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My daughter's wedding reception was held at The Carter Payne, 320 S. Weber, Colorado Springs, CO on 11 August 2012. Needless to say, the title of this review should provide a hint of the complete and utter disaster of her experience.
The best part about The Carter Payne is its exterior. Once you get inside, it's a whole new ball game. A short time after the guests arrived, someone in The Carter Payne employ evidently turned the temperature on the air conditioning thermostat UP! Obviously, the temperature inside the reception hall started to rise. People started to go outside because they were perspiring in their tuxedos, suits and dresses. Someone from the wedding party advised the ONLY Carter Payne staff person on site of the situation and was told that the issue had been called out to maintenance. As I, the father of the bride, arrived late to the reception, I was told of this by one of the groomsmen who had been on site since the first guests arrived.
After 30 - 40 minutes had passed and no maintenance personnel had arrived to fix the "issue" and more and more guests departed outside, the father of one of the bridesmaids went to see what the problem was. Whereupon, he located the main building thermostat and saw that the temperature setting was turned way up so the air conditioner would not start until the temperature would have been almost unbearable for people to remain inside the facility. He turned the thermostat temperature setting down, and miraculously, the air conditioner came back on and started to cool the facility. Fancy that!
By the way, this whole "issue" occurred again during the reception. The temperature inside the facility started to go up again. The same person, father of one of the bridesmaids, went to look at the thermostat and saw that it had AGAIN been changed to turn OFF the air conditioner! He reset the thermostat temperature to the setting to which he had previously set it and once again, we had cool air wafting over our sweating bodies.
Obviously, this experience was upsetting my daughter who, as all brides do, wanted HER DAY to be perfect. Unfortunately, it didn't start out that way. And it only got worse.
According to the rental agreement, which my daughter had negotiated with Susan and Sandy, there was supposed to be a separate dance area surrounded by all the tables and chairs (my daughter verified this with Jennifer of The Carter Payne staff on the morning of the wedding). There wasn't! After the meal, we were informed that a certain number of tables and chairs would be removed from the reception hall to clear an area for dancing. Of course, as par for the incompetence of The Carter Payne management, there was an inadequate number of staff to move the required number of tables and chairs in an efficient manner. So some of the guests, dressed in tuxedos, suits and dresses volunteered to evacuate the area to be used for dancing.
The ONE bright spot of the entire occasion, other than my daughter, was the caterer, Garden of the Gods Gourmet. The food was outstanding! They were highly professional in the presentation, efficient in replenishing low food supplies, constantly vigilant, and the food NEVER got cold. Five stars to GOGs Gourmet!
Additionally, not ONCE did anyone from The Carter Payne management inquire with me as to our satisfaction with their facility or the conduct of the reception. Remember, I was the father of the bride...I PAID for the whole affair!
Though my daughter put on a happy face throughout the rest of the evening, she remained upset about the state-of-affairs that had transpired during the reception and proceeded to remind me of this at the end of the reception. She had asked me earlier, during the height of the incompetent Carter Payne performance, to not do or say anything to the SOLE management person on staff that day. She wanted me to wait until later on Monday to voice her dissatisfaction. This review is the first phase of that "voice".
Now, as of this morning, we still live in a free country, and of course, you may choose to heed or dismiss this scathing rebuke of a previously much heralded facility. The Carter Payne may be made aware of this review and make changes in their unsatisfactory performance for future events, or they may not. I can only say, if you wish to take the chance to see your daughter in tears on her wedding day, then by all means, commission The Carter Payne to host her wedding reception. If you wish to not be concerned about the professionalism or performance of the hosting venue, I suggest you look elsewhere for your event.
To Garden of the Gods Gourmet, the only bright light of the afternoon, I recommend you reassess your business association with the Carter Payne. A business survives by the reputation of their performance AND the reputation of their partners. Your reputation remains spotless, that of your business partner is unsatisfactory. Sooner or later, your reputation may begin to suffer as well should you remain attached at the hip with The Carter Payne. I'm just sayin'...
Finally, so as not to have a completely negative review, there IS ample free parking available at The Carter Payne.
Father of the Bride
I had my wedding reception on 9 June 2012 at the Carter Payne....THE WORST MISTAKE EVER!!!! I highly recommended that if your looking at a reception site please do not come here otherwise you may spend 15 minutes crying inside you limo because things are not the way you planned. I will give some background information. Both my husband and I are military, the money we spent on our wedding was from hard deployments to Afghanistan so to have my day ruined hits a sensitive spot for me.I thought it would be a great idea to have my reception at the Carter Payne because they have a liquor license and provide an event coordinator(per their contract) this is not true. To my suprise they don't have a liquor license it is being finalized. To fix my alcohol situation and after months of battle the Carter Payne owner Lynn agreed to purchase the alcohol for me. We agreed on certain alcohol only to find out, the day before my reception, Susan was going to give my guests Foxhorn???? and perviously used bottles of alcohol. I had recorded the conversation that stated what I was suppose to have. Susan purchased one bottle of Skyy vodka. Throughout the night, multiple guests witness her pouring cheap unknown liquor into the Skyy bottle to pass it off as Skyy. Not only is this shady this is ILLEGAL but Lynn didnt care enough to correct this. Susan did absolutely nothing, in regards to being the event coordinator. I gave her a timeline only to have my Maid of Honor running around crazy while Susan held up a wall! The list goes on and on how they ruined my day but please take my advice and choose another place, if you have any question please email me at