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Sign On the Dotted Line

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I’m so excited about guest blogging this week for EAD. I’ve been reading since I was first engaged, last December – I know I’ve cribbed some inspiration along the way.

DJ and I are planning a smallish wedding next September for 80 or so people, with the reception to be held in a renovated barn. The barn itself is very cool. Prior to its current life as an event space, it had been an actual working barn. It was on the verge of being donated as a firefighting training exercise when it was rescued by a local historian. After being transported piece by piece and rebuilt, it now has beautiful wood floors and white walls showcasing the original timbers, with a staircase up to the hayloft.

barn wedding
(Photo: Prairie Crossing)

They suggest you set up your bar in the silo!

prairie crossing barn wedding
(Photo: me!)

Early this last spring we had booked a different place, a golf course that assured us that they would make this easy. Well, not so much – in August they raised their prices by about 40%, retroactive to our contract. Whatever budget you happen to have, I bet you don’t have a 40% swing for food and beverage costs. They eventually offered to split the difference with us, but at that point we had some doubts about their level of service.

golf course wedding
(Photo: Jennifer Jambrosek)

DJ argued for our deposit back and I think we will be even happier with the barn, so it all ends well. I’m telling this story not to be bitter or to badmouth the golf course, but to encourage you to question your contracts. A standard bit of text – “food and beverage prices not firm until 90 days prior to the event” – provided the loophole to raise prices. Meant to accommodate inflation and menu selection changes, it left us in a position of losing our deposit or coughing up the extra money.

So ask questions. And get the answers in writing. No one wants to risk being called bridezilla, but you are paying for a service and deserve to be treated professionally. Risk it! Make sure you’re getting what you think you are.

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