So many of you from the Weddingbee community have reached out to me, and while the past day or two have been long and emotional, I felt like I needed to write this to let you know (1) I am alive and did not throw myself off the Brooklyn Bridge, and (2) thank you, thank you, thank you for all your kind words, thoughts, and support.
An article on Gothamist came out yesterday reporting that our reception venue, reBar, is closed and bankrupt as of yesterday morning. Initially I thought the article was a joke. There’s no way that place went bankrupt—it had weddings booked all the way through November. I called our coordinator there, but no answer. With every ring on the telephone, my stomach turned. When I didn’t even get a prompt to leave a voicemail, I thought I might puke.
Image via Gothamist
My first thought was the money. All. the. money. We paid them almost $22,000 upfront to avail of a 5% discount. As my worst wedding nightmare became my reality, my only saving grace was the fact that we purchased event cancellation insurance. I’ll explain more about our decision to purchase wedding insurance in another post, but bees, learn this lesson from me: protect your investment.
I immediately called WedSafe (the insurance company) to make sure bankruptcy was covered under our policy. It is. I asked if it was premature to file a claim since I haven’t actually spoken to anyone from reBar to confirm their closing, but the agent felt that the lack of communication on their end warrants a claim. I’m still waiting to speak with an adjuster, but according to the person I spoke to today, we should be able to recoup our full payment.
We still haven’t figured out the answer to problem number two: we need a new reception venue…as well as catering, rentals, cake, and DJ since reBar was an all-inclusive venue. This resolution will probably take a bit longer to figure out, but I’ve already received so many great suggestions and offers of help (and we’ll gladly take more if you have them!). For most of our wedding planning thus far, I’ve gone solo. Sure Mr. S has helped, but really, I’ve been doing the research and legwork on my own. The thought of starting all over again is devastating, but it is such a relief that so many of my friends, family, and bees are stepping in to take the weight off my shoulders.
Due to the craziness of the reBar news and the craziness of my normal day job, it wasn’t until I left my office at the end of the day and got on the subway that I started to feel all the feelings. It was only then that I had a quiet moment to myself to digest what had just happened to us. I mourned for the loss of my wedding vision that I had been so carefully curating with such love and affection for all these months—and now it was gone, just like that. I was angry that I had no answers from anyone at reBar, but even more furious at myself that I had been so stupid to gladly hand over that much money for a measly discount. And it just wasn’t f*cking fair. When Igot home and saw Mr. S waiting with open arms, I let the waterworks go. I dramatically threw myself onto our bed, allowed myself a pity party, and wailed “Why me, why me??” Nancy Kerrigan style.
But honestly, things could have been much worse for us. For one, we could have skipped the wedding insurance—in which case there would be no funds for a new wedding venue and, ergo, no wedding. We also have seven months to go until our wedding date (maybe more now if we have to change it). There were two weddings scheduled at reBar for this weekend. In fact, our photographer was supposed to shoot one of them tomorrow. I spoke with her today, and she told me that when she called the bride to check in with her, the bride hadn’t even heard the news of reBar’s closing. So yes, in some bizarre way, we’re lucky. We’re lucky that we still have the time and funds to commit to a plan B. We’re lucky that all of the other vendors we’ve booked so far are amazing and flexible. But most of all, we’re lucky to have so many people in our corner, wishing the best for us and helping us figure this all out.
To my fellow reBar brides, my heart goes out to you. Hang in there—you are not alone. It seems like the entire Brooklyn event planning community is pulling for us. Here’s a link to a crowd-sourcing effort to help the summer reBar couples, and comments from the Gothamist article are full of vendors willing to help.
So bees, this ride might be a little sh*tload bumpier than I thought it would be, but mark my words: there will be a wedding. And after the drama of the past two days, you can bet it’s gonna be the best and baddest-ass wedding ever.