I had my wedding here recently. I booked the hotel 18 months in advance to secure the date and thought it would give more than enough time to make the arrangements etc. I chose this particular venue due to its close proximity to the M6 as my family don't live local so it would be easy for them to get to. I also chose it because I thought it looks quite impressive and pretty and would take most of the burden of the planning off my shoulders as I had no support locally and planning a wedding is pretty difficult when it's your own and stressful.
The initial visit my partner and I were shown around the Hotel. Shown the ceremony room, reception room, the pool and spa, rooms and given the overall information on what to expect. It was all very thorough and we were both impressed and decided it was definitely the place for us to have our ceremony and reception. We loved it and based on everything we had seen and been told thought we would be in perfect hands in a perfect location with everything under one roof to enable ease for those family who lived far and had to travel and stay over.
I visited the Hotel on many occasions over the coming year or more to make payments, check my details were correct and to ask what I do, to try to plan my wedding. I was apprehensive the whole time as I never once had any communications from the Hotel and when asked I was always told that details would be finalised nearer the time and anything I wanted to discuss would be done then. We paid up in advance but it was still hazy as we didn't really have a clue what would be going on and we had only given general ideas of what we wanted and I really wanted to discuss things but never got the chance.
With just over 4 weeks to go to our wedding and still not having heard from the hotel we went in to see what was going on. The comment I got on explaining why I was there was "I haven't seen you here before". This upset me as my partner and I had paid many visits here, but in fairness of all the people I had seen it was the first time I had seen her too. Always different people. I was told they didn't have many details for me and were confused... Welcome to my world. I had checked my details every time I had been in so this was another upsetting comment for me. I think I lost hope at this point. I was told I had slipped through their net and they put it down to change of management and company etc. the new lady who was dealing with us was very helpful though and did everything she could to put things right. With only 4 weeks to go we obviously had no money left as we had expected everything to be dealt with a long long time before now so thought we had paid what we were meant to but she did some juggling and altered things to make allowances for this. She also invited us in for a complimentary meal. The meal was delicious. Quite a wait for it but gave us time to discuss a few details. Nothing left for us to do but wait until the big day then.
Ceremony went well. Room was lovely and well set out and staff waiting with a drink each for us as we walked back up the aisle. I never heard the song on the way out. It was my choice so I was disappointed but later on I was assured by a member of staff that it had been played it was just that my family were loud.
Guests weren't happy waiting in the reception/bar area until we were allowed to go into room an hour and a half later and most complained it was disorganised. I myself didn't like this. I was told about this when first making arrangements early on and expressed my disapproval, but at 4 weeks before it was an issue I had forgotten about. The room was all ready. Guests would have been more than happy to go in even though entertainment not starting until later. It may also have lessened the chances of what happened later of happening. Also it was a good ten minute wait or more at the empty bar before someone came to serve.
We took some lovely pictures on the red carpet and took a break to take more later as we didn't yet have any of the groom with his parents or me with my mum but we all needed a sit down and a drink. When we eventually went into the reception room I found it very much to my liking. Very well set out, very clean and guests were happy. Guests were very impressed with the food and canapés they had after ceremony they all loved. Again it was quite a wait at the bar at times.
We did seem to attract a hanger on and I think she first started latching on during the wait in the reception/bar area. Pretending she was with family etc and I think people actually thought she was with us. Even staff until I complained when my new husbands wallet went missing and she tried stealing my bouquet. Staff found this situation difficult to handle and even told me that she hadn't dealt with anything like this before. I felt like I was the one in the wrong, especially when I went back to reception at one point and got the "oh no here she comes again" whisper as I approached. We searched everywhere for the wallet and never found it. My husband spent over an hour on the phone cancelling credit cards and bank cards and we lost quite a lot of time that should have been spent enjoying our reception and never did get those photos. We also never got any help with regards to finding out who stole it. When asked about cctv to track it down and maybe catch the culprit, especially considering we had a suspect we were denied it and told it is for monitoring purposes only. It was reported to the police but without cctv from the hotel they can't do anything about it. I can't blame staff for the theft as these things happen and it was just very unfortunate that it happened to us. It's not something you expect to happen in a 4 star hotel and staff were not prepared. Although they should be prepared for every eventuality so they can deal with the matter properly and efficiently. We were both very disappointed and upset over what happened and angry as it ruined our day and deeply disappointed with the hotel for its complete lack of help with regards to this issue.
It is a beautiful venue and food is delicious. Rooms clean and tidy. The staff are actually quite nice and polite. Some can be a little abrasive but overall quite pleasant. I just think they really need to do something with regards to their security measures and the handling of situations like this. Also ensure that no one in the future "slips through their net" again. It's supposed to be a special day. My first marriage and hopefully my only marriage. My memories of the day will be forever filled with disappointment. Thankfully I have a fantastic new husband who doesn't. At least something went right. 😉
I would like to add though that I wouldn't want this to put off any future clients or guests. This is my review of my day. Just because they let me down it doesn't mean they will do it again. I am hoping my disappointments will help to improve the areas lacking and ensure that this doesn't happen to someone else or at least if it does it will be handled better. I also urge anyone who experiences a theft to report it to the police even if nothing can be done because it is then at least on file and could help someone later on.