We started preparing for our Wedding since January 2012. I was raised in Antipolo, Rizal so we opted to look for a Venue within the area. But a lot of couples chose the same date as ours for their big day. It was already the end of February but still,we can’t find a Venue in Antipolo that suits our taste and most importantly our budget.
My coordinator and I did a lot of research and she kept calling the Venues that I suggested. Until I came across this multiply account of Patio Isabel y Jardin in San Mateo, Rizal. I immediately called the number and asked if 12-12-12 is available. The person who answered my call was very accommodating and told me that since December is their peak season, we should be ready with our P10,000 reservation fee. I was thrilled asked my fiancée to visit the place the following Saturday for an ocular.
The garden wasn’t so impressive. But the parking lot was good enough for more than 50 cars.The bridal lounge was small and doesn’t have its own washroom or a bed to rest – just a small couch and a mirror. I didn’t expect a glamorous Venue with the Wedding Packages that they offer.
Their staff, Dess Maganda informed us that there will be an additional charge of P500/hour for each gadget/equipment that we will be using for the our event (that was her explanation for section7 of their contract). Their buffet for 100 guests would only cost us P80,000.00.Budget friendly.
And since we were overwhelmed that a venue is available for our chosen date – we paid for the reservation fee without consulting our Wedding coordinator.
So,we signed the contract after the ocular and was informed that the next payment will be scheduled by September or October since we booked pretty early (March 17, 2012 to be exact).
To my Coordinator’s surprise, she kept calling Patio Isabel y Jardin’s number asking for a meeting – but her efforts have gone futile. Finaly, we were given a date. Ms. Irene Cordero, the owner/manager scheduled us for September 23,2012. Unfortunately, when we got to the venue – the guard informed us that they are not open during Sundays! My fiancée, out of frustration and dismay called Irene. Her response to my fiancée? “Sorry, it slipped my mind”. It slipped her mind that it was Sunday, for crying out loud! My fiancée was adamant that someone has to be there to accommodate us – Patio Isabel y Jardin is an hour drive from our apartment and Sunday wasn’t really the best day even for us. Irene called their staff Dess, (who claims that she was doing her laundry at that time) to meet us at Patio Isabel. We were ready with our payment if only our questions were answered. We also informed Dess that some woman who claims to be the owner of Camillo Vergara catering has been calling me and our Wedding coordinator,asking for a down payment of P20,000.00 for the catering services. Apparently – it was Dess’ contact. She said that Mr. Camillo Vergara, their in house caterer was out of the country when we booked the Sampaguita package. Crazy huh?
We wasted the whole Sunday because of Irene Cordero. My Coordinator by the way was handed a flyer by Dess. The flyer enumerated additional charges on top of our Contract Price – for Electric consumption: P10,000 for a full band; P2,000 for a photo booth, P500 for a projector,P1,500 for each Industrial fan…and the list goes on. The total add on to our Package will be around P20,000.00 – P30,000.00. My Coordinator, reviewed our contract an the flyer that was handed to her. She also called the In house caterer, Camillo Vergara to schedule a meeting and a possible food tasting. For whatever reasons, he was hesitant to do a food tasting and was just convinced by our wedding coordinator (educated could be the perfect term). Finally, the food tasting was scheduled on October 6, 2012.
October 5, Camillo sent our coordinator an SMS asking for a reschedule. He wanted to meet us for the food tasting on October 6 but on different time. We had to cancel all of our plans just to be there.
When we reached Patio Isabel y Jardin at around 5:30PM,we were immediately assisted by Dess. She even accompanied my coordinator to their washroom only to instruct her not to tell Camillo that she referred us to a different caterer.
Soon after, we discussed the additional charges printed in their “flyer”, asking if they could at least remove the P10,000 electricity fee for our band. But she refused telling us that went through these additional charges with us. She even showed us several contracts from different clients with an attached “flyer”. Those contracts are their copies,not the clients’. Obviously, they can attach anything. We kept telling her that if these charges were discussed – we would have opted for a different venue.
In the middle of our discussion with Dess, Camillo handed us five food containers (styro) placed in a red clear plastic bag. He said, we can bring those food at home. WOW! Ever heard of a food tasting like this?
As for the reservation fee, Dess said that we won’t be getting any refund. We were mis-led. I have scanned our Contract – for everyone to see that these charges were never discussed nor written in our contract – I deleted Patio Isabel and Irene’s name in the contract thinking that maybe we can resolve this issue amongst ourselves and blog about my frustration without disclosing their names. We have tried to reach Irene several times but she would either hang up the phone or someone from their house/office would tell us that she’s not available. She replied only after i posted my questions on their FB page. But her answers were very limited.
To add to this – the food that was given to us were spoiled as soon as we reached home. Camillo said that they cook their food in Mapua Institute in Manila – so that’s approximately 2 hrs from Patio Isabel y Jardin.
So, I guess that’s how they do business?
Two months left before our big day and yet, we are still looking for a Wedding Venue.
If you were in my shoes, will you still push through with the reservation?
Lesson learned: when it’s too good to be true – it is.