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(7 Posts)
goldsilver Tue 11-Nov-14 08:18:09

I hope it is okay to put this posting here...

I decided (for my sins!) to throw an 18th birthday party for my daughter. We found what we thought was a fantastic venue and I paid to hire it, paid for the DJ and a surcharge of £50 to bring our own food. If they had decorated it and did the food, the price would have been astronomical. I have also got lots of decorations and a cake, etc. It has all cost approaching £1000.

The manager running the venue (it is out in the sticks a bit and not in the town centre) said my husband and I could go to the venue in the day time and put up the decorations. Helium balloons, banners, table covers, table decorations...there is quite a bit. And to bring up the food.

As my daughter hadn’t heard from the DJ after sending through her playlist to him, I rang the venue yesterday (the party is this Saturday) and discovered that she’d booked a kids party in the same (huge) room from 1-5pm! She remarked that she always tells guests they can put up decorations from half 11 unless she books in another party. Course she never actually told us this! Now, all plans have been thrown...a lot!

This means we have to put up the decorations in about an hour (kids party may not leave till six, they will have their own decorations to take down) and I will be putting them up in my dress as no time to change. My daughter is going to struggle to get there as originally I was taking her (thinking the decs would be up!), I can’t pick up some guests because otherwise they will be there when I am putting up the decorations and all the manager says is that we can put helium in the balloons in the corridor while we wait for the party to go! She said they will go early, but they have paid for four hours and it is their right to have that time. The manager is only trying to appease me.

She didn’t even tell me they had a party before so we would have turned up at half eleven with the decs and food, only to be turned away!

I can’t cancel because stupidly I have already paid for the whole lot so will lose all my money.

Several people can’t go now, so the guest list is reduced and this has caused all sorts of stress, you wouldn’t believe!

I said to the manager, so what if you had been doing the decorations for my daughter’s 18th, and she said she could put them up in an hour! If you saw the website pics, you’d know that wasn’t possible.

I feel pretty conned but I can make the best of the situation and do all I can to make sure the evening is a success but I have to do so much rearranging and it is a complete headache...when it could have been stress free (up to a point!)

Can I complain/sue them? There obviously isn’t anything on the website that says you can.


Thank you

JeanSeberg Tue 11-Nov-14 08:28:09

Are any of the decorations suitable for the kids' party or are they all 18th-related? Just thinking you could contact the parents of the kids' party and see if they've any objection to you putting some of the decorations up in the morning.

Then rope in as many people as you can to be there as soon as the kids' party finishes to put up the rest. Go in your dress with flat shoes and then do make-up/change shoes after it's all done.

goldsilver Tue 11-Nov-14 08:33:38

Thanks Jean :-) No, it is a little kids party, so decs not suitable sadly. And manager won't give me the mother's details. Good idea about what to wear and crossed my mind also, could change in bathroom, but there aren't many guests I can rope in, maybe one I can think of (due to their own commitments).

TheHermitCrab Tue 11-Nov-14 08:39:32

Unfortunately this is normal, I don't think you have been conned. You've paid for the room for the party, any time they give you to set up over an hour is really a bonus. They have just communicated in a crappy way!

My friend had this with her son's christening. They had really pulled out all the stops on personalised decorations with a theme, took weeks. Then the room got booked and they had just under an hour between the christening and the "doo" to set up the room. She got her closest people involved and they managed it.

Need to get "all hands on deck" and get as many people as you can help set up.

It's not ideal, but I'm sure you can get it done and you'll be having a good time in no time! x

JeanSeberg Tue 11-Nov-14 08:41:06

What time are you expecting the guests to arrive? Could you put the start time back half an hour?

I presume you've nothing in writing from the manager to say that he'd agreed you could have access to the room in the day. I'd still be ringing him to let him know how unhappy I was and putting pressure on for the party to clear out of the room as soon after 5 as they can.

I'd also be standing outside the door at 5 o'clock ready to start setting up.

goldsilver Tue 11-Nov-14 08:49:26

Thanks girls. Good advice. Wish I could get all hands on deck but that would be difficult as people coming from all different directions and even just getting hold of them now won't be an easy task (especially with everything else going on). Yes Jean, nope, nothing in writing. I'm an idiot really! Should have realised this could happen, but she never said it could and I was taken in by all she said :-( She really sold it to us. And of course, if I'd known there could be a problem like this, wouldn't have booked it. I will show how unhappy I am with the lack of communication and will be outside the door. Just could have done without the extra stress!
Thank you again.

JeanSeberg Tue 11-Nov-14 08:59:26

Hope it all goes well. Take some bottles of fizz for while you're setting up to reduce the stress!

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