Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Search for the Perfect Venue: Part 2

The following Saturday, after our somewhat disheartening visit to the Dunhill, the Boo and I went on venue appointment number two, the DoubleTree Guest Suites in South Park.

Any of you Charlotte brides may have seen some of these pics pimped out on The Knot but for those of you haven’t let me give you a brief intro tour.

When we arrived at the hotel (on yet another rainy, mushy day) we walked into the lobby and after stating our names and appointment time were almost immediately accosted by a small, somewhat frail older gentleman with a very unbecoming (and noticeable) toupee.

“HI EMILY!! NICE TO MEET YOU. I’M MR. WIG (name redacted to spare this poor man a little humiliation), YOUR WEDDING COORDINATOR.” His voice came booming across the giant lobby as he quickly walked towards me one arm outstretched in an extremely awkward and premature anticipation of our forthcoming handshake (kinda like that scene in Fun with Dick and Jane where Jim Carrey goes to shake his bosses hand from across his giant office. Remember? No? Well, it was pretty awkward. And hilarious.)

After we quickly shook his hand (and tried not to crush the fragile, brittle bones that comprised his body) he furiously jogged us around the hotel to show us the layout and race through our big day.

(His commentary in quotes. My thoughts in parentheses.)

“Here’s the lobby where you’ll have your cocktail area. The fireplace is nice for that.” (Ehhh, not so much a fan of the fact that it’s still THE LOBBY and people will be checking in and out the entire time my 75 guests are crammed into a small corner trying to get their drink on.)

“Now here’s where the ceremony would take place. You’d just walk right down along the right side of the courtyard and we’d set up chairs on both sides. Don’t worry they’ll be able to see you from the left side too. (Highly doubtful.) And then you’d say your” I Dos” up at the front. That’s how all our brides do it. Trust me. It’s very pretty. (What in God’s name is this big brick island with trees and stuff doing in the middle of the courtyard? Hideous.)

(Also, please note that all of these pictures are from the hotels website so they don’t give a very accurate depiction of what the site actually looked like at the time. I can assure you that the cement island was not garnished with pretty colored flowers or draped in linens when were there [or in any of the portfolio pics we saw of other weddings.])

“And then you’d have your reception in here. It’s really pretty, we can accommodate your guest list, let me show you these dimmers. Andddd we’re done.” (This tent thing looks pretty dingy. The tablecloths are a gag inducing white polyester with some kind of weird satin-y flower motif printed on them. I wonder how many times they wash these things? The “bar” area looks highly reminiscent of a table from my churches old fellowship hall with a dollar store tablecloth thrown over it. Oh and it’s like really dingy in here. Like the room was swathed in dirty bath water and scented with fresh mildew right before we walked in. Gross.)

After our extremely brief tour (I kid you not, it was probably all over in about 8 minutes) Mr. Wig sat us down to discuss price. He was a very sneaky old man telling us that out of the entire year the only two dates he had available were the two dates we were possibly thinking of booking. (HA!! Riiiiiight.) After giving us a very well rehearsed run down of price, accommodations, etc he quickly let us know that he’d love our business but had to run because he had 6 more appointments that day to show the hotel to other brides and grooms.

Umm can you say bridal factory? Not so much what I was looking for.

So to the exit he walked us and just as we were leaving he ever so debonairly pulled out a tissue wrapped yellow rose (with his business card tied to the stem…so not a marketing ploy, right?) and while handing it to me informed me that I would make a lovely bride…because of my beautiful neck.

And before I could respond, he was gone.

The Boo and I didn’t need to say much. We got back in the car and just kinda looked at each other. This wasn’t for us and that dude was strange! But hey, ya gotta give it to the old man…he had his hustle on like a pro.

Any of you ever had a run in with an extremely pushy vendor or salesman that acted all nice to your face but clearly just wanted your money?


*Mrs.E* said...

I love your story! I have run into few men that are coordinator or work in the wedding industry, but never that 'interesting.' Good Luck with the search, ps, expect to pay $20-$40 per person for the bar. That is pretty standard, and depends on what you want served. Trust me, wedding=$$$

Lil' Woman said...

Little old man sounds like a creep.
And that venue sounds disastrous!

Shoshanah said...

The first picture with the tables set up by the pool looks so pretty. But I think I'd be a little scared someone would wind up falling in the pool

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