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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 31861
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am getting married in August 2015 and booked a venue in September

Customer Question

I am getting married in August 2015 and booked a venue in September 2014. I booked this venue primarily because of its 12 acres of landscaped gardens as the hall itself wasn't very nice, however, I was willing to sacrifice  the standard of the hall for the picturesque views. I also have approximately 300 guests coming with a lot of kids, so this would be perfect throughout the day in general where many photos could be taken being summertime.
We looked at other venues which had much nicer interiors for a cheaper price and the same capacity, but had my heart set on the grounds for which we would have exclusive use on the day. This swayed me to pay what is still too much money.
I proceeded to plan my whole day around this venue. The only church with the capacity I needed has a graveyard on its grounds so evidently we cannot take any pictures there, but this was less of a concern as the beautiful acres of land where we will have the reception were exceptional so this would not be a problem especially when taking pictures with all guests together. (Otherwise I would NEVER have chosen such a church.)
I've paid £2,000 for a videographer with a drone to capture some amazing footage when at the venue, as evidently we cannot do so at the church with the graveyard!
I have also booked my caterers to have a barbecue in the evening as evidently we have the space to do so even with 300 guests.
We had so many plans for the wedding solely based on  the fact that we had "exclusive use of the grounds" on the day. This was reiterated many times to me and was their unique selling point.
This venue is costing us over £10,000. This is a lot of money, however due to the fact that I wanted to have the grounds as a backdrop to my pictures and the number of guests coming I was willing to pay it. This is for a dry hire, which gives us use of the hall on the day, exclusive use of the grounds, tables and chairs.
We have paid £1000 deposit to secure the venue, and further instalment of £1000 to date.
I went to a wedding fayre at the venue about  3 weeks ago with my mum and there was extensive work going on and you could not access the grounds at all, only 2 small areas a few metres squared each. Mum and I were happy about this at the time as we assumed that the place would look even nicer than when we saw it initially! We didn't even consider that the work would not be finished before the wedding especially as August is peak time for weddings.
I checked my email a few days later only to find that a very generic letter had been sent by the wedding staff from the directors stating that they were building a new hotel and spa! This work will not be completed until December 2015!
This completely shatters my entire wedding. All my plans are out of the window and I have absolutely nowhere to take pictures.
Wooden boards have been erected to hide the building work, however this makes the outside area available for use very contained and claustrophobic especially for 300 guests. They've  been painted a hideous green colour with cheap hanging baskets on them. The grounds are hidden behind the boards and have been completely dug up. There is also a huge red crane on site which is a complete eye saw.
At the wedding fayre there was no mention of this, no letter had been sent to my house, although all other communication has been sent by post. The email I received about this work was sent in March 2015, five months before the wedding! Invites have been sent, everything is already booked. My hands are tied and I am stuck with this venue.
We had a meeting with a wedding coordinator a few months back and none of this was mentioned.
I also called the wedding team shortly after to confirm that it would be okay to have a barbecue and was told that I could have whatever I wanted as I had exclusive use of the grounds on the day.
This has caused me a great deal of stress and anxiety and I am extremely upset that I was categorically lied to. I refuse to believe that they had no prior knowledge before March that they would essentially be digging up the land.  There is also other building work going on around the whole premises.
I have been completely blindsided, and my wedding is clearly of no importance to them. This is the most important day of MY life and they have essentially ruined it.
I have a meeting with the director soon , and I think it is ridiculous that I pay £10,000 for such a venue. No doubt they will be offering some kind of discount, however is it unreasonable to ask that they refund the £2000 I have already paid and compensate me given that they have not given me enough time to source an alternative location. The reason I chose this venue no longer exists, the grounds are gone. My wedding is ruined no matter how you look at it. It is too late to cancel and I am forced to make do.
Please advise on what I can ask for given the false advertising and lack of information. Many thanks for your help.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
In short then, there is work going on at the venue?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Did they specifically say that it would be finished ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

We did not know about the works until last month after the email was sent with the inforrmation. It stated the work would not be finishe'd until december 2015

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
That is a problem Im afraid.
Does it affect anything but the view>
It doesn't encroach upon your use of the venue?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes it does. The grounds they dug up were part of what I paid for. The use of the venue included exclusive use of the grounds in the day. This is why I chose the venue, so I could use the grounds

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Would they still have access?
They can't have dug up the whole thing?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

There is no access. They are building another hotel!

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, but that would affect the whole grounds?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Please read what I wrote. I have not exaggerated. There is a small area available to use the rest is not accessible

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
What you have written does not give me the information I asked for.
I will opt out.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

All the questions you have asked are in what I wrote! " Wooden boards have been erected to hide the building work, however this makes the outside area available for use very contained and claustrophobic especially for 300 guests. They've been painted a hideous green colour with cheap hanging baskets on them. The grounds are hidden behind the boards and have been completely dug up. There is also a huge red crane on site which is a complete eye saw."

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're OK with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

thank you. hopefully you can find someone else soon

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hi there,

I have just had an email stating that no one can help me. Please can the £20 I paid for an answer be refunded to me