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    • Jw84
    • By Jw84 10th Apr 18, 4:09 PM
    • 4Posts
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    Jw84
    Feeling failed by our wedding venue
    • #1
    • 10th Apr 18, 4:09 PM
    Feeling failed by our wedding venue 10th Apr 18 at 4:09 PM
    Hi,

    I’m wondering if anyone could give me any advice and see if I’m doing the right thing standing my ground here.

    Me and my wife got married towards the end of last year and we paid a really significant amount to hire a venue, rent on site accommodation as did our friends and family which wasn’t cheap and used the caterers which they’d suggested to use as they work closely with them.

    Without going into too much detail we were very on the ball with everything and gave all the timings, details etc to the venue well in advance but they let us down is a number of ways. The venue wasn’t ready for us when we arrived to set up the day before as they’d taken a last minute wedding on the day before hand so we’re on the back foot, we suffered as a result and weren’t finished setting up until well into the evening when our family and friends had arrived. They had the wrong timings and if not picked up on by the bar manager at around 10:00pm the evening before hand we effectively would not have got married as they had the ceremony down as 15:00 instead of 13:00, same story for the wedding breakfast. They were overall very rude, nobody on site knew where any of our guests were staying so I spent most of my time dealing with this (effectively working for them for free) along with directing delivery drivers with stock orders around the site as they were struggling to get hold of and find the managers/owners as much as I was. Overall, a very operationally challenged venue.

    They were very un-apologetic about all of this. My wife (bride on her wedding day) was also a faced with a family member of the owners to tell her about an on-going family feud about the venue and money!! However this wasn’t as distressing about seeing her in tears the day before. Not at all what we expected, wanted or paid for.

    By the end of our stay we just wanted to get out of there, with absolutely no interest in returning. It felt so upsetting we couldn’t bring ourselves to get in touch with them to express how we felt as we genuinely expected them to come back with a snide response due to their manor in the first instance and didn’t want to re-live the ordeal.

    In the end I sent a lengthy overview of our experience to give them an opportunity to respond and do something to put it right rather than me just giving a public review.

    They did respond, apologise and offer us a night’s accommodation. Bearing in mind the thought of returning brings back some rather unfond memories I’ve declined and suggested that due to the multiple failings that I fail to see how our experience should be seen as a profit making excersise and we should be provided some form of refund.

    To be honest I don’t know what else I can really do as they’ve not responded in four weeks and I’m not holding out a lot of hope. I don’t know whether there’s anything I can do legally or otherwise. I’d rather not be one to give the place a slating on review sites etc and have it dealt with in a manor which resolves our issues, makes us feel better about our wedding day (currently it feels like a dark cloud because of the venue) and gives them some insight as to how they need to run a tighter ship.

    Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated!
Page 1
    • davidwood681
    • By davidwood681 10th Apr 18, 4:14 PM
    • 182 Posts
    • 597 Thanks
    davidwood681
    • #2
    • 10th Apr 18, 4:14 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Apr 18, 4:14 PM
    How much are you after?
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 10th Apr 18, 4:25 PM
    • 6,444 Posts
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    TBagpuss
    • #3
    • 10th Apr 18, 4:25 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Apr 18, 4:25 PM
    If you want them to give you a refund, be specific in your complaint to them about how much, and why.

    For instance:

    When you booked, was it on the basis that you would have access to 'set up' the night before? Do you have written confirmation that your booking started the previous day? If so, then it would be reasonable to ask for a refund to reflect the fact that you didn't have the venue for the full period you paid for. However, if the booking was for the wedding day and you were simply told that they would allow access early if possible., or that they would try to do so, then it probably isn't reasonable to expect anything back for that.

    In terms of the timing of the ceremony, it sounds as though there was an error which was picked up on and fixed at the time.

