Dear Well wisher,
I refer to your review dated 8/8/2015 regarding your experience at our 5-star hotel.
You were understandably harsh as you, and the majority of guests, were unaware of the background and communication between the organiser and The Haven Ipoh before and throughout the event. We appreciate the opportunity to clarify what had actually happened.
1) When the organiser booked a garden wedding, our Event Manager advised him on the requirements which included tents, platform (for the ground) and contingency plan. The organiser was to deal with the tent contractor directly.
2) The organiser was informed that if the guests numbered 200 or below, they could book the ballroom for both the Marriage Ceremony and the Dinner as their contingency plan The organiser declined, insisting that he was willing to take the risk of possible rain.
3) Approximately five days before the event, the Event Manager showed the organiser the location of the garden / meditation deck. He also showed him the ballroom where he was recommended to hold the Marriage Ceremony in case of rain. A quotation was given to him for the contingency plan. He decided not to have the contingency plan.
4) Hence, the finalised plan was to hold the Marriage Ceremony at the garden / meditation deck and the dinner at the lakeside garden. The organiser declined all other locations.
Chronological series of preparation on the Wedding Day – 8th August 2015
12:00 pm All setup completed, complying with the organiser’s wishes, at both the Marriage Ceremony at the meditation deck and dinner at the lakeside garden. Additionally, we recruited 12 extra part-time staff to assist the function.
2:00pm Started to drizzle. Our Event Manager warned the organiser that a heavy downpour was expected, and recommended to change the Marriage Ceremony to the Ballroom. The organiser agreed then, and the ballroom was set up accordingly.
3:30pm Drizzle stopped. The organiser immediately changed his mind and decided to go back to a garden wedding instead. Following this decision, the Hotel Events staff quickly moved all the decorations from the Ballroom to the garden location.
4:00 pm Sky was threatening rain. The Event Manager strongly recommended that the organiser agree to relocate the Marriage Ceremony to the Ballroom as the weather was indicating a storm. The organiser did not agree.
4:20pm The Event Manager again advised the organiser to change the venue of the Marriage Ceremony to the Ballroom. The organiser insisted to hold it at the garden / meditation deck and the dinner at the lakeside garden. He said, “I will risk it.”
5:00pm At about 5 pm, the Marriage Ceremony was conducted and concluded amidst strong winds, but no rain.
6:00 pm By this time, the setup at lakeside garden was completed and servers were ready to serve beverages to guests. However, the weather began to turn nasty and heavy rain and strong winds commenced. All waited for the rain to stop.
7:00pm All hope vanished with the continuing heavy rain and strong winds.
The Event Manager asked the organiser to delay the dinner so that they could set up the Ballroom for a sit down dinner. However, the organiser disagreed due to a shortage of time. So, he agreed to a hurried setup -- 50% of the Ballroom for sit down guests and 50% for standing guests.
7:20pm The General Manager visited the organiser in his suite as a last attempt to persuade him again to allow for 45 minutes to set up for a “compact” sit-down dinner as we wanted his guests to have the best possible experience. However, the organiser refused as his guests were already arriving.
7:40pm Setup was quickly completed as per the organiser’s requirements. However, due to the rain and urgent relocation of the dinner setup, all hands had to be on deck to move the tables and chairs in the rain. Hence, welcome drinks could not be served. Also, unfortunately due to the relocation, some of the dishes that were prepared for 7:30 pm had to be served just after 8 pm, due to these conditions that were beyond our control.
We hope this clears the air about what had happened that day. We pride ourselves on doing our best for each and every guest, at all times. This explains why although the organiser refused to commit to a contingency plan despite being urged several times, the hotel decided to provide it, even to the extent of not charging the organiser.
Our aim was to help make the wedding as successful and enjoyable as possible for both the organiser and the guests.
We thank you for your feedback and would like to assure you that we have learned a lot from this episode. We have improved our Standard Operating Procedures and will no longer accept future requests from organisers who do not install a platform or who refuse to commit to a contingency plan for outdoor events.
We hope we have fully clarified this matter to all concerned. We hope to welcome you back at The Haven Ipoh to enjoy our hospitality.
Jean Michel Baradei