My fiancé and I worked with Garfield Park Conservatory's event planner and we were guests at the Garfield Park Conservatory on March 10th 2021. The purpose of this review is to share our experience with the rental process for weddings.
uiries for renting this space for our wedding started in January 2021. Our application was approved, but an invoice was not sent due to technology issues. Our conditional approval was on 2/10/21. The conversations felt one sided when we continuously reached out via email and phone to get information about the date confirmation and invoice status. We asked the event planner about setting up a private tour to view the venue. Her response was that in order to view the space we would need to make a public reservation. Unable to make a private reservation, we constantly monitored the waitlist until a public reservation opened during the short timeframe we’d be in Chicago. The event planner did not inform us that all of the rooms we'd be renting would not be open, even after our email directly asked to see the rooms.
We managed to get a spot for a tour using the inconsistent and confusing online reservation system. We called ahead to ask if it’d be ok that we’d be 5 minutes late due to unexpected traffic. We were also apologetic for running late and thanked them for accommodating us. Upon arrival, we were expectedly hurried inside. After asking a question about what rooms are open, the employee at the front desk double checked our question by asking this to another employee named Karen. Karen responded by saying "the late couple are asking about this?" thinking we were out of earshot. Karen then aggressively and rudely reminded us we were late, and said that they’d been accommodating enough. She told us to contact the event planner about scheduling a tour and urged us to "hurry along." We told Karen the event planner shared with us that in order to tour the facility we would have to make a public reservation and Karen mentioned there must have been miscommunication.
We quickly caught up to the other guests who had arrived on time, and uncomfortably finished our walk through the facility. On the way out, Karen approached us and apologized. We were appreciative of that, but it didn’t change our prior interaction with her. It was completely inappropriate and unnecessary. We were looking forward to renting the space for our wedding, however it has felt like we were not valued as guests or customers and were more of an inconvenience.