Saturday, October 10, 2009

Lessons Learned: Planning your Nashville wedding more than a year ahead? Do NOT count on Two Rivers Mansion!

I've been busy with getting materials ready for reappointment at my job, so Little Spoon has been taking up the blogging slack. She's also been responsible for collating most of the info regarding new venues, and she was great at setting up all kinds of appointments with the new possible sites. At the risk of sounding whiny and emo, I want to summarize our saga with Two Rivers Mansion in the hopes of saving future brides and grooms the hassles we had with them. Click to expand the timeline.

  • February 23: We toured the mansion and decided that it would be a great place to have our wedding and reception. We wanted to put down our deposit immediately to reserve the date, but we were told that the Metro Parks department would not book the venue more than a year in advance. Nevertheless, we were penciled into the venue's datebook and made an appointment to deliver the deposit on Friday, October 9.
  • May 27: Little Spoon e-mailed the gentleman who led our tour and penciled us in to confirm that we would be able to book the venue on October 9th. He agreed and confirmed that we were the only ones on the schedule at that time.
  • August 9: Little Spoon e-mailed the venue's planner once more to ensure no one else had expressed interest in our date and offered to put down the deposit that week. She was told that we'd have to wait until October 9, but that we were still on to put the deposit down that day.
  • September 29: Little Spoon e-mailed the venue's planner to set up the appointment on October 9th. He told us that someone else was now in charge of booking the venue, so he gave Little Spoon the contact information for the new planner. Little Spoon called her per the previous planner's instructions but received no response.
  • October 2: Little Spoon e-mailed the new planner to set up the October 9 meeting because the new planner had not responded to Little Spoon's voice mail message.
  • October 6: The new planner told us that the mansion had been booked for a Metro Parks event. Little Spoon contacted the old planner to confirm this and to see when that event had been booked and to inquire if it could be moved. The old planner said he would see if the event could be moved.
  • October 7: We were informed that the event could not be moved. Little Spoon escalated to the appropriate head in the Parks service, who rebuffed us and refused to offer any assistance in finding a new venue. She insisted that their event had been booked since before February, but she produced no evidence of this claim.

So, what lessons did we learn from this scheduling debacle?
  1. If a venue refuses to take your money when you're ready to put it down, move on. Find another venue. Especially if your date is really important to you (as ours was to us - which is why we were trying to book over a year in advance!).
  2. Don't take being "penciled in" as anything remotely equivalent to "booked". We had too much faith in the good word of the scheduler, and it bit us in the rear. Hard.
  3. Don't take anyone's word regarding important aspects of your wedding. If it's important to you, sign a contract - for your own protection.

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