I always knew I wanted an outdoor wedding and fell in love with Jardines Arco Iris by viewing the website and the garden grounds. Our first meeting the Mrs. Alderete and her staff went wonderfully. We discussed different package options, meal plans, flowers, etc. She seemed to really care about us as clients so we booked the place for our wedding.
Our subsequent meetings with her and her staff were not as lovely. The prices she initially promised us during our first meeting for food dramatically increased each time we met with her. We were initially told we could bring our own liquor and beer and that changed to us having to buy the alcohol through her only. Prices also changed for center pieces and flower options. I learned that I had to write EVERYTHING down (every price, every detail from amount of flowers on the centerpiece from amount of cups provided at the bar) so that she could not change the details at our next meeting. This seemed to work.
The place has its own caterer and you?ll get to have one free tasting. The food is okay, but I?ve had better at weddings done at hotels or other outdoor venues. My husband and I went through 2 tastings (we paid $50 for the second tasting) and we decided we didn?t love the food. When we told her that we no longer wanted her caterer for the wedding, she got really upset. She told us, ?Well you know I don?t HAVE to let you bring your own caterer.? We told her that our contract allows us the option of bringing our own caterer and she replied, ?Well you know I can always change the rules, right? Check your contract.? Sure enough in the 10 page contract there is one sentence in smaller font than the rest that says the Jardines venue has the right to change the rules to the contract at any time. Why have a contract then, right?
The wedding day was no less stressful than the days spent planning with her. My reception started at 6 pm. When my guests arrived she refused to open the gate because she said the event started at 7. My maid of honor had her check the contract which specifically stated the event started at 6, and then she opened the gates. The garden was not ready by the time guests arrived ? the center pieces had not been put up, the cake had not arrived and the DJ was barely setting up. For the dance, we had ordered a chocolate fountain which she forgot to set up and had to be reminded to do so.
If you decide to book with Jardines just be prepared! Read the contract, ask tons of questions, write everything down and date the note, and be firm when you need to be. The day of your event, have the contract, event details and a time line handy so if something is missing you can call her on it.
My guests had a good time at the wedding and we received so many compliments on the venue. It really is a lovely place and looks really pretty at night. Looking back on the whole experience, I would have just planned smarter.