This Time, It’s For Real

When we left off, Mr G and I were still looking for the perfect reception venue with the following qualifications: not a hotel or country club, somewhere with a bit of character and personality, a big enough interior {winter wedding!} without being too big, and {we knew it would be a stretch} somewhere that would let us bring in our own alcohol or catering, to save some costs.

We visited {let’s be honest, I visited} so many places, and it always felt like something was just not right. Finally, I recalled a place that I had heard of a few years ago, The Venue {real name}. The Venue is part of an old hardware warehouse that was converted several years ago to event space, and I was nearly certain that it would be too trendy/urban/not traditional for Mr G to handle. I scheduled a preliminary meeting, to see if it was worth it to bring G, and was originally not too impressed with the space- liked the bricks, but it was pretty small and one dimensional.

However, the Venue has a sister location in another part of the warehouse called The Loft. Once the owner took me to The Loft space, I was sold. The Loft is actually a two story venue: the first floor is where the bar, dance floor and restrooms are, and where we would hold the cocktail hour. Upstairs is where all the tables would be located for dinner and dessert. There is an awesome light fixture over the staircase, and a cut-out in the floor where guests in the upstairs can watch the dancing from. It’s pretty non-conventional, and I wasn’t sure if Mr G would love it, but I really did.

When I brought G in to meet the owner and discuss pricing, etc, they were able to bond over their love of antipasti and various other Italian things, and reached a mutually agreeable rate. We’ve already put down our deposit and booked the venue and everything, and I’m really thrilled, I swear! However. Every. Single. Interaction. With the owner since that first meeting seems to have gone poorly.

{A little warning: this post is about to get pretty ranting, pretty quick.}

First, the day that I went in for a preliminary meeting, without Mr G. I was early, as usual, and the owner was late. Although several people walked in and out of the main room, no one talked to me or asked if I had been helped or anything. Not a deal breaker, but I was a little frustrated. Same thing on the visit when I brought the G-man.

Then, after the second visit and G and I agreed that we wanted to book the place, I emailed the owner to get a copy of the contract and set up a time to discuss the details- it was a Tuesday, and I asked if we might come in on Thursday. On Friday evening, I still hadn’t received a response. {I know that some people aren’t as immediately accessible by email the way I expect, but come on. He’d emailed me from his phone before, so I know full well that he’d read the email.}

After I followed up on Friday, his assistant sent me a copy of the contract, but that was it- no mention of actually meeting. When I asked her to schedule something, she told me that the owner would follow up.

Six. Days. Later. Having heard nothing, I emailed both the owner and the assistant, asking if I had missed a communication somewhere. G’s family was in town that weekend, so I also asked to stop by that evening to show them the space and deal with the contract and deposit. I got a voicemail saying that that would be fine, the owner would probably be in and if not, his assistant definitely would be able to help us {I was only a teensy bit shocked that there was no apology for his prolonged lack of communication- come on, man, we’re giving you all of the dollars…pretend like you want our business!}.

I called back and got his voicemail, so I left a message that we would see him that evening. Mr G and his dad and sister and I all drove over to the space…where an event was taking place. Which, ok, was fine, and we probably still could have looked around {since part of the visit was intended to show them the space} but –and I cringe sharing this- not only was the owner not on the premises {allegedly having left sick for the day} his assistant also had no idea we who we were or what we were there for.

She asked the date of our event, told us it was available and started to talk about pricing…uh, no thank you. We knew it was available, we were prepared to put down money, and she was quoting a price substantially higher than what we were actually paying. Please. We were able to at least discuss the contract with her, and she answered some of our questions, and she made a note for the owner that we would like to meet the following week. {I would also like to add that she was unprepared, snarky and somewhat condescending. This, however, could be blown out of proportion by my rage and the fact that it was dinner time and I was hungry. So.}

So, that was a Friday and the following Tuesday I received a voicemail from the owner. I, of course, was not prepared to interact with the man in an appropriate tone of voice so I forwarded the call to G. They set up an appointment to meet the next day, Wednesday {and no, the owner didn’t do anything that was even close to apologizing for being the worst}. When G got there {I almost cannot finish this sentence- I die.} the owner was not there. Are you serious? Ok, when he called, immediately, to tell me this, I was at the same time unsurprised and infuriated. Whew. The assistant manager, who was apparently more competent than the assistant we met the previous week, was able to agree to come changes Mr G made to the contract {please don’t even get me started on that- he used every form of the word indemnify that exists, as well as some that he made up}, signed it and took our deposit.

So, I mean, we do have a venue. And we love the space and the idea of our reception there. It’s just that- when you have to force people to take your money, it kind of seems like a bad omen for what’s to come, you know? Here’s to crossing our fingers…

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