    The issue with delivery drivers wasn't any of your business, so while I think you are fine to mention it, it isn't something that it would be reasonable to expect a refund for, unless you are saying that your ceremony was interrupted by people looking for an employee.
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 10th Apr 18, 4:31 PM
    • 5,493 Posts
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    marliepanda
    • #4
    • 10th Apr 18, 4:31 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Apr 18, 4:31 PM
    Had you agreed with them you could have the day before to set up? Its not normal that you book the day but also block out the day before to set up things.
    • Jw84
    • By Jw84 10th Apr 18, 4:36 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Jw84
    • #5
    • 10th Apr 18, 4:36 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Apr 18, 4:36 PM
    Thanks for the speedy responses. Yes the agreement with us and all bookings with this venue is that it!!!8217;s yours from (I believe) midday which was stated to us in email. We arrived a little later to give them time more than anything, so got there at 1.30 and the venue wasn!!!8217;t ready for us.

    In terms of a value, it!!!8217;s difficult. As I would say whatever margin they were making is what I would expect to have returned. Without knowing this I!!!8217;m a little in the dark.

    I agree regarding a hat was fixed, if this was the only issue I probably wouldn!!!8217;t grumble but it!!!8217;s more that there was a bigger picture of a catalogue of problems and lack of care that gives us a big black cloud when we look back on the wedding which is really saddening and deflating when it should be full of happy memories surely?
    • zx81
    • By zx81 10th Apr 18, 4:44 PM
    • 16,444 Posts
    • 17,498 Thanks
    zx81
    • #6
    • 10th Apr 18, 4:44 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Apr 18, 4:44 PM
    It wouldn't be reasonable for them to return all profit they make from their operations.

    But there doesn't seem to be any amount that will blow away the big black cloud you keep seeing, so I would say you're looking for a modest goodwill gesture.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 10th Apr 18, 4:54 PM
    • 38,390 Posts
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    Savvy_Sue
    • #7
    • 10th Apr 18, 4:54 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Apr 18, 4:54 PM
    if they gave you a partial refund, would it make your memories any happier?

    If not, you need to work on your memories. The phrase "One day we'll laugh about this" may help, with this and future disasters. And although trite, "every cloud has a silver lining" also has some truth - look for the silver lining.

    I'm not wanting to minimise the stress of the day, but I think people get hung up about 'the day'. My DH always says the the absolute worst way to start a marriage is with a wedding, and I don't think he's wrong ...

    In your case, it wasn't how you imagined, but you and the bride pulled together, perhaps with members of your families, and the important thing happened: you are married, legally. And you nearly weren't because someone got the time of the ceremony wrong.

    OK, so you were tired from not being able to tie frilly bows on the backs of the chairs as early in the day as you'd have liked (or whatever setup was involved), but the important thing happened: you are married, legally.

    I've been involved in a few near disastrous weddings but the important thing happened: the happy couple were married by the end of the day.
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself ...
    Current projects: Poppies, mohair cardigan pattern on order...
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 10th Apr 18, 4:56 PM
    • 8,254 Posts
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    PeacefulWaters
    • #8
    • 10th Apr 18, 4:56 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Apr 18, 4:56 PM
    Their profit is irrelevant and not really your business.

    Are you out of pocket for anything? Ask for it back.

    How much would you value your disappointment at? £500?
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 10th Apr 18, 5:19 PM
    • 5,036 Posts
    • 8,138 Thanks
    Gavin83
    • #9
    • 10th Apr 18, 5:19 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Apr 18, 5:19 PM
    Thanks for the speedy responses. Yes the agreement with us and all bookings with this venue is that it!!!8217;s yours from (I believe) midday which was stated to us in email. We arrived a little later to give them time more than anything, so got there at 1.30 and the venue wasn!!!8217;t ready for us.
    Originally posted by Jw84
    Sorry, just to be clear here was the agreement it would be ready for you from midday the day before your wedding or the day of your wedding?
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 10th Apr 18, 5:46 PM
    • 1,688 Posts
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    Aylesbury Duck
    They offered a night's accommodation. What would that cost you to buy because it is probably a reasonable gesture in value terms in my opinion.

