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Back to Square One

Argh I am so frustrated.  I went and saw the Marriott North in Cranberry, fell in love with it, and was about to sign the contract.  My fiance is Army National Guard, and though there's only a very minimal chance he will get deployed and we will have to postpone things, there is a slim chance.  The Marriott is unwilling to work with us, and if we sign the contract for the date that we want, if he is deployed and we can't hold it that date, we will owe a $9K cancellation fee.  I let the General Manager know that we can't afford to lose that in the off chance that he is deployed, and that many people in the industry will allow a postponement if the service member's orders are given to them, and he said that we were welcome to "wait until it was guaranteed that he wouldn't be deployed to book our date."  That's laughable.  It's never guaranteed that he won't be deployed.

I just kind of needed to vent-- I can't call the General Manager back right now because I'm really upset.  I guess it's time to start looking for new venues, and I really hope this isn't an issue that we're going to run into with everyone.

Re: Back to Square One

  • New_to_PGHNew_to_PGH member
    edited December 2011
    Ugh, that sucks that they won't work with you!

    I have NO idea about this - but are there any bases in the area with reception facilities? I grew up in DC, and a friend got an AMAZING dead at Andrews AFB beccause her dad was retired Navy (so I guess they don't care what you are as long as you've got a Military ID :P). Again, I have NO idea what does/doesn't exist in the Pttsburgh area though!
  • edited December 2011
    That is horrible.  Clearly they aren't interested in doing good business.

    Good luck finding a new place.  And I'm willing to bet if you share your story, you might get some sympathy perks--even if it's just a free champagn toast.

    BTW--my opinion is that this should go on the vendor beware list.  Inflexibility like this makes me shudder to think what else they might pull.
  • edited December 2011
    Eek! What horrible customer service!  I'm really shocked by the 9K cancellation fee as well!

    There are many nice venues in the Cranberry/Wexford area.  Did you look at Twelve Oaks on 228 or the Camelot in Wexford?  What about the 4 Points Sheraton?

    Hopefully you can find something equally as beautiful and with coordinators that will accomodate your needs. GL
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  • edited December 2011
    I've got the phone number for the Regional VP so I'm hoping that maybe if I make enough noise about it, they'll bend, but now I don't know that I even want to do it there.  It really sucks, because I did totally have my heart set on it.  I'm glad my mother thought to double-check, though, because the Wedding Coordinator told us when we went to view the site that it wouldn't be an issue as long as they had a copy of his orders, so I didn't even think of asking again.  What really got under my skin was the message that the General Manager just left for me, telling me that "booking a year out with the possibility that he could get deployed up until the day of the wedding just doesn't work for us."  He's really got great customer service skills.
  • LaFemmeRousseLaFemmeRousse member
    edited December 2011
    WOW, that is very bad customer service.  I agree that this should go on the Vendor Beware list.  A 9k cancellation fee?!   I understand that the hotel has a need to protect themselves, but that just seems excessive.

    Do you want recommendations for other venues in the area?

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  • edited December 2011
    Wow, that is really not standard in the industry at all.

    Most places will say that you can transfer the booking to another day that they have available with no penalty.

    Or, they may keep your deposit (if they can't rebook it) or return your deposit (if they are able to rebook it).

    I guess the only thing I could see would be if he literally deployed after you had already paid the final deposit. Then they might be able to make the claim that the food was already paid for, staff already scheduled, etc. But certainly not a year out.

    To avoid the issue, you should get wedding insurance. It would help in these circumstances and make sure you get all your money back. I'm not sure if wedding insurance covers deployments, but it is worth a shot.

    It is very unfortunate that this happened. You probably don't want to work with them anyway. Do you think moving the wedding up and having a shorter engagement would decrease the chance that he would be deployed? Also, places with open bookings for this year are more likely to be flexible than a place with openings for 2011.
  • edited December 2011
    No real advice, but that sucks!  And I agree, how could it possibly be 9K to cancel a wedding?  With my hall, we would have lost our deposit if they couldn't rebook for our date (until we had paid the 1/2 expected bill a few months before the wedding.)

    I can definitely add them to the Beware list - can you e-mail me to remind me?  pghknotties at gmail dot com.  I actually have a few things to update, so I will try to get to it this weekend because it is a PITA for me to do at work.  
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  • edited December 2011
    This really sucks, but you might be able to find a venue related to the armed forces.  I'm having my reception at the 911 Air Force Reserve Base in Pittsburgh and I know they will work with you on these issues.  Maybe you can find an Army National Guard Base.  Just a thought!
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  • edited December 2011
    We thought about moving the wedding up, but we need time to save for the wedding/honeymoon, and I'm working full time and in law school part time, so planning as far ahead as possible is really the only way I can do it without my head exploding from stress.  

    Part of me still wants to have it there, but if the GM is willing to treat me this way when I'm still willing to drop a large chunk of change at his hotel, how is he going to treat me after I've signed a contract?  I'm planning on e-mailing the President and Regional VP for the company that owns the Marriott, as well as anyone else I can.  In general, people don't look kindly upon treating veterans this way-- I don't frequently use it to our advantage, but in this case, I might make an exception.
  • edited December 2011
    Oh, and suggestions for the area would be great!  I think we're going to look at the Four Points Sheraton-- I really like the idea of having the ceremony and reception in the same place, and because we have so many out of town guests, having it at a hotel is really the ideal solution.  Perhaps either the Cranberry area, or somewhere around Route 28?  

    The Marriott included a lot of stuff; food, alcohol, cocktail hour, appetizers, table linens, cake, and hotel rooms for us, and both sets of parents, and we were going to get it at a fairly reasonable rate (well, I thought, for a 4 course meal).  I'm trying to do the least work possible, and having so many things included was really a big selling point for me.
  • steff308steff308 member
    Seventh Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    $9000---that's crazy...  Phillip at the Sheraton in Cranberry is wonderful.  Another suggestion is Cranberry Highlands Golf Course.  They have a beautiful room that fits 160 guests. 
  • dingdongnwifedingdongnwife member
    edited December 2011
    I am so sorry that you are going through this, you would think a company would be more lieniant for those serving our country. My sister in law use to work there, and I have never heard of anyone being un-happy about service there.

    I live near Cranberry, if you have to look for other venues here are a few that I know of:

    Twleve Oaks Mansion
    Chadwick (is in Wexford but somewhat close by)
    Sheradon 4 points (is right in Cranberry)

    I also believe that there is a golf course but this is somewhere I have not been. The other 3 I have been to and have had no problems at any of them.

    Hope you are able to figure something out.
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