Post # 1
It’s 11:45pm and I can’t sleep. I feel sick to my stomach and I think I might just spontaneously combust if I don’t get this out. My fiancé and I hired a wedding coordinator months and months ago. We had also hired a decorator through her suggestion, but when we realized that our caterer could supply all our linens, chair, etc. we thought maybe all we really needed was a florist. Our coordinator jumped right in and offered her services. She would supply all the extra things we needed such as candles, arches, cocktail tables, etc. and a florist "on her team" would make our center pieces and flower arrangements. A week or so later I received an invoice via e-mail from her. I had not even seen a single flower arrangement yet, and here they were on an invoice for 200 bucks a pop! My fiancé and I had a phone conversation with her where she explained that her florist would not have the date available for long and that we needed to set the date now, but that she would add a clause to the invoice stating that any changes could be made when we met to pick the flowers (helpful note: our wedding is a destination wedding so a lot of our decisions have been made somewhat blindly). We stupidly trusted her when she said "trust me…I’m on your side blah blah blah". A month or so later, we met to see the first trial centerpieces. I actually posted about them before. They were the perfect shape and size, but the colors were off and it seemed as if somebody didn’t get the memo that stated what flowers I wanted. They were roses and carnations….not horrible, but not what I was looking for. I explained to her what I WAS looking for. We even went down to a flower shop so I could show her the right colors etc. THEN when I got home, I emailed her a bunch of pictures just to make sure she really knew. I even offered to send her photographs of what I wanted just in case her computer made the colors look different. I also had my fiancé (yes im a chicken) call her and discuss the fact that she was doing the flowers herself and that we didn’t think we should pay professional prices for armature work. We felt like making the flowers would add too much to her already full plate. We were worried about the coordination or the flowers suffering. She repeatedly assured us that she did not make the arrangement and that the florist on her team did. Fast forward another month. We met our coordinator at the rental shop that our caterer uses, so that we could finalize the linens and see the finished product….flowers and all. Our coordinator showed up an hour late…carrying the saddest excuse for a centerpiece that I had ever seen. Not only were the colors wrong, AGAIN, but the roses and a few stray ranunculus were dying and falling out of the floral foam. My finance even saw a bug crawl out of it! I immediately said that I was not happy. She tried to say that a weeks notice was not enough time to order fresh flowers (we changed our appointment back a week) and that this one was just so I could see the colors. We took ANOTHER trip down to her floral shop and we tried ONCE AGAIN to communicate on what colors I was looking for. At this point, I had a dress fitting to get to and didn’t feel like causing a scene, so I let my fiancé deal with her promises that the wedding flowers would not turn out like these ones. When I returned home…after having lots of time to stew over the situation, I sent an email to the coordinator letting her know that I was very unhappy and that I also had a feeling that she wasn’t being completely honest with us. I told her that I needed to meet her florist so that I could discuss my ideas with a professional. She responded very defensively AND unprofessionally. A few angry emails went back and forth….I cried….didn’t sleep….and then I received a call from a decorator. She said that she shared an office with our coordinator and that they usually work together. The only problem was that she sounded very confused and after a couple phone calls and emails, I realized that she had no idea who I was. Tonight I actually "accidentally" found out that she had never made any trial arrangements for us **I strongly suspect that our coordinator works with this woman, but was trying to go this one solo…and just used her name to cover it up** Now I’m at a loss of what to do. We are about 6 weeks away from the big day. We have already paid our coordinator, so firing her would be flushing money down the toilet. I don’t know what’s worse, wasting money or putting this important day in someone’s incompetent hands. I was willing to just let a lot go because I had no choice (our venue requires an outside coordinator), but now that I have a full view of what’s going on and know that she was blatantly lying to us, its hard for me to take it….or sleep. This woman is supposed to be making things easier. Not harder! What would you do if you were in my sad little shoes?
Post # 3
Hi! I don’t have much advice but I just wanted to say I feel for you! I’m so sorry this is happenning at such a late stage. How much of a deposit have you given her? If its just flowers and a coordinator you need, I would cut my losses with this person and find other vendors or alternatives like non-floral centerpieces. It will be too late if you show up there on the day and the have the flowers be bad you know?
Is it in your budget to hire someone else and work later to try to get your deposit back from this coordinator? Do you have a family member or friend you can trust and would step in to coordinate your wedding? Then all you would need to find is a florist. I know its not ideal but if it were me I would prefer to not have the coordinator there that day if I completely didnt trust her even if i had already paid her.
Just try to remember that everyone coming to your wedding is there because they love you and your soon to be husband. Their aim will not be to criticize the lack of or the asthetics of the centerpieces so you will get this sorted out and have a fanatastic day no matter what. You still have six weeks, good luck and post again if you need help finding stuff
Post # 4
First off – I’m so sorry this is happening to you! It sounds like you hve done everything to be nice about it and work with her.
