Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Trust your vendors!

I once had this client who did not trust any of the wedding vendors at all. She thought that all of us are out there, trying to rip her off. It was the most difficult wedding that I have ever had to plan from day one, and on top of that she was very rude in her emails. The emails got so bad that the stationer that I recommended had to cancel her order and gave her a full refund because she couldn't deal with her rudeness. A few days later, the client emailed me back to tell me what an "incompetent b**ch" (verbatim) the stationer was. I couldn't believe what she said. I even confronted her before over the phone about her emails, and she told me that if she was "nice and sweet", things would not get done. What kind of logic was that? So she thought being rude and nasty, people would give her what she wants? I don't think so!

Photo Credit: Ann Hamilton

But I am not a quitter so I tough it out. It was very challenging in the next few months. The client could not visualize any of her floral and linen decor and wanted the florist and the linen company to put together mock-ups for her at no charge, which we couldn't do because the flowers and linens have to be flown in from outside of Hawai`i. And when she hired her own photographer from the mainland, I kindly reminded her that her photographer would need to get a photographer's permit in order to take beach photos here in Hawai`i. She emailed back and said (verbatim): "how convenient of you to tell me about this permit now!" Well, the permit just went into effect the day before I emailed her, I couldn't have told her any sooner! Not only did I not get a "thank you" for the reminder, I actually got a slap in the face.

Then she accused me of overcharging her on everything and that I "deceived" her with my pricing... so then she wanted to contact the vendors directly and handle her own planning. Why she hired a planner to help her in the first place, I have no idea... but I have had so many happy clients and successful weddings (as you can see from my website and this blog) that I am not sure why it is only this one particular client that feels differently about my planning process and pricing schedule!? I thought it was pretty straightforward and everything was spelled out in my contract. It's got to be something in her head. She must have some kind of acute paranoia and just doesn't trust anyone.

Finally, she canceled my contract and my services 6 weeks prior to her wedding day. Who in the right frame of mind would do that when I basically had everything all planned out for her already? All of the other wedding vendors told me that if I wasn't going to be her planner anymore, they would not want to work with her directly because of how rude she was.

So now she's threatening me that if I don't give her back the venue deposit, she is going to sue me. First of all, SHE was the one who canceled my contract and according to my contract which she signed, the client owes me the full planning fee if they cancel 90 days out. She also owes the venue the remaining site fee for canceling her wedding 45 days out, but she is demanding for a refund after I spent 8 months working on her wedding, and after the venue held her date for this long? She can't be serious! This might actually make a great episode for "Bridezillas" on the WE channel!

What I am trying to say with this blog post is that... with planning a wedding, especially a destination wedding, if you don't trust your vendors, there is nothing we could do to help you plan the wedding of your dreams. We do what we do best and we are here to help you create wonderful memories, not work against you. We are always looking out for the best interest of our clients and trying to work within your budget. A happy client is our number one priority, so please help us help you!


DK Designs said...

OMG Evonne... I'm so sorry. Something very similar happened to my coordinator friend. I think ultimately, there are people out there who are NEVER happy with anything and they just blame those around them. It's truly sad because they are the ones who are putting a damper on what's supposed to be the best day of the rest of their lives!

I hope for your sake you win in the end because you have a strong case. Bottom line of this blog post as you mentioned, trust your vendors and the coordinator's ability to plan the perfect wedding within your budget.

Don't let this one client get you down because you do AWESOME work and your clients and vendor colleagues all know it!

Melissa said...

If she does sue, and you want reference letters, count me in! You've been nothing but kind, considerate and professional. I'd 100% my wedding to you! It's very sad when a bride spoils her own wedding with a bad attitude. Fortunately, it's not very often. Keep up the great work!