When I got engaged, I knew there was one place we wanted to have our reception at - the Coney Island Museum. We got engaged on the Coney Island boardwalk, and my grandparents met at Steeplechase Park 80+ years ago.
We toured the venue, and were willing to pick a date based on their availability so they wouldn't be put out (May-October is their crazy time). We were told there was construction this entire coming winter, but the date we had chosen (March 23) wouldn't be a problem. Additionally, we were willing to use their bar (as you have to), even though it was beer/wine only, and you pay per drink, with a 25% discount. It would have been a LOT of money we would be spending there - which is huge, especially for a seemingly struggling non-profit.
About a month after the tour, I contacted them and asked about a deposit or contract. I was told we were penciled in, and we didnt need to give a deposit until 30 days before the event, but "if I really needed to spend some money" they'd get a contract together.
Two weeks after that, I got an email that the construction would render our date unavailable. I quickly responded, asking what dates were available (and that we'd be willing to pay a higher price. I was met with a response to "get back to me after the mermaid parade" (late June) and they could talk to me then.
I waited until after July 4th weekend to get back to my contact over there, explaining we were willing to change our date, because it meant so much to us to have our reception there, and if they could please let us know available dates. To this day, I have heard NOTHING.
It's really sad, for me, as this was my first choice of a venue and I feel we were MORE than flexible and considerate. It's also really sad because Coney Island Museum is a wonderful, magical place that we were so excited to be supporting - they seem like they could really use the money, and we were going to spend quite a few bucks. It's sad that they could be sitting on a gold mine for an alternative event space, and they choose not to.
We've since scrapped our plans for Coney Island, sadly, and will be having our event elsewhere. I wanted to give all brides who may be interested in their space, or anyone else interested in their space, a first-hand heads-up. Sadly, for me, the magic was lost.