07/25/2011Provided by Citysearch -
I got married at Bear Creek. Originally, I planned on writing a bad review because of the hell I had been through dealing with the owners. However, changes on the weekend of the wedding allowed for my opinion to change slightly. I signed with Bear Creek after I was offered a family-reunion style wedding from Friday through Sunday including 15 rooms, catering, and a ceremony/reception for $7500. Over the course of the next year I often felt like an annoyance because I sent so many e-mails to Sam (the owner) with questions about the venue. Sam answered almost all of them in a timely manner, however, at times I was offended by the rude responses (he later said he was joking). The problems started when I began setting up my family in the ""15"" rooms at the lodge. It wasn't until a later visit to Bear Creek that I noticed a handful of rooms are connected by an open doorway and share one bathroom. I almost lost some family that was not comfortable with this arrangement. The next problem occurred when I realized that our overall cost was going to be far from the $7500. It said in our contract that there would be an 18% gratuity added but we assumed that would be within reason. We had to add 18% to everything including the lodging (there is no turn down service). One example is the gratuity on corking fees. There is a $12 fee charged to every 750mL of wine that we brought in ourselves. I purchased 3 boxes of wine for a total of $31. The corkage fee and gratuity for those came to almost $300! That is exorbitant for that amount of alcohol. The gratuity is also applied to any alcohol purchased from Bear Creek. It became necessary to tell our guests to bring cash if they wanted to purchase anything other than what I pre-bought for the reception because, if anyone chose to use a credit card, an automatic 18% would be added to their cost as well.
I had a final meeting with Sam a few days before the wedding to make final payments and make sure of all the details. At this meeting Sam told me he had been reading my wedding blog. They tried explaining the problems I had faced with the connected rooms by telling me that their website states which rooms are adjoined. At the time I was planning the set-up, the website said nothing of the sort. The good thing to come out of this is that Sam has since changed the website.
At the same meeting Sam brought up some poor reviews that had been posted online about Bear Creek. He blamed me and/or my maid of honor for writing the reviews which we had not done. He claimed that one of the reviews specifically mentioned the date of my rehearsal dinner. Later that evening, he forwarded all the reviews to me. I read them and I saw that none had referenced my wedding weekend. I felt extremely angered and stressed days before my wedding. I had been lied to and was being forced to deal with their issues that had nothing to do with me. At this point, I gave up all communication with either of them and turned it all over to my father.
I have raised my review from 1 star to 3 because my wedding weekend was perfect! I'm sure it was obvious to Sam that I was very unhappy and that must have convinced him to try extra hard to please me for the weekend. The kicker came on Sunday as we were packing up to go. I had forgotten to leave my card with Sam to cover all the corkage fees and anything we would be charged for going over on guests at our rehearsal dinner or breakfast. My father went to take care of it and when he came back he told me that Sam had said not to worry about it. It saved me hundreds of dollars. I don't know if he did it because he was relieved that the whole ordeal was over or because he was still putting in all the effort to make up for the past year. However, I wouldn't expect that regularly which is why I feel people need to be aware of the 18%.
So, overall, it was worth it to me to have 1 year of hell in order to have the perfect wedding weekend. Would I recommend getting married at Bear