Wedding August 2013.
Foxholes certainly provided us with a spectacular spot for our wedding but Rachel’s management from start to finish was terrible. As a couple looking for a relaxed wedding we found she was the main cause of our wedding stress.
We were sold a wedding which was billed as flexible and relaxed, a wedding tailored to your own needs, however as soon as we’d paid the deposit it all changed. We met Rachel several times in the School Rooms café which she also owns. On every single occasion she was late and often did not apologise. We were never offered a drink and always had to buy our own. On one occasion she did not turn up and had emailed on the day to cancel rather than phone. As we were at work we did not read that email till after we were supposed to meet. She also didn’t turn up to meet us as arranged at the venue. This meant we had to look round the marquee when someone was setting their wedding up which we found embarrassing as they had not even been told we were going to arrive. We were the second group on that day!
A couple of key features of the package as described in the brochure changed after we had paid the deposit. Rachel then expected us to accept all these changes with no consultation and without feeling the need to inform us. These changes included; changing the caterers for our wedding from the in-house caterers the Schoolrooms to Hazels (at the time an unknown company to us), removing the flexibility to run our own bar and the time our wedding had to finish. In fact if we had not saved the original brochure and been able to prove that this was originally offered Rachel would not have allowed us to use a different company to provide the bar.
In addition, verbal agreements made in early meetings were not honoured. This led to us feeling we had to email her immediately after each meeting to confirm what has been discussed; thus illustrating the total lack of trust we had in her. With regards to changing the agreed time our wedding had to finish, this was a licencing issue out of her control but which she chose to inform us of via email an hour after we had met her and discussed the times. We have no doubt this was because she did not want to tell us in person she could no longer honour the terms of our agreement.
After several meetings which followed this pattern we wrote to her to express our concerns. We explained in detail why we were not happy and that the management had left us feeling angry, frustrated and anxious about our wedding. The unprofessional reply did not acknowledge any our concerns, let alone offer an apology. It merely stated that we were one day late with our second instalment.
When we went to review the marquee prior to the wedding we also raised a number of concerns, in that the outside of the marquee was dirty and had not been cleaned after erecting. We also noted that the flooring was not the same as the brochure and was very uneven with some trip hazards.
The day before the wedding as we arrived at Foxholes we noticed they had started to set up their bar and when we mentioned this to Tom, the onsite manager, he was unaware that we had previously agreed to have our own bar. This was then later questioned by Rachel over the phone who tried to deny we had made this agreement and that we should have their bar. This, the afternoon before our wedding was a further stress we didn’t need and another example of the lack of professionalism.
We must note that Tom was very amenable and a pleasure to have around whilst setting up the venue the day before.
On the night of the wedding Rachel’s husband arrived and told our DJ to turn the music down to a level which was far too quiet to be conducive to a party atmosphere. He then returned later in the evening and did the same. This interference was unacceptable on our wedding day and the music was not at an excessive volume in the first place.
We were delighted with the food and service from Hazels from the outset. We were somewhat anxious when first going to meet them due to the situation Rachel had put us in, but they instantly put us at ease and we were relieved that it was part of the wedding we did not need to worry about. Everyone commented on how nice the food was and the staff were amazing with nothing too much trouble, we could not recommend them enough!
The accommodation is slightly tired but we knew this prior to booking and so can’t complain about this.
As a side note Rachel did mention that her friend got married at Foxholes shortly before us and so wouldn’t be surprised if one of the exceptional reviews is by them.
The location is amazing with spectacular views and we had an amazing day but would have serious reservations about recommending it due to the management. We could have coped with the disorganisation (although not a desirable attribute in someone who runs a wedding venue) but it was the fact that Rachel was rude and made it clear that she did not care about maintaining good customer relations we which found unacceptable.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled on a quiet hillside in the Peak District overlooking Low Bradfield enjoying magnificent views across the Doomsday villages, Foxholes Farm was built in the 19th century and includes a Grade II listed castellated folly. The main courtyard has now been transformed into five peaceful holiday cottages sleeping from 2 to 23 people. We also offer a bespoke wedding venue for 15 very special marriage celebrations each year. ... more less
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