Added on February 22, 2016, by Reviewer799505
Review: June XX XXXX at 5pm my wife and I had our wedding. The ceremony was great but after that it went downhill. Our contract states that we have rights to use the grounds for pictures. They told us that we couldn't use the grounds because of another wedding, in that case they need to schedule accordingly. We had to wait in order to take pictures. After going inside they delayed our meal because they gave an excuse that we took to long taking pictures. The portion size of the pasta and salad was like a child's portion. They ran out of plates to put the entree on, so they put the entree on salad plates and the food was hanging of the plate. I feel that just because we got the bronze package we were not a priority. They catered to the other wedding. My wedding coordinator will right a review stating that she will not use them again. I will not refer anyone there. There were so many other things that went wrong to. I think I could write a book. So very dissatisfied. It's so much easier if someone could call us
Desired Settlement: DesiredSettlementID: Refund
Discount on the food and the bartender wasn't even back there the whole time.
Business Response /* (-10, 9, 2013/07/27) */
RE: Better Business Bureau Complaint
Burnell & *****
The Inn at Villa Bianca, Seymour, CT Response
We here at Villa Bianca do our absolute best to assure that each bride, groom and their guests have the best experience possible on their special day. The best way to address your complaints is to address them one by one.
1. We are a multi-banquet facility with lovely grounds. We do offer our grounds for bridal parties to take pictures and there are many "photo-Op" areas in which to do this...The beautiful gardens near the chapel, the gazebo, the front fountain, the foot bridge as well as down by the water on the estate grounds. Our grounds are not, and cannot be, "exclusive" though to any one bridal party for pictures...it's the banquet hall that is being "exclusively" contracted out, as well as the indoor chapel or the estate ceremony area. This was explained several times to this couple's "bridal consultant", ToniAnn. (The only other wedding she had ever planned besides this one was her own wedding years before. The entire day she kept thanking our wonderful Maitre'D, Carla, for her guidance and management as she admitted she didn't know what to do and was overwhelmed!) We have worked with many professional, experienced wedding planners and enjoy working with them, never having issues.
2. We NEVER book both the Chapel and the Estate at the same time. The reason for this is for the option of moving the estate ceremony inside to our Chapel in case of poor weather. A typical ceremony here takes about 15-30 minutes max as in most cases a full one hour mass is not occurring. We booked ******* and ****'s ceremony, in the Chapel, for 5:00pm. We had another ceremony scheduled to take place down on the outdoor estate area at 6:00pm.
3. It was explained to ToniAnn that the way to accomplish giving ******* and **** their wish to take pictures down by the water was one of two options: If their ceremony was on time and ended as initially anticipated at 5:30 in the Chapel, to have them take their first pictures down by the water from X:XX - X:XXpm, then proceed to take pictures on other areas of the grounds. We respectfully requested that the estate area be left by 5:45 in order for the other ceremony to begin on time, and eliminate any confusion.
4. IF *******'s ceremony was going to run long, then the other suggestion was that they take all their other pictures first, enjoy their cocktail hour, and proceed to visit the estate area once the other bridal party had completed their ceremony and left the area.
5. Just as it would not be proper for any other bridal party to take pictures in or in front of the chapel during ******* and ****'s ceremony, it would not be proper or courteous for another bridal party to take pictures during the estate ceremony, set to begin at 6:00pm.
6. Quote, Unquote from ToniAnn when this was explained in an email to her: "It gives a nice flexibility that ******* and **** could break away for their photos. The other option we would have is to do the grounds photos first and then return to the chapel (she was under the wrong impression the 6:00pm ceremony was also in the Chapel, even though I specifically corrected her in my previous email)to finish the rest of the formal pictures. It should work just fine."
7. Unfortunately, due to ******* and **** having their ceremony begin one-half hour late, they did not finish their ceremony until just after 6pm, which meant that they would have to wait to go down to the estate until after the other ceremony ended. They refused to take pictures anywhere else but the water so **** ******, owner here at the Villa, very graciously offered to speak with the other bridal party as soon as their ceremony ended and asked their permission that Natalie and **** be able to go down to the water as well to take pictures, taking turns....which they kindly acquiesced.
8. Then they took so long taking pictures, refusing to join their guests, even though Carla, the Maitre' D, asked them numerous times, to please finish up so that their reception could begin. They categorically refused....and took so long that their pastor finally had to come out and request they please be considerate of their guests.
9. The cocktail hour is for one hour, give or take. Then the bride and groom and bridal party is introduced, the first dance/dances are done, toasts are given, and that is our cue to begin serving the first course. We give a reasonable amount of time to adjust to the individual party's unforeseen schedule. The job of the Maitre' D is to assure that the event runs well and on time. This cannot be done is her efforts and gentle nudges are blatantly ignored. Dinner ran so late because of their choices and decisions...They could have joined their guests, and during dinner, stepped out leisurely to take those photos, but they made the decision to delay their reception beyond any reasonable time because of their insistence of taking pictures the way that they did, knowing they had delayed their own ceremony as well.
10. We treat ALL our wedding parties equally. We DO NOT discriminate between one package being chosen over another. Our sincere desire is for each of our brides and grooms to feel special, and our staff does everything possible to assure this.
11. Debbie, our bar manager, took care of ******* and ****'s event. The ONLY reason she ever stepped out from behind the bar area was to get ice, restock glasses, or run for a special request by one of their guests. She bends over backwards for the guests, and she received wonderful comments and smiles from their guests, as well as tips...
12. They brought in an exorbitant amount of items for their reception tables, boxes upon boxes, much more than is typical. Our staff followed every instruction and every detail to assure each table would be set up properly. This took hours. We bend over backwards to give each bride and each groom what they want to make their day special, if it is within our power.
13. As far as we are concerned, we did everything we could to do this in ******* and ****'s case. Unfortunately they chose to bring in a totally inexperienced person as a "bridal consultant". ToniAnn's job, while assuring their desires were met as much as possible, was to keep them calm and help them enjoy their day. I don't even know if she ever passed ** our conversations to them, since with the bridal consultant, all of our contact was then through her, not the bride and groom. No one is perfect, mistakes are made, we understand this. Carla was very gracious to ToniAnn and respectful of her, regardless of her inexperience and her actually admitting to Carla that she was in over her head and overwhelmed. From the moment the ceremony was over, the stage was set that whatever we did, would be wrong...all because they wanted to take pictures in one specific place on our grounds right then and there, regardless of anyone else, with absolutely no flexibility or willingness to work with us as we tried to accommodate.
We at The Inn at Villa Bianca are sad that this happened and that they truly set themselves up to be so unhappy, rather than choose to relax and enjoy the moment, the day and their guests. We did all we could to reasonably accommodate, and will always do what we can, to help make our guests feel special. Our staff is caring, attentive and experienced. We have been helping make each person's day/occasion here memorable for over thirty years.