We had our wedding at the East Sussex National after 3 cancellations due to covid. In this time we had 5-6 various different wedding coordinators, each time we had to re confirm all of our details as nothing was kept on file which was very difficult. They also kept trying to change things that we already had confirmed in writing / contract IE minimum numbers, food choices etc trying to over charge what was in the original contract and giving the feeling they just wanted to make more money.
The current wedding coordinator doesn’t work weekends for viewings of the hotel or meetings for current bride and grooms which if you work full time just doesn’t work.
On the day we had countless failures by the venue itself which after the wedding we gave them the opportunity to comment on and try to resolve but instead after a week got an email from the general manager to fob us off offering us a 2 night stay FOC which we declined, as to us it was more important to get answers to our problems so it doesn’t happen for future bride and grooms. When we replied asking for answers the manager Vivek didn’t have the decency to respond.
To keep this short I have bullet pointed the issues we faced with the venue on the day with some major issues that they refused to address.
◦ Wedding coordinator wasn’t present on the day. The confirmed staff member wasn’t who we had on the day, however she did her best given the limited information she was provided. We later found the paperwork for our day, it was half ours and half for the wedding the weekend before so no wonder there was confusion. Small things things weren’t done like hoover carpets, iron linen and light candles prior to the wedding breakfast.
◦ The aircon couldn’t be turned on. For a summer wedding it was sweltering.
◦ Drinks prices were different between the venue bar and main hotel bar, guests kept leaving the reception to get cheaper drinks downstairs.
◦ Guests partial and even full drinks were cleared away without permission whilst dancing (a money grab on the venues part as far as we are concerned)
◦ Not all of the food we provided for the evening reception was put out nor was it returned (stackable items like Lindor chocolates, crisps & fruit) we provided boxes for left over food / cheese / cake to be taken away by guests these were removed by the venue and “lost” so we had a LOT of food waste. Not to mention the expensive phantom boxes.
◦ We also provided bags for guests on check in (designer toiletries, food drink & a personalised wedding door hanger to invite them to a group breakfast the next morning. These weren’t handed out check in which we didn’t find out until the next morning at breakfast.
◦ The hotel had also over booked the hotel rooms meaning some guests didn’t get the rooms they had booked and were even forced to pay for a second room on the night!
◦ Our wedding cake was taken away to be served after cutting, however it wasn’t returned. After asking multiple times the groom ended up in the kitchen to find it at about 10pm. This led to a LOT of wasted food, again.
◦ The reception room itself wasn’t laid out correctly or the room hoovered. This was reflected in the honeymoon suite which was very run down, dirty & didn’t even have a fridge or ice for a bottle of champagne in the evening. This made the getting ready photos very hard to take to avoid blemishes on the walls floors, the windows were dirty and the balcony rusty and unpainted. It also had 2 single beds pushed together! Not ideal for a ‘honeymoon suite’…
Overall our day was ruined at the reception stage by constantly having to chase staff for frankly basic requirements laid out in the wedding plan agreed prior to the day, we had lots of negative comments from guests post wedding about the reception which isn’t what you want! Unfortunately the points we made here weren’t all of problems we had but the main ones.
Personally the attitude of staff on the day and after, shows the quality of service they provide and if I could I would have booked anywhere else for our day and will not be returning for any event at the hotel and would recommend anyone looking to book a wedding steers well clear.