Hi all, looking for some advice. So we viewed a couple of venues before finding one we really liked, the reviews were good, and the venue itself is lovely, it's an old house with beautiful gardens. It also offered a relatively affordable package for our micro-wedding with availability for September next year. We're becoming a bit uncertain about whether or not to proceed with them now based on the following:
First we were given 2 available dates that were provisionally reserved for us prior to our viewing, which we were then told suddenly weren't available after all, but offered 1 later that month, fine.
A week later we got a generic email saying thank you for your interest, etc, from the owner like we'd never met, fine, as admin errors happen, but when I followed up a bit concerned to confirm we were still on track with our date and viewing, it took a week and a voicemail to get a response.
Then we were told that they were suddenly VAT registered/applicable, so the cost would be 20% higher BUT they did throw in a free stay the night before, so fine.
We were then given some paperwork at the viewing which implied the actually wedding day had moved forward 1 day, fine, we booked the registrar, and followed up to ask for the invoice, only to be told that was an error, but could be honoured.
We then received the invoice + contract to pay the deposit, but on there was a £1000 damage deposit which wasn't mentioned in any costs/quotes given previously, kind of fine, but would have liked to have been told, and it's 40% of the cost of the total venue cost, so we were surprised - the Friday before last (09/07) I emailed to ask if this could be negotiated, or ringfenced on a credit card instead, and have yet to receive a reply (today being 20/07).
Two things - 1 - is this venue still worth going with? I don't always trust my own judgement, as I'm a stickler for customer service/experience because of my job, so usually reply to customers super quick, but I do appreciate Covid has thrown a spanner in the works for many venues, and now is a busy time. The venue has been posting on Instagram with pics though, so they're alive. They are a relatively new venue (<1.5yrs I think) and based on reviews, seem to have lost their wedding coordinator, as we've never been told about one, but she's named in a lot of older, positive reviews.
2 - we're struggling to find anywhere we like as much that's affordable and/or offers a micro-wedding option. The plan B venue we contacted recently and really liked as a potential alternative also took a while to reply, and I had to try several forms of contact - again, me being too expecting wanting a reply in 1 week?
Some people have said that we should ditch this venue as they've made it less special by adding in unnecessary stress and by not making us feel looked after, but our wedding is small/relatively low value for them, so I guess we're not a top priority, which I understand, but due to the lack of viable alternatives we're torn with what to do.
Apologies for long post, feedback much appreciated!