*** We cancelled our wedding due to COVID.
To Note: MANY of my friends have reported a no refund policy by their wedding venue vendors-- this was not my experience with The Natl Arbo-- they were of course going to charge us full amount if WE ca...
ncelled, and refund the full amount if THEY cancelled, but the third option was to augment our venue rental to something more suited to these times: cancel the cocktail hour and reception rental and rent only the ceremony time and space. Natalie was flexible in this regard and I think that should be recognized. Many friends have lost thousands because of rigid contracts to venue sites, and this venue vendor was not one of those types.
The tent company however is another story! We basically had to argue with them for 1/6 of our money back. (A Grand Event Tents).
AND, Something Vintage has locked us into rescheduling and paying the rest of our order for some future event...except we are moving ... so, yeah no thanks.
I am not the person asking for all our money back, We donated our flowers to staff at GW Hospital, we asked for nothing back from our small vendors (hair, makeup, coordinator, photog, dj...) and they in-turn, released us from paying the rest of the balance.
So, instead of paying for and hosting a ceremony, cocktail reception and wedding reception, we only hosted a "ceremony" and instead of marrying during this time that we rented, we held a Forest Bathing ceremony in honor of the Summer Solstice.
Natalie was flexible with us and will be refunding our money for the cocktail and event reception time that we were obviously not able to host. We, therefore, wound up paying for the ceremony time only.
PROs: The obvious: the vistas and flora and fauna are breathtaking and spiritually and healthfully rejuvenating.
Natalie is friendly and easy to communicate with.
Free parking on site.
Many options for event locations within the space itself.
CONs: you are forced to use one tent company. We were almost about to spend $30K...YES! $30K for just the tent. Basically half of our budget. A dance floor, sub floor (because after thinking it over, I didn't want to force folx into digging heels into the ground or changing their footwear to flats bc I've been that person that was perturbed when my outfit has to be adjusted for flats), lighting, the vendor road, coverings over the poles and rigging, & install.
We could not shop around. And we were not told about how expensive the tent features including the road YOU ARE FORCED TO PURCHASE.
SO, sure, you could order a tent for from this co. for about 12-15K but it is the BAREST OF BONES.
That and the no fire ... so no candles and you have to provide ground lighting for guests to navigate to the main building for the bathrooms which is fine but something you should consider as a part of your DIY time.
Finally, please I encourage everyone to provide non-toxic bug repellent for your guests because the chemicals may be microscopic, but they are systemic and potent...they kill. And this beautiful haven houses many living beings small and large. So please please be loving toward them and ourselves by supplying Badger bug spray or some other great brand.
Thanks for listening.