FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A newlywed Fayetteville couple is demanding a refund after they said they dealt with "unbearable" temperatures in a downtown Fayetteville wedding venue.
Katina Shotwell says they signed a contract with the Metropolitan Room in August 2020. Their expectation was to have working air condition come July.
But the hopes of a dream wedding quickly started to crumble when she heard from others that the venue had dealt with a slew of A/C problems through the years. Shotwell says she called the venue to confirm the A/C would be working and they assured her everything would be okay.
Shotwell tells Eyewitness News those concerns reared their head during the rehearsal dinner, when the main room was hot and staff told the family that PWC was working on power that led to the units going out.
"The rehearsal, when we got there, it was really hot in there," Shotwell said. She expressed her concerns and staff said they would work to get the system back up and running.
On July 17, during the Shotwells' wedding day, their worst fears became a reality. They say the main A/C unit was still down and the portable units that staff put out weren't enough to cool a room filled with 200 people.
"I could literally feel the sweat running down my legs, that's how hot it was," Shotwell said.
The heat was so unbearable that they emptied out the venue six hours before they need to be out. "I was down here, creating a memory I didn't want to create." Now, Shotwell wants to be refunded the $3,300 they paid.
Mario Hardy, a Fayetteville wedding entertainer, says with the rush of weddings that they've been seeing, couples need to take several steps to ensure this doesn't happen to them.
"Always ask questions, never make any assumptions," Hardy told ABC 11.
He says checking for clauses in a contract are also key. Even if an A/C unit goes out, most contracts, according to Hardy, still won't let you out, so that may be something you discuss with the managers.
Hardy also recommends hiring a wedding planner. Their expertise will allow you to find the most reliable venues. If not, he says to do your own vetting. Things like looking up social media presence, online reviews, and word of mouth will help you not get trapped in an uncomfortable situation.
Shotwell says they've tried to reach out to the owner of the venue to no avail. Eyewitness News reached out and spoke to a staff member over the phone. The employee says the Shotwells can, "reach out to me, and I can check and see what I can work out for them to make sure that they're happy."