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Recent Wedding Planning Reviews in Richmond

  • A
    MARTINE'S BAKERY
    Everything from the cake tasting to the delivery was great! They worked with our florist to finish the cake with real flowers and it looked amazing (it was delicious too!). They were so helpful and caring that it was an easy choice. I would absolutely work with them again! I also stop by and grab a quick treat from the bakery when ever I'm in the area :)
    - Stacey S.
  • D
    Winchester Opera House
    Winchester is a quaint town, and both the Opera House and Moundale Manor are elegant settings.  We are not local - bride, groom, families, and wedding party members live several hours away - so the location presented a few unanticipated problems for us.  Many vendors had to be brought in from nearby Lexington or further.  There are no premium hotels for guests/wedding party and parking is very limited. All of this increased our costs, including our decision to provide a charter bus to transport our guests.  Safety of our guests, especially after serving alcohol, was of the utmost importance to us! As for the venue itself, unfortunately it turned out to be a classic case of over-sold and under-delivered!  If you select WOH, get every detail in writing, and expect to be nickeled and dimed for every extra that isn't spelled out in the contract.  Keep in mind that they are a vendor with a product to sell, and you are a PAYING customer.  At first the proprietor, Vanessa, came across as sweet & caring, and made extravagant promises for "complimentary" items and services.  Once the contract was signed, her staff didn't know anything about many of these promises.  Fortunately, the bride had emails to back up some of them.  Others were not to be.  As an example, early on, Vanessa suggested they may be able to provide a vintage Rolls Royce for transporting the bride & groom to the reception, along with several SUV's for the wedding party.  Her assistant later said she knew of no plans for a Rolls Royce, and they didn?t have any SUV's.  Numerous such incidents occurred throughout the year-long wedding planning process.  Three weeks before the wedding, when they finally secured the proper permits and insurance to hold the ceremony at Moundale Manor, they presented us with a $1,700 invoice, after they told us it would not be much more than the $600 quoted for a ceremony at the church.  When meeting with Vanessa a week before the wedding, we asked if we could bring in champagne and snacks for the wedding party on the wedding day.  She then described a lavish display of snacks and drinks, including champagne and multiple brands of beer, that would be provided "complimentary".  On the day of the wedding, there were no snacks, one bottle of champagne, and about 10 bottled beers for approximately 25 people.  The one staff person (who was supposed to be available for us) left to run errands, and we saw no one for about 4 hours.  Even our photographer and his assistant were surprised at the lack of availability of food items since their day started about 9 am, as well, and would liked to have had some lunch.  I lost about an hour of prep time with my daughter because I had to drive around Winchester in search of lunch items for everyone.  I also brought back several bottles of champagne so everyone could enjoy some (the one bottle did not go far.)  When Vanessa and her staff finally showed up an hour after we were told EVERYone had to be there, they treated us rudely, made false accusations against the groomsmen, and barked orders at the wedding party.  The facilities available for the groomsmen while preparing for the ceremony did not live up to expectations.  They put them in the "game" room which had an old pool table, a small TV, very few places to sit and no food or drinks.  Had we known this was in store for the guys, we would not have agreed to have them on site 4+ hours before the ceremony.  (Over-sold, Under-delivered!)  That night, the rudeness continued during the reception with the coordinator, Angela, treating the serving staff rudely in front of our guests, and ultimately our guests themselves, as evidenced by the final events of the evening.   Just before midnight, as the festivities were winding down, some of our guests asked the bartender for a final bottled beer while they waited for the charter bus to return.  Angela took over the bar and adamantly refused to serve anyone.  We had paid $1,300 extra for an additional reception hour, including premium bar service.  I told her I was not happy with them discontinuing bar service before the full extra hour had concluded.  The final straw came shortly after that.  Vanessa approached me while I was talking with some guests, and began to verbally assault me for "being rude to her staff".  She also chastised me for bringing champagne to the mansion earlier in the day, saying that she specifically told me not to.  (She only said they would provide it "complimentary", there was no instruction not to bring any in.)  I tried to get her to calm down before the bride saw her, but she would have none of it.  She proceeded to pull the bride into the confrontation and asked her to agree with her about the champagne.  The bride did NOT see it Vanessa's way, told her so, then left in tears.  This was the most unprofessional conduct I have ever witnessed, especially from someone in this industry.  Overall, the wedding was beautiful, including the facilities, flowers & decorations, the reception food was delicious, and everyone had a wonderful time.  But the treatment behind the scenes (and ultimately in front of the bride and guests) was unacceptable.  Fortunately, we had been able to shield the bride from all of the negatives until the very end.   So, overall, she had the beautiful wedding experience she had dreamed of.  But the events at the end definitely tainted that experience. If you are seeking a venue for a smaller, more reserved, maybe even an older crowd, and you have a very flexible budget, perhaps this is the right place for you. I certainly would not recommend it for a large, young, fun group, as I believe they were not equipped to handle that.  Ultimately the behavior of the owner and staff preclude me from recommending this venue at all.
    - Nancy K.
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