Post # 1
We decided time ago that we wanted custom invitations. We hired a lady in December, supposedly a “famous” one (ie featured in several bridal magazines, that is).
The first online proof was very good. We gave her feedback on stuff we wanted to change. She phoned us and then said she would give us a second online proof in “a week”. It took 5 weeks, and it looked like she hadn’t paid much attention. I was mad but decided to play cool… so I take my time and I give her feedback. She obviously doesn’t like the feedback. I took my time and I reply.
At this point, I found out (from her blog) that she made the same exact painted design (except for the paisley border) to another bride to be who is going to get married in August 2010.
Where is the problem? Well, my wedding is on Jan 2011 and I wanted an *exclusive* design. I knew only too well that “my” design would have become part of her portfolio but – hopefully – AFTER I had used it.
So I tell her and she get all p*ssy. At this point I take a brake, let her know I need to think about it and I will write more when I took a decision.
After some time I write to her and she doesn’t even reply.
Aside from being incredibly p*ssed with such “professional” (and a well known one!!!) behavior, I don’t know what to do next, given that I’ve already paid her some money.
What suggestion do you have for me?
Post # 3
Did you have a contract? or What was the money towards?
Post # 4
If you didn’t pay for an “exclusive” design, she is within her rights to use it for other brides.
If you are unhappy with her, you should ask for your money back and go with someone else. If you can deal with her using the design for other brides, then I would still go with her.
Personally, unless you have paid for the “exclusive” design or have it in a contract that she wouldn’t use the design prior to your wedding, I think you are overreacting.
Post # 5
@noritake22: I understand that I didn’t pay for an exclusive. What I mean is something *slightly* different… I mean, when people pay for a custom design, what are they paying for? That is, the design fee is for what exactly? I think people pay to have that new design FIRST.
In my profession (I’m a designer as well, just not a graphic one) when a client pays for a custom design, it’s CUSTOMIZED to that person’s needs, and that person is the first one to get it. I don’t push my custom portfolio on my new clients… I might use pieces and bits of it for clients with similar needs… I certainly don’t carbon copy something I’ve already done for another client because 1) it was paid for by the previous client and 2) I don’t cheat calling an old design new.
I wasn’t b*tching about contractual obligations, I was b*tching about ethical ones. Whether it’s a part of a contract or not, it’s MASSIVELY unethical to carbon copy a design *I* paid for and give it to another person, doubledipping (ie having that other person paying for an “exclusive” design as well).
My only uncertainty is this… do I have to try not to lose the money I’ve already paid or do I risk feeding an unethical person and her despicable behaviors? I don’t know whether to do the right thing (sending her to get a hike and loose money) or try not to lose my money.
Post # 6
@ MrsDonnelly: I do have a contract and the money was a designer fee.
Post # 7
I think you should still work with her since you’ve paid some money. But since it’s not an original design anymore, tell her you won’t pay the “exclusive” design price. Since the other bride gets your invite, you shouldn’t have to pay extra for the design.
Also, can you meet in person? I think that you’d get a lot more commitment from her if you talked in person.
Post # 8
Honestly I dont think this is that big of a deal. It’s not like you know the other bride personally and some of your friends/family would get the same inivtation from 2 people. I think you just need to let this go. Honestly having your own *exclusive* design for invitations sounds like something a Hollywood starlette would want and do you really think that 10 years down the line that is really going to matter? If you still LOVE the design she created for you then just go with the flow and use it anyways!
Post # 9
I don’t want to jump in and take a side without knowing more, but the “design fee” might just cover the time it takes for her to lay in and fit your personal text with your names & wedding details into the design. Especially if there is no contract language that gives you exclusive rights to the design itself.
Post # 10
I totally understand your chagrin. First I would say that the designer is being lazy and unethical. Secondly, I would say that there is not much you can do but protest in the ways that we women protest. That type of protest is very powerful… if done correctly. I would say, as an older woman- let this be an object lesson to you- we will custom design our own invitations for my daughter’s wedding now that I have done shower invitations from scratch. I have a lovely printer- and a creative imagination. There are gifted college students who can handpaint on craft paper. Why pay a charlatan? It makes me angry for you, but you sound as though you have a larger budget. Still, people should not take advantage. Best wishes-
Post # 11
@clarebee, you asked “Honestly having your own *exclusive* design for invitations sounds like something a Hollywood starlette would want and do you really think that 10 years down the line that is really going to matter?”
I see nothing necessarily bad in Hollywood starlettes or in doing something that 10 years down the line isn’t going to matter. When I put my make-up on every day, and I get dressed to a T, it won’t matter in 10 yrs but it’s not a good excuse to run around naked, or sloppy in my book.
When I started planning I decided that I didn’t want an El Cheapo ceremony and reception or else I would just elope (and save money and chagrins). I do (and have always done) the same thing even when it comes to birthday parties, Christmas dinner, Thanksgiving meals… it’s either done in every little detail or I don’t have a party.
I simply want the best value out of my money. Just because I chose to afford 1,000 USD for my invitations it does NOT mean I’m willing to set for any invitation. And, just to clarify, just because I am going to spend 1,000 in invitations it doesn’t mean I’m going to spend as much (or more) in flowers. Just because I’m a beautiful woman with some money to spend it doesn’t mean I’m a bimbo and one can sell me junk and charge as if it were gold.
I want a unique wedding, yes. So what? And I’m willing to pay premium prices for any vendor who deserves them, so what? But I won’t pay premium prices for a design that somebody else is going to get ahead of me, and I also decide not to feed sleazy vendors who can’t behave in an ethical way regardless of fine prints.
Post # 12
Gionnetto- I sounds like you’ve made your decision already. You don’t want to work with someone who is unethical and sleazy and clearly this is the behavior she is portraying. Either try to get your money back or since it seems you can afford it just take the loss and find someone else who can provide you with what it is you are seeking. Perhaps get it into a contract with the next vendor what you expect so you don’t have any surprises. Depending on the number of invitations, spending $1,000 isn’t that much so perhaps she isn’t high end enough for you and you should seek a more “exclusive” designer. Good luck on that one!
Post # 13
I TOTALLY understand your wish to have what you paid for. Having someone accuse you of acting like a “Hollywood Starlet” is essentially accusing you of being a brat and that’s not fair. You want unique and one of a kind invitations, so you should have them! I am of the same thought and I am a designer as well so I designed my own. It’s a lot more work lol, but fun and worth it in my opinion. If you’re a designer maybe take on the task yourself? I fully enjoyed it! This “famous” designer you hired clearly has had her ego inflated a bit, so put her behind you and do what feels best for you. I hope you get it worked out 🙂
Post # 14
Wait – if you have had all of your correspondence over the phone or online – how does she know that you are a beautiful woman?