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Advice needed Re: Belhurst

So my friend is getting married at the Belhurst Castle in August and the wedding coordinator has been craptastic.  I'm the matron of honor and I feel like I should have known to tell my friend how to coordinate everything since I read through the reviews and I knew the coordinator was craptastic.
She told the lady way back when she chose Belhurst that she would like pictures up on the balcony.  The coordinator told her yes she could do that, she'd need to get that room to stay in overnight.  Great, my friend said, that's what she wants to do.  She has talked about this a lot and that was why she chose the Belhurst.  That and she loves castles and she wanted someplace she and the bridal party could stay overnight.
What my friend didn't say was "Please confirm  my reservation for August 10th and here is the credit card." She just said that's what she wants. Her parents paid the deposit on the wedding. The lady never told her she needs to do it, or do it early and they fill up.
She called this week to make sure she has that room and to get rooms for the rest of the party and she was told that not only does she not have that room, they have NO PLACE at all, at any of their properties for her to stay on her wedding night.
Pretty much, they said "Oh Well."
She's crushed, and asked if there was at least a room to get ready in and they told her no. There's no bride's room.

Has anyone has a wedding there?  Was there a place to get ready?  What on earth do I do for her now?

I realize I should have told her last year to book the room.  We all thought she did. I didn't book mine yet and really had no idea they'd be booked up already.  I think that was something the wedding coordinator could have mentioned.

Not only that, they won't e-mail her back since last Friday.

Re: Advice needed Re: Belhurst

  • edited January 2012
    BTW, I don't live in Los Angeles.  I'm normally on the bump, and the knot made me update with all sorts of info like my husband's name and where we live and I don't put that in:)
  • edited January 2012
    Are you trying to get a hold of Carmen or Michelle?  I've had responses from Michele-who is Carmens assistant, even on her day off she's made arrangements for me to be able to sneak in and see the ballroom set up but before another weddign has started.  I know she checks her email, and thats where I've had the best luck, she will Email quicker than call.

    I would be sympathetic to a bride that is losing out on one of the great shots the venue has to offer, it was a big plus for me in picking the venue too!

    I can say though that on my day I may be less than enthusiastic, now its easy to say no problem, BUT when I really think about it- at least in my case where some of BMs are staying in that suite with me the night before and we are all having our hair/makeup done in that room- it could be a little chaotic.
    I can totally see a cute woohoo we're weddign date twins picture, and being fine with letting another bride in, but to play devils advocate I can see being put out by it and not wanting to move my stuff or have someone in the way either. 

    I would approach the subject very sensitively, and be very gracious.  You jsut never know what kind of stress or emotions another bride may be having surrounding her wedding, so expect anything but I guess I'd ask regardless.
    Sept 2012 Siggy:Bridesmaids' Dresses
    Bari Jay 911 in Raspberry
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • It's Carmen.  I'll tell her to try Michelle. Still no word by the way.  I don't think it's even that day's bride who has the tower suite.  I think it's Saturday's bride.  (My friend's wedding is on Fri.)
    For me persoanlly I'd be okay with another bride taking a pic as long as it was just the bride and groom or just bride.  Probably not if the whole wedding party were coming in.
  • then that may change things!  I hope everything works out the best for her, regardless I'm sure it will be a beautiful, amazing wedding!!
    Sept 2012 Siggy:Bridesmaids' Dresses
    Bari Jay 911 in Raspberry
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • edited January 2012
    Thank you.  She said that she hasn't even heard of a Michelle, but the assistant is Stephanie. Can you pm me a contact number?
  • Yeah I'm wrong I meant Stephanie, geez I guess I really haven't talked to her in a long time!

    Its just [email protected]
    Sept 2012 Siggy:Bridesmaids' Dresses
    Bari Jay 911 in Raspberry
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I got married there last August and there really isn't any place to get ready if you don't have a room reserved...I'm sorry to say that.  I'm a little surprised they are so full already, unless it's largely the other wedding party.  Did she put her name on the waiting list at least?  Maybe since it's so far out something will open up.  Some of my guests decided last minute to check and just got put on the waiting list for rooms.

    We stayed in one of the Reserve Rooms because the Castle rooms had such bad reviews online.  I didn't mind not having the balcony pictures, but probably it's more important to your friend.

    I agree that Carmen was horrible to deal with.  It was ridiculous the amount of stress she caused.  But I also agree with PP that it is one of the more economical places and the scenery is gorgeous.  I didn't know Stephanie existed until the day of my wedding but I've heard from other brides that she is way more helpful.

    My other piece of advice might be to reserve a house nearby?  There are some vacation rentals that our guests looked at, if you are interested in having the bridal party all stay together.

    Good luck!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I'm getting married there in 6 weeks and the response from Carmen is inexcusable.  The place is a good value and I was aware of the poor reviews of the event coordination, I just didn't think it would be as stressful as it has been.  The venue unresponsiveness has been the most stressful thing in all of our planning - not a question.

    When I meet with Carmen in person it's like a completely different story, she seems so organized and all.  However, if you don't nail down details right when you are there in person, it will be nearly impossible to get ahold of her otherwise.

    They were very straightforward with the hotel situation - it's set up as a separate business unit so you need to make reservations on your own.  They were clear that there is no bridal suite as well, so I think your friend might not have asked the right questions.  They will keep your dress and tuxes in holding a day or two before the wedding, but I don't know where they expect you to get ready if you don't get a room.  Our wedding is at the end of April, and the hotels have been booked up for at least 5 months - if your friend is getting married in the summer, I think it's even more important to make reservations in advance.
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