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Can our wedding venue do this??? Any lawyers?!

508 replies

RedWineRage · 09/06/2022 18:17

Posting here for traffic....and also some perspective/help/ideas!

Getting married this summer. Reception venue is stately home-type place which is open to the public but also does weddings, has done successfully for years. Top listed wedding venue in various magazines etc and very good reviews. So - not some shady outfit.

Email out of the blue this week - all rather breezy - due to several incidents at recent events, just to let you know we will no longer be serving red wine at all, with immediate effect.

But don't worry, we'll just swap that out for rosé in your drinks package.


My mum only drinks red wine. Several family members prefer red wine. We planned to have beef as a main.

Totally unacceptable, right? They appear to be relying on some woolly clause in the contract around "it's a historic building, changes may need to be made to your wedding plan that are out of our control due to operational reasons" etc.

We're genuinely considering trying at short notice to get another venue, and trying to claim money back through small claims. Has anyone done this? Any ideas on how likely we are to be successful?

My mum can't not have an alcoholic drink at my wedding. Sorry I'm ranting and probably not being very rational.

Perspective and advice welcome!!

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

2380 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
Ducksinthebath · 09/06/2022 18:21

It’s really not that big a deal. Anyone can cope for a day without red wine, or without an alcoholic drink.

PrawnToast5 · 09/06/2022 18:21

What venue is it??

FlissyPaps · 09/06/2022 18:22

Will the venue allow you to bring your own red wine?

I know it’s your wedding day and you want it to be perfect … but when you step back and breathe and think about it logically - is it worth going through a small claims court or trying to book a whole new venue? Over wine?

Could the guests who only drink red bring their own? Not even tell the venue and keep it discreet? Would probably be a lot cheaper.

GoldenEclipse · 09/06/2022 18:23

Sounds as though a previous guest has caused some major damage.

Cakecakecheese · 09/06/2022 18:23

Erm you're overreacting. Yes it's a bit disappointing if red wine is a favourite drink for some people but other drinks are available!

Hugasauras · 09/06/2022 18:24

I'm guessing they've had some red wine spillages that have caused damage, so it's sort of understandable if it's a historic location.

Is any of the reception outside as it's summer?

Notimeforaname · 09/06/2022 18:25

I guess if the lack of red wine is something that will ruin your wedding then yes, you'll have to find a new venue.

Sexnotgender · 09/06/2022 18:25

Their gaff their rules.

Redbone · 09/06/2022 18:25

It wouldn’t worry me in the slightest, I’m sure that anyone could manage one day without red wine- even me!

Sexnotgender · 09/06/2022 18:26

My mum can't not have an alcoholic drink at my wedding.


Whooshaagh · 09/06/2022 18:27

Ducksinthebath · 09/06/2022 18:21

It’s really not that big a deal. Anyone can cope for a day without red wine, or without an alcoholic drink.

Of course they can cope but why should they?
It's a wedding not a random night out.

I would talk to them op and find out they're reasons for the change.

DeeDee88 · 09/06/2022 18:27

This would really annoy me. I'd continue to fight it. I wouldn't change venues if I didn't have to, but I would be adamant that this change isn't acceptable.

I've never ever heard of a place doing this, seems very odd.

CoQ10 · 09/06/2022 18:27

I agree it's very annoying as beef def needs red!
Could you consider changing the main course to something that would work.better with white wine?

MarpleFan · 09/06/2022 18:27

Quite a few older venues have this clause in place. Maybe ask if they could make an exception for the seated dinner only (assuming it will be seated) but not serve it during reception and after-party.

I agree that it does seem unfair to spring it on you, new bookings I could understand.

PelicansPandasandPuppiesOhmy · 09/06/2022 18:27

My mum can't not have an alcoholic drink at my wedding.

Why? Does she not approve of the wedding and needs alcohol to get through it?

ArtOfTheImpossible · 09/06/2022 18:28

My recon would be the same as yours OP. You've signed up under a certain understanding and they've moved the goalposts.

Shinytaps · 09/06/2022 18:28

I would start by contacting them and explaining this is important to you and can you work together to come up with a solution? Acknowledge their concerns and give reassurance that there won’t be an incident?Perhaps you could compromise and say you’ll have it outside for the drinks reception? I wouldn’t steam in making threats. I totally get why you’re upset though. It would upset me too!

ArtOfTheImpossible · 09/06/2022 18:28


KyaClark · 09/06/2022 18:28

Red wine in gift bags.

Be discreet.

stuntbubbles · 09/06/2022 18:28

That is really odd but I bet the contract has clauses up the wazoo to allow them to do this.

I would contact them though pointing out that your menu plan of beef is to be paired with red wine and you would like a menu of equal value to go with the rosé wine, or if the new menu option isn’t as expensive as the beef, a part-refund. Try not to go in all guns blazing but rather think about what your ideal solution is: is it really “replan the entire wedding and move venue just so someone can have a glass of red” or is it “keep this venue but adjust the food accordingly”.

blue421 · 09/06/2022 18:28

There's no way I'd change a venue over this. I'm sure your guests will find something else to drink, it's not that big a deal.

SergeiL · 09/06/2022 18:30

See I love my wine and I like to match my food to my wine (in a very amateur way! 😂). But I wouldn’t be perturbed by this at all. These old historical buildings should be preserved. I know of a venue that doesn’t allow heels due to flood damage - fair enough! I think sometimes you have to compromise for beautiful, historic surroundings.

I promise you, you will look back on this post in years to come, slightly dismayed at your perspective!

Have a great wedding!

Beatsbeats · 09/06/2022 18:30

This would be massive for myself & DH. We love red wine as do 90% of our friends and family. We went to a lot of trouble picking a special red for our wedding. And like you said beef and red is perfect.

rose wine is so disgusting also!!!!

saltinesandcoffeecups · 09/06/2022 18:30

Yeah OP they can do this based on that clause. Yes you are overreacting a bit. Yes, it sucks to have last minute wrench thrown into plans. No, don’t change your venue.

Step back, serve the Rose’ , this is a big deal to you right now, but you will honestly not give it a second thought down the road.

TuttiFrutti · 09/06/2022 18:30

It's annoying, but really no more than that in the bigger scheme of things. Your guests will just have to go without red wine for one day - I'm sure rose would be fine for most of them, especially for a summer wedding.

Legally they probably CAN do this given that clause in the contract, so the small claims court would be a non-starter.

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