Just to share my experience with all of you so that you can take note should you wish to hold your wedding at Jurong Bird Park. I held my wedding on 4 Dec 10 and was terribly disappointed with the way the event was run and it was a painful memory for such an important event.
I had a change in coordinator as my original coordinator left the job and was given a relatively inexperienced young girl. Communication with her was not smooth as she took very long to revert and seems very inexperienced. I tried to be patient with her as she was young but as it is an important event and given many incidents of long delay in responses. I took it up with the supervisor as i was concerned and hoped for a change in a more experienced coordinator. The supervisor was very defensive at first and insisted that my coordinator is more than competent. I had to explain to her patiently of the problems we encountered with her thereafter. After i told her everything, she then took it and explained on what i had to do and assured that she will guide her along and monitor for me and that sets me at ease though she did not change my coordinator.
On the day of my wedding, my coordinator did not turn up saying she had another event at zoo but she will send someone to over look everything to ensure everything is in order. However, i had to run the show myself as there was no one for me to rely on, the other coordinator was never in sight. The only person i could turn to was the banquet manager. As he did not know the details of our discussion, he could only provide assistance of what i told him and though he was very helpful, it was very tedious for me as there were too many details which would have been better had the coordinator been around as she knows everything.
So imagine the bride has to run here and there just to ensure the decoration is set up in time, seats are arranged accordingly etc.
Firstly, the whole thing was not well done as the staffs were all inexperienced. For instance, they did not serve drinks to the guests which i explicitly communicated clearly that they have to serve. Ended up my guests only had plain water and towards the end of the dinner, then only some of them realized there was a drink station that they had to help themselves to. When i left, i realized there were a lot of cartoons of drinks left and i thought it was strange. I only found out that they were not served drinks after that!
Also, we arrived at the venue at 2.30pm to ask them to set up the sound system so that we could do a trial run and the system could not be set till till 5.30pm which was our solermization time. They took 3 hours to set up the system and caused us to not be able to run the music and everything properly nor do our trial run.
In addition to that, i had given instructions to print out picture of us to act as direction as bird park is big and i do not want my guests to go the wrong way. They also promised that there will be ashers. However, it turned out, many people could not find the way as there were no ashers nor signs except for 1 small board at the entrance. I had to resolve this on the spot and send my friends to asher the guests.
Fourth, the door gift which is a toy penguin for the guests were missing for 1 whole tables. I had customized the penguins with tie and ribbons thus it was unique. My guests for that particular tables complained that they did not have any penguins and i was agast as i had done a round of check before the venue was opened up to the guests at 5.15pm and my friends did another round of check at 5.45pm. The venue was not opened up till 6.30pm and there is no way the guests would have taken 10 penguins as everyone came in at the same time. Obviously, the staffs were the only ones who had access during this period of time.
Lastly, during the communication, i had repeatedly asked my coordinator how they will charged for the final bill as it was by per head. I asked if they will finalize the number on the day itself and she said yes. With that, i thought i will pay according to the number of pax that turned up on the day. I had committed min 200 pax. After that, i had increased to 210 just to play safe. Nearer the date, i know the number of pax will be less than 200 but i thought since i will be charged according to the turn up rate, i do not need to inform my coordinator prior to that. Thus on the day my turn up rate was 190 but since i guranteed 200, i will pay for 200 but i was charged for 210. I did not think much when i settled the bill as i was too tired at the end of the event. However, when i checked with my coordinator the next day, that she verified that we will be charged on the turn up rate but i was charged for 210 pax. She said that the chiefs cooked for 210 pax thus i have to pay for that. It did not occur to me prior to that, that the food had to be prepared according to the number of pax and thus does not make sense to charge on the turn up rate. But as i checked with my coordinator a few times and she confirmed that is the case, i held her words to it. Nonetheless, i did not send black and white but only through verbal communication sicne she seldom replys her emails. Hence i do not have proof and had to pay for nothing. If i had known, i would definitely inform her earlier of the pax to 200 and save $1000++. This is unnecessary as if she had been experienced, this would not happen. i would have been provided accurate advice.
With that, i would advise couples who are considering Bird Park as their venues to think twice. If the coordinator is called Peggie, please ensure that all your communications are in black and white. Otherwise, you might end up like us. We do not have a strong case as we did not send black and white as telephone was the easiest form of communication to get hold of her as she does not revert her emails for weeks, even when the wedding is like 2-3 weeks away.
Till date, i had yet to hear from Bird Park on my feedback to them which they promised to investigate and get back to me. As i was posted overseas for a while and just came back, i was utterly disappointed that they did not keep their word. Everything needs to be in black and white. My feedback was taken by a lady who called me after the wedding and i guess since there was no black and white, they did not need to act on it. I was too trusting and naive to beleive that they will really investigate and revert.
So hope my feedback is helpful to you ladies. =)