Disappointing management

★★★★☆
3.6
54.0% of users recommend this
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marciaweekes's review of Gosfield Hall Wedding Venue Essex

“Disappointing management”

★☆☆☆☆

written by marciaweekes on 30/11/2022

This review is a tale of two halves which gives an overall experience we had for our wedding in September 2022.

The venue is stunning - that is not in question. The on-the-ground team were amazing and did all they could to make our day special. We had the best two days at Gosfield Hall and a very emotional and beautiful wedding.

Our wedding coordinator, is a credit to Gosfield Hall - her attention to detail, support for us and our guests, humour, and care was exceptional. We hope Gosfield Hall / Country House Weddings recognise this. Others have been exceptional since we booked our wedding in the summer of 2019 (unfortunately, due to Covid, we had to rearrange dates twice), but they have since left the organisation.

However, whilst the on-the-ground team were exceptional, the management of Gosfield Hall left a lot to be desired. Please be cautious if you are looking to book your wedding with them, and ensure you read the terms and conditions thoroughly before you pay any deposit. I recommend you sit and review it with one of their onsite teams to ensure absolute clarity. They will aim to use the terms and conditions against you, if not during the planning stage of your wedding, then post the wedding.

They tried to make us pay nearly £7,000 to move our wedding date from 2021 to 2022 but soon changed their mind once we outlined the legal advice we had been given.

They also, post the wedding, levied a charge for a missing umbrella and a room key (which, in the grand scheme of what we paid for the venue, is minuscule). We had no awareness of the provision of umbrellas and that there was no rain; therefore, no need to use an umbrella during our event seemed lost on the venue management. The room key (which we were aware of) had been returned the following week rather than on the day of check-out.

We recommend you walk the site with your wedding coordinator, asking them to point out what potentially 'missing items' you could be held liable for at the start of your stay.

Without a doubt, the most disappointing aspect of our engagement was the receipt of an email from the venue manager intended for the previous night's wedding party, where charges were levied due to what was claimed to be evidence of smoking in four rooms. The email went on to state the following:

"Unfortunately we are going to have to charge you as we were unable to use the rooms for Friday's wedding as the smell was so strong."

Initially, this was confusing as our wedding was on Friday, and all rooms were fully booked. Furthermore, the groom and best man got ready for the wedding ceremony in one of the rooms that could not be used, and there was no noticeable smell of cigarette smoke which would have been evident to us as non-smokers. We became aware that the venue management of Gosfield Hall is willing to knowingly make false statements to justify the levy charges to clients, so we were not surprised when we received our levies.

We escalated our concerns about their communication and charges to Country House Wedding Directors. Their initial response did not answer our queries, so we followed up and requested a more thorough response. Although these levies were subsequently refunded, and we were offered a complimentary meal and stay, which we declined, we are yet to receive a response to our second communication to them and have now waited three weeks for an answer. We do not believe this will be forthcoming.

So, in summary, beautiful venue with a fantastic on-the-ground team but poor management and leadership who will try to get more monies from you for incorrect, missing items or interpretations of their loosely worded terms and conditions, which means we are unable to recommend this venue.

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