You know - on most days, I am a fairly well balanced person. I am not the sort who gives in to ranting and raving - truly, it expends too much energy for me. Until today. This afternoon, to be exact.
A potential client of mine has contracted with a local venue to host her upcoming wedding and reception. During our initial consult, she mentioned that a fee was assessed for her use of the venue's outdoor area (the "garden") - and when I heard the amount (can you say four figures??), I was taken aback - simply because I am familiar with this location and I've never seen a garden there on property.
Soooooooo - my assistant, Robilyn and I took a little drive out to the venue - on the hunt for a "garden" that cost four figures to rent. When I arrived, I drove to where I was told the "garden" was located. I kept looking around for something else, because surely the back yard that I was looking at could not be the "garden" they touted and sold to this bride-to-be! *Sidebar - she has not toured this site, unfortunately - she went through all of the machinations with this facility prior to meeting with me. Discussion to follow*.
But seriously folks - it's a back yard. No landscaping of any sort, no potential of blooming florals, no type of tree coverage to shade guests from the unrelenting sun - nada. You got a plot of grass, a gazebo (I shudder when I think of that particular one - not pretty) along with your generic, I-can-get-these-from-my-local-discount-store-white resin-porch-chairs. That happen to be dirty and broken.
*Sigh*. I called her from the "garden" and told her what I saw. Now usually - I don't do this type of thing until a client is formally under contract with me. But as a responsible, caring planner - AND human being, there was no way I could not tell her. She and her fiance' are spending some $$ to host this party, it needs to work for them. I got a call from her a while ago, she was deeply appreciative of the fact that I even took time out of my schedule to look at the site. And she's formally contracting with my company to provide services for her special day.
Here's my "rant":
A) This venue should be ashamed of themselves for even offering something of this quality to anyone. Although I know that they probably don't give a foorah - I do.
B) This is a classic example of why you should talk with a professional wedding planning expert in the BEGINNING stages of the process. It's our job to help you look for the good, bad and ugly - to help you navigate the waters, 'cause they can be quite murky and very choppy.
I am going to do my level best to help her have a wonderful, memorable day - she and her beloved deserve it. But make no mistake, I will be their ally and advocate for the remainder of the planning process - and I don't play. If you've ever watched me on "Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?", then you understand where I am coming from.......
I'll keep you posted.