Dear Preston: The Hotel Ruined My Wedding And Won’t Give Me My Money Back
May 12, 2014
I recently got married in one of the most beautiful hotels in my city. That hotel spoiled my wedding. When I first visited this venue, I clearly asked how many guests could be comfortably accommodated and I was told 250. Unfortunately, I found out that was a lie on the day of my wedding. My 245 guests were cramped together so tightly that they could hardly sit down together! The dance floor was worse! It was so small that no one could dance on it! Needless to say, I was infuriated and called the manager, demanding a refund, a request that was flatly refused.
I think this is just wrong on every level and I am very angry. What do you suggest that I do?
A few years back, I had a client who was not happy with the flowers at her daughter’s wedding; I was devastated. She paid me in full, but instead of returning the money, I offered to deliver flowers to her home for three months, free of charge. She was not happy, but she called upon me to do her other daughter’s wedding when the time came. I cannot believe this hotel is choosing to do nothing in exchange for what seems to have been a result of their exaggeration. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon practice. The space may be able to hold 250 people, but how comfortably is the question. They offered the maximum headcount but resisted mentioning that it will be tight quarters. It is not clear from your letter whether or not this was mentioned, but I am guessing it wasn’t. My suggestion is that you contact the hotel and speak to the high level management. Explain your situation and why you are dissatisfied clearly. Hopefully, they will make it up to you somehow. If they still refuse, I suggest you focus on the good aspects of your wedding and move on. I feel badly that the space was not big enough, but I wonder if your guests even noticed. It could be that they didn’t dance because they were shy to be the first ones out there, or perhaps they were enjoying one another’s company or the food more than the music. We never know these things.
As much as I adhere to the idea that getting full payment before a wedding is necessary, these situations make me wonder. I do not like the idea of a client feeling powerless in their dissatisfaction.
Question: Vendors, do you demand payment in full before the day of the event? Do you agree this hotel should return at least some of her money?
For more answers from Preston, order Dear Preston: Doing Business With Our Hearts on Amazon.