My fiance and my two best friends and I toured here when we were looking for a waterfront venue for our May wedding. I had emailed with Peter before we went, and he sent me sample menus with pricing, and we scheduled a tour. The pictures on the...
ir website and their menus were amazing. We had high hopes.
The first thing we noticed when we arrived was the small and full parking lot. This is advertised as a handicapped accessible venue (my fiance is in a wheelchair) and not only could we not find a handicapped space, but the only space we could find was way out on the edge of the property.
We got up on the porch (not accessible unless someone can help push the chair) and went inside, only to find an event going on. We were quickly ushered back outside and someone went to get Peter. After several minutes, Peter showed up and took us out back to the waterfront. When we asked about going inside, he said they had a event and we couldn't see either building. So what was the point of scheduling a tour?
The grounds were beautiful. Imagining the sun setting over the water in May was a beautiful mental picture for our wedding. However, the grounds weren't accessible either. The only way to get down to the waterfront was down a very steep paved driveway that my fiance needed help on. And going back up the driveway was impossible without two people pushing (he only weighs 150lbs and I push him and carry him all the time - it was not his weight that was so tough).
We all sat on the deck and discussed our options and asked Peter some questions. He immediately made us feel as though we were not important to him, and it didn't matter if we didn't book with him because he knew other couples would come along. For example, when he asked us how we met, we said online, and before we could elaborate he said, "oh, I've heard better stories." We felt like, we know you have, but this is our story, and it's important to us.
When we got to pricing, he looked at the menus I had printed out from HIS email, told me that they were all wrong and he had no idea how I'd gotten them, and gave us new ones that were far out of our budget.
We also asked about getting dressed at the venue. He said that only the bride could dress there. The groom, groomsmen, and bridesmaids all had to get ready elsewhere. When we asked about their centerpieces (flowers in vases) and whether we could lean a small photo up on each piece, he said we could either use theirs or ours, but no mixing.
Overall, we were so unhappy with this venue, mostly because of Peter and his policies. There was another reviewer on here who mentioned feeling like this place was just a wedding factory, and that's exactly how we felt. The grounds are very beautiful, but I can't even comment on the insides because we weren't allowed in. Everything about Peter was unhelpful, and quite the opposite of where we ended up booking (for a better price and more flexibility - Merlot on the Water). Everything about the venue we chose is what we wanted, and the owner (Victoria) couldn't be more willing to move things around and let us make our day OUR DAY. We made up our own menu, we're moving furniture around to make room for a photo booth, we can use a mix of her centerpieces and ours, and she has let us tour three times with no problems.
I wish I could recommend Amarante's because of its setting, but the bottom line is I can't in good conscience wish this place on a couple looking for their own beautiful day.