FI and I booked our venue in March 2015 for our October 2016 wedding. It was a smaller winery owner by a family that owns several wineries. We fell in love with charm and intimate feel. The maximum capacity was 100 guests and that was fine with us. It is a single building winery from the late 1800's. We were told that there was planned renovations from 12/15-06/16. The renovations were explained as bringing the building up to ADA compliance by adding an elevator the back of the building. We were also told some minor beautification to landscaping would happen. The Sales Manager told us that the family loved this historic property and wouldn't do anything to ruin it.
Somewhere in the renovation planning they decided to make this venue accommodate larger weddings... 250 person weddings. They torn out all of the beautiful vineyards that were in front of the building and added a patch of lawn and paved a large area. They also built a redwood fence to serve as a wedding backdrop. The intimate charming feel is gone, it now feels barren and more like a super commercial banquet hall, something we could have rented for much cheaper, had we wanted that.
I have been very disappointed with the changes, but have tried to stay positive and change my vision for that day. It is so hard because for over a year I pictured so many parts of that day feeling and looking a certain way. FI feels the same way, but he cares far less.
I met with our florist today who does a lot of work with our venue, she told me that almost every bride that has the space booked is disappointed and upset. She asked me if I had told the venue and I told her no because I didn't want to be difficult. She told me that so many couples are getting large discounts and comped extras. she told me to email the sales manager asap and be direct.
I AM SO BAD AT THIS.
I've written an email and would like your feedback:
Hi Sales Manager,
I hope you are doing well.
I have been dreading writing this
email. I have been trying very hard to be positive about the changes to VENUE
but now that we are almost 60 days out from our wedding it is impossible to
hold back my feelings.
Since last spring when you showed us
the artist rendering, I have been worried about the changes to VENUE. I didn’t
want to be difficult but after seeing the changes in person, and realizing that
we would need to change our original vision for our wedding and realizing all
of the added costs associated with this I felt this is something I had to bring
up with you because FI and I are very unhappy.
When we booked the venue early last
year we knew there would be renovations made, but we were promised that the
changes would enhance the beauty of the property and not destroy the charm and
intimate feeling of the space. Had we been told that the renovations would make
the VENUE look and feel less like an intimate vineyard, we wouldn’t have booked
FI and I
are paying for the entire wedding ourselves, and we booked VENUE because of the
charm, but more specifically we didn’t felt that we would need to spend a lot
on rentals, decorations, and floral arrangements because of the natural
beauty of the property. Now because of the
renovations all of that has changed. We cut the gold chargers and late night
snacks we had originally planned for because we knew the cost would need to be
redirected to floral arrangements for the ceremony since we would no longer
have the vineyard as our background.
In the last 2-3 months, I'm having
to re plan and vision my wedding, which is very stressful, and not within the original budget FI and I set.
In talking with our vendors, to keep somewhat of an intimate feel, I am
considering having our ceremony in the barrel room. This will come at a higher
cost to us because this means additional floral arrangements, lighting,
candles, etc. In having the ceremony in the barrel room I would like to have
the reception on the lawn. Again, this comes at an added cost to us; renting market
place lights, outdoor heaters, etc. We may even have to have the DJ have a
second set up for speeches and dinner music would still like to have dancing in
the barrel room, but since dinner would be outside, there would be no seating
and we would need to rent lounge furniture. FI and I are requesting that we be
comped for most of these change, as the venue for our wedding is nowhere near
the same venue we booked last year.
It is so frustrating to feel this
way just a few months from our wedding especially because the changes made to
the property are way more drastic than the proposed changes that were explained to us when we signed the contract.
You have mentioned previously that a
lot of couples have been upset and disappointed with the changes so I feel we
are not alone in this. Please let me know what can be done so that we can
review our options and move forward.
Just for reference below are the before and after
ceremony site before renovations
New ceremony site... the lawn is sloped.
the front of the building
the new view from outside the building