He proposed; I said yes. You would think that would be the end of the story. Yet I've somehow found myself in the position where I'm waiting anxiously for a second proposal -- and this time it's from a wedding venue we will refer to as venue X. The proposal I am waiting for from venue X takes the form of a contract detailing specific costs like site fees, catering options, and more. It's a contractual obligation from the venue that they will provide specific services on a set date that will be held for my wedding for an agreed-upon fee. It's now been over a month since my first date with venue X and while it was magical and intoxicating, I still don't know where we stand. It's frustrating because I'm not the type of girl who rushes into anything or desperately hangs on to every shred of hope that a relationship is going to work. But in this case, I've become "her". I've failed to keep my cool.
During the weekend of April 28, the fiancé and I toured several locations in Montauk, Long Island for our perfect fit: outdoors, understated yet charming, and the opposite of cookie-cutter with ample room for dancing. We found all of the above in venue X and more. We knew we were on the right track when we met with the events director of venue X, who nodded in approval with nary a judgmental smile as we told her our campground fantasies of a pig roast at the rehearsal dinner and s'mores by a bonfire for dessert. I could see myself getting married here, I silently relayed to my fiancé and his eyes smiled in agreement. Splendor in the grass was abundant and the delicate lanterns swaying gently from the treetops added the romantic charm we craved.
But there was just one catch. We were severely limited in terms of wedding dates. Venue X is only open from the end of May to early September and therefore only hosts six weddings at most in any given year. We had a choice of three weekends in May and three in September. Luckily, the weekend of May 17-19 was one that we were considering so we put in the request for it. We heard back a few days later, "It's open and available ... no one is really thinking of 2013 just yet." With a sigh of relief, we left planning mode by the wayside for a few weeks and decided to wait ... and wait ... and wait. Still, there was no proposal from venue X. However, it wasn't utter and complete radio silence from their end. We did receive a few assurances along the way that they were swamped, but working on it. It was downright Pavlovian conditioning: we received the bare minimum in positive reinforcement via email to keep us going at the exact moment we started having second thoughts.
At first, I tried the veiled threat technique:
"I'm checking in and am getting a little nervous about the venue. I REALLY REALLY want to go with you guys and want to lock the date in this week, but can't move forward until I see the proposal from your team. And I can't really move on other aspects of wedding planning until I lock in the venue. I don't want to look for other venues, but think I may have to if I don't hear from you guys by tomorrow. I really hope we can work something out."
I received the following back:
"Apologies, I've just been trying to confirm a few things with my finance team as they need to sign off on numbers since this is beyond the 2012 season. Trying my best to get a full proposal to you by EOD Thursday.
Thanks for your understanding -- I obviously REALLY want to make it work for you guys as well!"
And with that, I was hooked again. Of course, I didn't receive the proposal by Thursday so I decided to take another approach: the desperate plea.
In my most recent exchange with venue X, I wrote:
"I just need a written commitment that I can lock in next May 17-19 at your venue and next steps to proceed with the proposal.
Sorry to bug, I'm just starting to panic ... Please please advise."
To which I received the following reply:
"Please don't panic! Really sorry- it's taking longer for finance to sign off than I thought. They've literally got 20 event proposals of mine and are checking them off one by one, most for this season.... Hoping to have it over the next few days.
Again, really sorry. The date is definitely open and will get it to you the second I'm able to. Thanks for your patience!!!"
I'm two tactics down and slowly running out of time. Wedding plans are at a standstill and it's clear I'm careening into panic mode territory. I now have less than a year and have toyed with the idea of moving the date to September. Friends and family members have advised me to move on. No venue is worth it, they say. "It's like you're being led on and while you know it's happening, there's nothing you can do about it because you're head over heels." Yes, I'll admit that I turn a blind eye when it comes to venue X's faults, but the reality is that the ball is and has always been in its court simply because only a handful of weddings can take place there. If I'm not willing to wait, there will always be someone else, although I'm not quite sure how long a business' reputation can remain solid if they run things that way.