heard from her since.

*after a few emails we had our first meeting to formally book and pay the deposit. The manager we had been dealing with and arranged the meeting with didn't turn up, so a different manager stood in (he wasn't aware of the meeting)

*in our final details meeting the wedding coordinator took note of everything on a laptop. She was not present at our actual wedding day and it seems that none of the notes were actually passed on. See below.

*The morning of the wedding arrived. I had provided ribbons for the napkins to be rolled and tied with and table centrepeices. I had clearly stated this in the notes that The wedding coordinator took and also for the balloons included in the package not to be on the tables until the evening time. However, when my sister went into the room with our cake provider to set up, the napkins were not tied, and the balloons were on the table instead of the centrepieces provided. She asked someone to fix it. This did happen. There were also no menus on the table. Although this is not stated as being included in the package, we took it as a standard inclusive item and were not made aware that they would not be supplied and we would need to supply them ourselves.

*The guests arrived, and instead of being organised and contained within the venue they were allowed to roam and come talk to myself and Dayne, despite us not wanting anyone to see us until we had been formally introduced to our guests.

*We were introduced into the room. With no red carpet as per the package. There was also no receiving line, even tho this was discussed and arranged in the meeting. There were reception drinks included in the package, but no one was offering these or serving them. My photographer had to go and get myself and my husband a drink, and my bridesmaids had to inform the guests of the drinks to help themselves to (as at this point they were already at their dinner tables, and the drinks were up a level, next to the bar, unable to be seen by most of the guests).

*We took photos, then sat down for speeches. It was at this point i noticed that there were no champagne flutes on the table, let alone toast drinks. I asked my sister, and she replied that it was already in hand, she had already told two of the managers. The father of the brides speech came, and went, with no champagne toast arriving. Imagine what it is like to not be able to drink the toast to your father who has helped out so much with the wedding and for my guests not to be able to raise their glass. Eventually the top table received some toasts, and some of the other tables had their reception drinks 'topped up' did not receive separate toast drinks. Might i add that at this point my sister was called confrontational by the managers for having to ask 4 times for the toast drinks.

*The speeches finished, and the staff promptly disappeared despite it being in my notes that we were cutting cake after the speeches, before the meal. We eventually found someone and went to cut the cake, only to realise that they had positioned the cake table right under a big screen that had our photos (from our official wedding abroad) playing so no one would actually be able to see us cut the cake! So the cake table including the cake had to be picked up and moved (in-front of all my guests) before we could proceed.

*So we started with the meal. The food was the best part of the day, I will not complain too much about that, only that the starter had obviously been kept warm, but that was our fault for over running with the speeches (although maybe this would have been less so if the toast drinks had been served and we didn't have a delay in cutting the cake). There were no gravy boats given out with the main courses, the dessert however was brilliant. One major complaint is that although we had chosen a child's menu with The wedding coordinator and she had recorded it, they brought out normal adult meals for all the children. I don't really think Haddock Tart and Turkey dinner is very appealing to 1.5-5 year olds! We eventually managed to get the main courses swapped for the chicken nuggets we had ordered, but again the dessert was incorrect for the children, but by this point we had given up trying and the children had sticky toffee pudding instead of the chocolate brownies and ice cream that was supposed to have been ordered for them. The dessert was cleared, but no tea or coffee was offered although it was included in the package. There were also no glasses collected at all during the food service, there was no space to move on the tables!

*Finally there were staff arguing and swearing in front of the guests.

*Aside from the disgusting state of the toilets, lack of toilet roll and locking facilities, the evening celebration went reasonably well. Although they were not very well stocked. They did not have one of the draft ciders on, and ran out of bottled cider. They also did not have any 'shot' type drinks which are usually popular at parties!

*Naturally the next day we wanted to speak to someone about the shortfalls. This is where it starts to get interesting. Until this point all could have been forgiven and forgotten if only they had played it right.

*Myself, my husband and sister headed over to the bar where we found The 3 managers. At first they point blank refused to speak to us and were being exceptionally rude and far too casual for what is supposed to be managers of a company. One of the managers was actually sitting smoking an e cigarette whilst arguing with us. Then they said they would speak to myself and My husband, but not My sister because she was too confrontational. After sitting and refusing to leave until someone was reasonable with us, One of the managers eventually said that if we came back later he would speak to us.

*We went back after a few hours and it was reasonably pleasant. Calm, the manager listened to what we had to say, and responded that he was sorry and he would speak to the others and sort it out.

*This is where it starts to go even further downhill.......

*After speaking to the manager 'A' an email was received on the 5th June offering a £300 refund to compensate for the items included in the package but not received. I sent 2 emails back on the 6th June and the 15th accepting the offer and asking how we can claim it, and also when we could collect our table centrepieces and decorations which were still at the venue. I received no further replies to these emails. I asked my husband to email, maybe he would have more luck. Eventually he did receive a reply, and arranged with manager 'A' to meet at the pullman on 3rd July. On this date we made the 10mile trip to the venue to meet 'A' and collect our refund and belongings, only he didn't show up. We spoke to a different manager - 'B', who claimed that the other manager A was not authorised to issue refunds and that nothing could be done. No contact could be made with the manager A who offered us the refund, he wouldn't do it and he didn't know where our belongings were.

*After starting to spread the word on Facebook on the apauling management, I received an email from manager B, stating he would honour the refund and asked for our bank details. I responded with them. The next day I received another email from manager B, stating that he was going to leave the refund to manager A after all.

After numerous emails to both managers we are still to receive a reply from any of them, and have not seen our refund or belongings over a month later. We are now taking this matter further with the citizens advice bureau and the local press.

I strongly advise anyone to stay well clear of this venue. A group of pre schoolers could manage the place better and would be a great deal more courteous to their customers!


  • MoradoJessMoradoJess Forumite
    166 Posts
    I just had a look at the place on trip advisor and there's a couple of complaints about the toilets. The managements has responded saying all the locks were working until an event in June and blame it on the organisers of that event. Obvious lie with your wedding being in May. Pop a review on there as well :)
  • sharnadsharnad Forumite
    9.9K Posts
    Tripadvisor review
    Needing to lose weight start date 26 December 2011 current loss 60 pound Down. Lots more to go to get into my size 6 jeans
  • vroombroomvroombroom Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    We live near the Pulman and I think it's recently been taken over. We have been to a wedding there before and had a meal there recently and had actually considered it for our own party - not after this review, thank you for letting us know.:money:
    :j:jOur gorgeous baby boy born 2nd May 2011 - 12 days overdue!!:j:j
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