Our fearless leaders Greg and Alan were in LA recently, and stayed at the Biltmore, a legendary and elegant hotel in the heart of downtown. The Biltmore is a popular wedding venue, and has beautiful ballrooms that, should you visit them, would probably look familiar due to the number of films and television shows that have been shot there.
The service Greg and Al received was, to say the least, sub-par. Thankfully, they’d gotten an internet deal and weren’t paying the normal rate of between $300-600 a night. But, it proves a point. You can check in to a world famous hotel, and get well below world-class service.
Don’t hire vendors, or choose a venue because of their “legendary” reputation, or because they did a certain celebrity’s wedding. In fact, if someone is billing themselves with a list of celebrity clients, you should ask for three non-celebrity references to make sure they received the same level of service. Appearances (and sales people) can be deceiving, so make sure you’re getting service that lives up to your expectations.
Did I mention why the boys were at the Biltmore? So they could be close to the LA Flower Mart when they woke up at 1:00am to source peonies (out of season) for a bride who loved them. They need to watch it with the super-attentive, every-bride-is-special thing. They’re going to develop a reputation.
I spent the last few days dodging the calls of what I feared would be a very agitated mariachi band leader. This was silly behavior – I know better: being direct and honest is always the best policy.
A big corporation booked the mariachis for a charity event, and the band did not invoice the company until two days prior. Unfortunately, in Corporate America, accounts payable departments are usually not staffed by magical gnomes.
I avoided the message from the band leader, and the legend of The Angry Mariachi grew in my head. I finally faced my big-girl clipboard, made the call and explained that I simply didn’t know when the check would get cut. Surprise! As long as they knew what was going on, they were OK.
Long story short, both Planners and Brides, keep your vendors in the loop. And don’t work yourselves up imagining problems you don’t have.