    I agree with one of the suggestions above and make light of it. Take up their offer of the night's accommodation and ask if they'll throw in an evening meal and bottle of champagne as a way of "recreating" some of what you feel you missed out on. I think it's sad that you feel unable to go back because that must mean you don't want to remember your wedding day. There are two ways of dealing with that: Have a "Wedding II" event and make some better memories, or have some fun with the wedding disaster story that will live with you both forever.
    • Mrs Imp
    • By Mrs Imp 10th Apr 18, 7:12 PM
    • 962 Posts
    • 1,570 Thanks
    Mrs Imp
    Definitely agree with making light of things. Our wedding day could've been completely spoiled, but we laugh about the absent bridesmaid, the wrong size jacket sent by the suit hire company, the flowers that nearly weren't (member of staff at the shop legged it with the order book), horizontal rain, dress that burst at the seams, bride who was extremely late due to an awful traffic jam, mispronounced names, broken car, fire alarm going off (the list continues a fair bit). But we had an amazing day, and I got to marry Mr Imp.

    Take their offer, ask for a meal and some wine, and enjoy it. Have a giggle about everything (we do), and focus on the important bit - you got to marry the one you love.
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 10th Apr 18, 7:44 PM
    • 1,688 Posts
    • 2,226 Thanks
    Aylesbury Duck
    Definitely agree with making light of things. Our wedding day could've been completely spoiled, but we laugh about the absent bridesmaid, the wrong size jacket sent by the suit hire company, the flowers that nearly weren't (member of staff at the shop legged it with the order book), horizontal rain, dress that burst at the seams, bride who was extremely late due to an awful traffic jam, mispronounced names, broken car, fire alarm going off (the list continues a fair bit). But we had an amazing day, and I got to marry Mr Imp.

    Take their offer, ask for a meal and some wine, and enjoy it. Have a giggle about everything (we do), and focus on the important bit - you got to marry the one you love.
    Originally posted by Mrs Imp
    Your wedding sounds great! Like a Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em plot. Much more interesting than the same old "well, he were are at the church, here are the flowers, here's dad making a speech, video of our first dance, etc, etc". We've all attended numerous weddings that go to script and they're just not memorable. Yours sounds a blast!
    • susancs
    • By susancs 10th Apr 18, 8:38 PM
    • 3,833 Posts
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    susancs
    I totally agree with Savvy Sue, Aylesbury Duck and Mrs Imp, about concentrating on all the good points about the wedding. OP, I would bet that your bride looked beautiful, you made lovely wedding vows to each other and had a lot of special people in your lives there to witness this. Don't let the "dark cloud" hide all the sunshine.

    There is usually something at a wedding that goes not quite to plan and it often does provide fun and laughter for many years afterwards.

    In regard to our wedding, my husband's 3 year old nephew fell into a large puddle in his wedding suit on his way into the church and had to change into a dinosaur tshirt and shorts to go down the aisle. He does looks cute in the wedding photos. The hired videoman fell onto the wedding cake and damaged the top tier and the topper. He was so upset. I just said don't worry and put it all back on top. It is always a laughing point when the photos show us posing happily in front of a loop sided damaged cake with a broken topper on it. A cousin fell on the dance floor when dancing to the band and hurt her knee so badly she had to be treated by friends who were nurses and the bar staff with ice. Luckily she was alright afterwards.

    At a family wedding lat summer, I spent time getting meals sorted as the vegetarian members of the party were given meat dishes in error. The staff couldn't find where they had stored the wedding cake and which had been delivered the day before and the bestman had to deal with that. The balloons on the table had deflated due to the cold air conditioning being on too high. The grooms mother who was disabled was not given the pre-booked and paid for disabled room, so had to sort that out. We all still had a really lovely day.

    I agree with others that you should take their "goodwill" offer of a stay and maybe request for wine and a meal and get on with continuing to enjoy your new married life together.
    • Out, Vile Jelly
    • By Out, Vile Jelly 11th Apr 18, 10:51 AM
    • 3,934 Posts
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    Out, Vile Jelly
    So the worst thing about the OP's wedding was they had to stay up late the night before to decorate the place (and I'm sorry to be blunt, but guests never remember your colour scheme or cute table names however much effort you put in), and there was a bit of confusion with timings on the day, which got sorted. I was expecting a truly juicy wedding disaster story, along the lines of "the bride dressed up Moulin Rouge style and insisted on singing an (out of tune) acapella version of My Heart Will Go On", "the best man was heckled by a family member who'd been let out of prison the day before, and ended up being arrested again" or "the best man said such shocking things in his speech he was asked to leave and the groom has never spoken to him since." All of these happened to my friends!

