{Venue Nightmare} Radonich Ranch and Vignette Events

When I first found Radonich Ranch, I brought it up to a friend of mine who had actually gone to see the place but decided against booking because of the early curfew and the fact that she couldn't deal with the coordinator of the venue, Marky Carr. I should have been thoroughly warned at that point.

I called Marky, the owner of Vignette Events and the contact for Radonich Ranch,  on a Thursday and received a call back on Sunday. We talked again on Tuesday (after  trying to get a hold of her)  and set up an appointment. She knew how interested I was, what I wanted to do with the place, and that I was ready to book.  I asked about the fire-pits (didn't want that to be a problem) and she said she would check with the owners and find out in a few days. No problems  there right? Wrong. A few days turned into a week, and after realizing that I hadn't heard back, I called her and left a message. And then another, and another, and another. After 6 voice-mails and a lot of phone calls over the next several days, she finally called me back saying that the owners take a long time to respond but finally they said yes to the firepits. I gotta say, it was driving me crazy, I mean 2 weeks of no communication to a potential client?? Ummmm heeellllo!

We arrived to the venue and the feeling I got after meeting her was that she a) didn't care that much about my wedding (or weddings for that matter) and b) she certainly didn't care if I was going to book. Everything she was showing us was done a certain way, she uses this thing for this and that thing for that. She has the protocol to her cookie cutter wedding that she hosts and that's the end of the story. Bye Bye creativity.

During the tour there was a point when I guess she thought we were no longer interested so  she got up and said "good luck on finding a venue" and walked inside to grab her purse and belongings to go home! Yep, fully left us stranded mid-tour! I was absolutely appalled.

Before leaving, I decided to bring up the points that I worried about in an effort to iron everything out. I brought up the care-factor, customer service issue and phone issue. I understand not wanting to hear those things about yourself, but at some point you have to step up and take some damn responsibility for your actions. Instead, she became defensive saying she was busy with other weddings, the owners don't respond fast, I was being rude, etc. Never once did she take responsibility for anything nor did she apologize!

She called me not too long after to tell me that she was shaken up and upset about it all.  Umm-who calls a potential client and complains about how shaken up they are?? She continued to attack me for how I was being rude. WOW. Guess what I did?? I effing took it all and I fully apologized like 1,000 times!!! I even meant it. I didn't want this to come between us due to the wedding I was dying to have there. It was part of my "dealing with her being crazy and having an amazing wedding anyways" plan.

The next morning I e-mailed her letting her know we loved the place and decided upon it. I again apologized a bunch  and said I hoped we could just get through it all. And what was her response:

...after further thought and discussion with the owners we feel that neither the ranch or my services will work for you wedding.  I am sure that you will find a venue that will better fit the day that you envisioned...

By the way: the owners she is referring to are the ones who a) have never met me so have no idea if the ranch will work for the wedding and b) are the ones that Marky continuously blamed the not -calling-me-back on because apparently they were busy and it took a while for them to get back to her. These owners are the ones that she somehow discussed everything with between 4:00pm on Sunday and 8:00am on Monday. I wrote an e-mail back apologizing 100 more times and just tried to make it all work out. To which she responded:
...It was a mutual decision and we reserve that right. I really feel that with your creativity and ingenuity you will find a place better suited for your day..
This is when it really hit me, she's right, my "creativity" and "ingenuity" were too much for her to handle because she doesn't have a burning passion to make each wedding unique, amazing, creative and gorgeous. Weddings aren't her passion, they are her 9-5. All of us that pour over the blogs, get butterflies when finding amazing inspiration and are constantly in search of the best and most creative ways to showcase our big day understand the importance of creativity, but she doesn't seem to care for it at all. She likes when people follow the protocol she has laid out and never question it once because it makes her job easier.
I was very upset and appalled at the professionalism and responsibility level at which she handled everything. I felt like it set a very poor example of her way of doing business and that I, as the potential client, should never be attacked. She didn't handle anything appropriately and had many many opportunities to apologize and make things right. Valuing clients and being able to work with them is a great quality and one in which she does not display.
She's been doing it for 20 years so she knows best and she knows it all. But, the wedding industry has become a place where creativity rules and no one is on top for long if they can't stay customer service oriented and original! As far as new-age weddings, I knew far more than she did about the industry as a whole, and I think she took it as more of a challenge as opposed to an amazing opportunity to collaborate on something amazing.
BRIDES: Would you stand for this for a venue you love or is this behavior absolutely ridiculous??
VENDORS: What do you think? Am I being too harsh as a bride???
PS: If you think for even a second that I wanted it to happen like this, you're so wrong. I know how amazing it all would have been and everything the venue and the coordinator could have to offer. It actually breaks my heart more than anything. I tried to apologize a million times and handle everything so that we could still work together and Marky refused that.