Kansas City has a number of beautiful venues for wedding ceremonies and wedding receptions. Lately, though, it seems like at least one new venue is opening every month. Some of those wedding venues begin booking events months before construction or remodeling has been completed with only a promise that the work will be completed on time.
In most cases, the timing for scheduling the first event works out well for both the couple and the venue. But, there have also been a few times when a bride and groom were forced to scramble in search of a different location because construction didn’t get completed in time or because the venue didn’t meet city required codes. In all cases, couples suffered untold stress and frustration. But, in some cases those same couples also lost tremendous sums of money.
Remember the headlines last year about couples losing their deposits and being forced to quickly find another wedding venue when the Stowe Building in Kansas City, MO was shut down about as fast as it opened?
Last week one of my brides called and asked if she could move back the wedding date she had contracted for my DJ services. The reason for the change was because the manager of the new, still yet to be constructed venue she contracted a couple months prior had just called to let her know that the building would not be completed as promised for her late spring, 2014, wedding.
What made the situation even more disconcerting was that the bride and her family had attended an open house at the partially completed site the evening before and was assured by the venue manger that all was right with the world. Obviously, they didn’t want that bride displaying disappointment in front of other couples who were invited to tour the site, especially since the bride had just sent out her “save the dates” that same morning.
Fortunately, I was able to honor her request to change our agreement but her new date (4 weeks later) is now in a peak wedding month and changing it again in the off chance that construction is still not completed on time, may not be an option. Like many wedding professionals, I can only provide service for one wedding per day and once a date is contracted, it’s permanently pulled from “inventory.” Unfortunately, if for some reason the venue is still not completed on time, she and her fiancé may be out deposits and possibly full balances (depending on timing, availability and contract terms) not just for my services but for all other wedding service providers she’s contracted.
The lesson here is simple, if you’re considering a venue that is still in the process of remodeling or construction and your wedding date coincides with, or is within a week or two of the completion date, insist that the venue include a binder or provision in the contract that protects you from any financial losses (i.e.: deposits, rescheduling fees, save the dates, invitations, etc.) in the event it is not completed on time. If the venue’s manager or owner is confident that the construction will be completed on time, such a request should not be an issue.
If the venue does not want to commit to a binder or provision and/or suggests that you purchase wedding insurance instead, walk away…make that RUN away. There are tons of reputable, beautiful and well operated wedding and wedding reception venues throughout Kansas City that will not only meet your needs and exceed your expectations; you’ll save yourself the unnecessary stress, frustration and possible, yet avoidable, financial loss that could be incurred when forced to make a last minute change.
Your comments, as always, are welcome!