There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience
and that is not learning from experience.

— Archibald MacLeish

Last year, thousands of Eventective users told us about their experiences with event venues and vendors for their events. These experiences range from outstanding to incredibly disappointing. We wanted to take a look back and see what lessons can be applied from the experience of previous Eventective users.

Lesson #1 – Visit the Venue, Pay Attention

“The barn was unbearably hot and not at all equipped for rain. When hit with a sudden downpour my guests were left wet and sat in puddles. Also the barn drips sap! Yep. Sap. Which found its way onto clothes, handbags and linens” – An Eventective User in Ontario
“The exterior brick facade is beautiful, yet the inside does not match. The first floor of the house is full of mismatched and poorly executed antiques. The ballroom is mediocre. The ceiling looks gorgeous in the photos, but is dirty with dust and a poor paint job. The downstairs bar does not look clean and is also poorly executed.”– An Eventective User in Indiana
“We had to clean the hall, the kitchen and the other rooms, there were ants coming in the cracks in the corners, and on the floors, the walls needed paint, the air condition is only in the main hall, there were tables and chairs, that hat to be moved, we had about 100 guests and it was hot and crowded.”– An Eventective User in West Virginia
Each of these planners could have avoided some serious heartache if they had spent time up front visiting the venue and asking lots of questions.

Lesson #2 – Have a Contract, Know Your Contract

“They received a deposit for our Reunion, wouldn’t return phone calls before event, business phone was disconnected. We had no Contract from the very beginning. Now won’t refund our deposit.”– An Eventective User in Washington
“Staff showed up an hour late, too late to serve our guests, then would not return $750 deposit!”– An Eventective User in Illinois
“When my wedding was unexpectedly cancelled, the owner would not refund my $2,700.00 deposit – and REFUSED to rent the space to anyone who inquired about that date.”– An Eventective User in Colorado
“Read the contract carefully!! She reserves the right to cancel your wedding at any point, with no refund, if she perceives personality differences, moral differences, etc. Yikes!”– An Eventective User in Alabama
A contract is completely necessary for every one of your event vendors. If anything at all goes wrong, the contract is your only legal recourse for recovering lost moneys and making things right.

Lesson #3 – Get References, Do Your Research

“BEWARE- this company goes by numerous names (5 as verified by the city) probably trying to escape the numerous bad reviews. I would not work with this company again even if I was paid to. At our wedding she did not honor our contracted prices or provide more than half of the rental items we paid for. Refuses to take responsibility for these mistakes, refund what we paid for and did not receive or even apologize.” – An Eventective User in Texas
“Do not use this company. They will be in over their head. They will fall short on service. And when you complain, they will ignore your request for answers.It is not worth the risk to hire this company for an event.For a more detailed review, visit Yelp.”– An Eventective User in Illinois
“My experience with this business has been absolutely horrible. I want to seriously warn any bride who is considering going with this person. There is a complaint on the Better Business Bureau which is very similar to the experience I had with this woman. They are far from professional and there were a lot of lies being told to me. The food was not good, some of the food appeared store bought during my tasting, and the wedding packages being sold is not what you will actually receive. There is nothing organized about it and I really just want people to really think about going with this person. There is something fishy about the company and I truly regret being stuck in contract.”– An Eventective User in Ohio
People are busy these days, but you should never put off checking out the potential vendors for your event. Get multiple references and talk to them! Find out how long the vendor has been in business. Check online, including the Better Business Bureau and other review sites like Yelp.


Events can be complicated, and many things can go wrong. Hiring the right vendors for your event is the biggest thing you can do to make your event a success. Hopefully, the experience of those that have made the mistake of not visiting their venue, not getting or knowing a contract, or not getting references and doing their research can be of use to you as you plan your next event.