    I honestly think you should stop brooding over it and move on.
    They are an EYESORES!!!!
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 11th Apr 18, 11:05 AM
    • 9,058 Posts
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    AnotherJoe
    I honestly think you should stop brooding over it and move on.

    ^^^^^^^^^ This !!!
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 11th Apr 18, 11:25 AM
    • 10,880 Posts
    • 28,931 Thanks
    suki1964
    And this is why my wedding reception was a DIY job in the back garden

    Not much went wrong, nothing that spoiled the day. We still laugh at Mr Suki's best friend getting extremely drunk and having to be poured into a taxi home mid afternoon , the dog after being fed titbits all afternoon chucking his guts up all over the kitchen floor, not having enough cars to ferry everyone back home after the service which left a bunch of people stood on the doorstep waiting for someone with a key to arrive , that I didn't have a photographer and gave out disposable cameras for guests to take candid shots, only they managed to get thrown away - the list goes on

    But it was a fantastic day, enjoyed by us and guests alike and at the end of the day we were married which is what it was all about
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 11th Apr 18, 11:34 AM
    • 6,444 Posts
    • 8,337 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    While I agree that you can't re-do the day, so your best bet is to focus on the positives and move on, if you do whnt to pursue a complaint about the room not being available when promised, then refer them to the e-mail confirming that it would be available from 12 the previous day, point out what time it was actually made available to you, and ask for a discount equal to the cost of room hire for that amount of time (e.g. i the room costs £100 hour to hire, and you didn't have access until 3 when you were contracted to have it by 12, ask for £300.)

    But do double check what you actually paid for - if you paid for the room from 12 on the day before, then you didn't get what you paid for and a partial refund is reasonable. If you only actually paid for the day of the wedding and the other time was a free add on then it is harder to argue that you should be entitled to anything.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 11th Apr 18, 8:09 PM
    • 38,390 Posts
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    Savvy_Sue
    (and I'm sorry to be blunt, but guests never remember your colour scheme or cute table names however much effort you put in),
    Originally posted by Out, Vile Jelly
    To be fair, I don't go to many weddings these days, and the one I remember going to after a LOOOONG gap just fascinated me. What were we supposed to do with these cutesy little doves on the table? And hearts, I think there were cutesy little hearts. And what on earth was the point of the happy couple (or more likely I think the bride and her friends) having spent HOURS tying fancy bows round all the chairs, because once we were all sitting down you couldn't see them any more anyway!

    So I still remember it, but not necessarily for the right reasons ...

    but hey ho, each to their own, and there are very few weddings which cost less than mine ...
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself ...
    Current projects: Poppies, mohair cardigan pattern on order...
    • ViolaLass
    • By ViolaLass 11th Apr 18, 9:03 PM
    • 5,306 Posts
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    ViolaLass
    Why are you unwilling to put out a public review? If someone else had done it first, you might have gone elsewhere. Think of it as your service to another couple.
    • elsien
    • By elsien 11th Apr 18, 9:23 PM
    • 16,198 Posts
    • 40,922 Thanks
    elsien


    They were overall very rude, nobody on site knew where any of our guests were staying so I spent most of my time dealing with this (effectively working for them for free) along with directing delivery drivers with stock orders around the site as they were struggling to get hold of and find the managers/owners as much as I was. Overall, a very operationally challenged venue.

    They were very un-apologetic about all of this. My wife (bride on her wedding day) was also a faced with a family member of the owners to tell her about an on-going family feud about the venue and money!!.....

    In the end I sent a lengthy overview of our experience to give them an opportunity to respond and do something to put it right rather than me just giving a public review.
    Originally posted by Jw84
    A few thoughts:

    Firstly there are two sides to every story. I have no idea what actually happened but it's equally possible (to the outside observer) that an interfering guest was sticking his oar in and directing people who would otherwise have just got on with it.

    Why did your wife stay and listen to a saga about a feud instead of just walking away?


    No-one wants to read a lengthy overview. You probably lost them after the first paragraph.

    Bullet points of complaint.
    Quantify any losses.
    Be clear about what you are looking for by way of recompense. Be realistic. Some hurt feelings are probably not part of the deal.
    Be prepared to negotiate.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
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