When I was studying to be a wedding planner, I thought I’d offer to do a couple of weddings for free – just to get a little practical experience. A lady I worked with said her daughter was getting married so I gave her my business card and waited for her daughter to give me a call. After a week or so, I asked her whether her daughter was interested and she said “Oh, she says it’s OK because the venue’s got its own wedding planner.” I left it at that (free help……. and you don’t want it??)
A few months later I saw my colleague (who was now working somewhere else) and asked her how her daughter was getting on. Her face dropped and she said “Oh, you’re not going to believe it. It’s been awful!” It turns out that they’d booked a venue and paid a deposit. But then, they’d found another venue (why were they still looking? Obviously they didn’t do any research in the first place!) that they liked more, so they booked that too. So far, they’d lost their deposit, but they thought it would be worth it.
Then they found out that the price they were expecting to pay was just the venue hire charge – it didn’t cover the wedding breakfast! The problem was, they couldn’t afford to feed their guests at the rates the venue was charging. Obviously, they were still not doing their research and reading the small print! And the venue co-ordinator seemingly didn’t explain clearly that they price they were quoted didn’t include the food either (or they weren’t listening when she did!)
So, what was the end result? The couple lost the second deposit (several thousand pounds altogether) and the bride-to-be had to “settle for the Register Office” (which I thought was an unfair comment as their local Register Office is a beautiful Grade II listed building with a lovely garden to take photos before you head off to your reception. But I get the point – it’s not what her daughter wanted!)
So the moral of the story is research, check, think before you act. And if you’re no good at that (and plenty of brides-to-be aren’t because you’re so excited about everything you can’t think straight!!) seek out a wedding planner who offers a venue search service. A good one will:
- ask all the right questions before you book,
- tell you exactly what you’re getting for your money (and what you aren’t),
- explain details clearly to you (because they work for you not the venue).