@JetSettingBride - where to begin??? We had been trying to book our wedding there for over two months. We were originally put in touch with their wedding planner who was brand new and who you could just tell did not have enough experience with high-end event planning. We were very concerned with her ability to pull off our wedding, so we asked to be put in touch with someone more experienced. They obliged and put the Director of F&B and the head of concierge in charge of our wedding. We worked with the two of them for over a month trying to get a cost estimate in order to begin the contracting process. Eventually we did our own estimate after their failure to produce one and sent it to them for confirmation. They scheduled a final call to review it, but on the call they admitted they had not even read our estimate.
Now, all of that is just poor customer service. The actual wedding feel apart when they sent their contract to us. It had a ton of errors in it regarding our event...items that had clearly been discussed; more importantly that that, they just became unethical. They change multiple policies regarding payment and fees at the last minute, such as:
- They changed our Food and Beverage minimum on the contract. Because of the hassles we had from the beginning they lowered our minimum as a courtesy. It was a nice gesture that didn't really mean anything, as we were spending well over the minimum already. When they sent our contract, they had actually raised the minimum to higher than the original amount discussed.
- They changed the deposit policy. Their paperwork clearly states that their deposit is $500 to reserve the date, 50% thirty days out and 100% 15 days before the wedding. On the contract they insisted on a non-refundable 50% deposit. They wanted me to send them $12,500 right now to reserve the date, when they couldn't even produce and accurate cost estimate for us. I pointed out the change and they held firm that they wanted the $12k to hold our date.
- They changed their published service fees. Their menus say 20% service and 11% tax. On the contract it changed to 36% total.
I pointed out to them that my concern with the deposit was not in paying it, it was that turning over $12,500 to a hotel that doesn't even know what a cost estimate is (I had to send them samples from other hotels so they could see one) was a huge concern. I was not comfortable with it and they wouldn't budge, nor would they tell me why they changed. My only thought it that they thought we had the money and that we wouldn't walk away after so much time invested. Little did they know...we would!