Here’s my suggestions, and remember I’m the one who usually doens’t give people a 3rd chance, especillay with wedding stuff – I’d be going for the throught right now! What she is doing is not only illegal but immororal and simply putting her off like it’s no big deal, is not an option. You have to stop her in her tracks.
I would first call another florist in the area and explain the situation, see if they can, in your time frame make you what you want. When you have someone who can – call your "coordinator" and tell her she will be getting your flowers, from XX place for XX of HER dollars no expections.
Your contract became null and void when she misrepresented herself and failed to produse a floriist and only a novice with a pack of carnations.
I would also be calling the police. And I’m not kidding on this. Who else will she do this too? She’s misrepresenting herself, lying about the talents she’s trained for and using anothers name with out their permission and trying to pass of work as theirs. Fraud is the best way to put that. The BBB is the first place I would start. Get your money back – or at least as much of it as possible.
Maybe work with this other person at the office she works at if you think you can trust her not to pass on info. I’d go straight for her job.
Fraud is illegal, and I’d start discussing with them at the office how they plan to fix this so that a bad BBB note isn’t left….
They are being horrible! I can’t believe that she thought she could get away with this!!!
Post # 5
I would say tell her you are firing her, because she is totalling lying to you. Then tell her you want a refund, and when she says no, tell her your lawyer will be in contact. Hopefully, she will get scared and get her sh*t together. Because it is so close to your wedding, you’d probably be better off sticking with her for the planning part. However, you absolutely have enough time to find a new florist. they need 2 weeks to order flowers. since you already know exactly what you want, it should be very easy! my friend had a florist issue, smae time frame as you – their florist went bankrupt, and disappeared with their money. basically, they lose, but they got another one at a great deal and got exactly what they wanted. supermarket florists are probably less money too – but really, I woudl not stick with this girl for your flowers. she clearly has no idea what she is doing…..and I remember this post from before – she really is completely overcharging you!!!!
Post # 6
This may be a silly idea. I don’t know where you’re from, but here in Oklahoma, our local news stations do stories about stuff like this as human interest things. A threat to do something like that might get you somewhere. No one wants to be on the news for how horrible their business is.
Post # 7
Does she belong to any associatons like ABC or ACPWC? If so, you have a recourse. With ABC, if you’re not happy with your coordinator’s work, you can contact the state coordinator and discuss the problem. You might be able to get a different coordinator and discuss the honesty and charging issues. What ever you do, please don’t put up with this treatment. You paid for a professional service and if you’re not receiving it, then something must be done. I feel strongly about this because this coordinator is giving others a bad name and solid business ethics is so crucial to being a part of someone’s wedding day. She should not be adding stress to your wedding planning, she should be taking it away.
Post # 8
I think it’s already been mentioned, but talk to a lawyer–what she did is fraud, and you might not have to count the money you’ve already spent as a complete loss. Hopefully the threat of legal action will get her to refund the money you’ve already spent. I also second reporting her to the better business bureau.
I’m so sorry you had to deal with this–good luck!
Post # 9
I agree with all the advice from the Hive.
1) Re-read your contract and if you have a lawyer friend (or a Bee that is a lawyer and might possibly want to look it over???) Have them check it out to see what sort of recourse you have.
2) Contact your other vendors, (photo, video, cake) and ask them if they have had issues with your current planner. If they are really good friends with your planner, then don’t contact them about it —- it will get back to her.
3) As said before, check and see if she is a member of ABC or a local planners network. She most likely is. Call them IMMEDIATELY and file a complaint. If you have a tv network that does investigative stuff, then make the call.
Question: In your payment to the Coordinator, was some of what you were paying for the Decorator’s fee as well?
4) Start researching other florists or ‘Event Designers’, you can find someone girl — Spring business on the West Coast is slow this year, people are available. Not sure what sort of budget you have for floral, but just be really upfront with your budget and tell them your situation.
5) Fire her ass. It sounds like she is trying to pull one over on you and biting off more than she can chew and is highly deceptive. Has she been in business long? This is all unacceptable. Once you’ve had a legal person check your agreement and you are at peace with the finacial outcome —- get rid of her.
Tell her that because of her dishonesty she has breeched the contract, that you expect a full refund (ask for full and then work your way down — she will probably be covered to keep the retainer if her contract is solid). Tell her you have already contacted her local Associations and the BBB and that you’d like to resolve this swiftly and amicably, otherwise she will hear from your lawyer.
p.s. it helps if you have a lawyer friend if they can write a letter saying they’ve been retained by you. that’s always a nice ‘oh shit’ moment.
Post # 10
Thank you all so much! I looked at her website and found that she is a member of the Association of Bridal Consultants. I am going to talk to the florist later today and try to get what info I can out of her….and then I will give them a call. Im not sure where to go from there….
Post # 11
Hang in there, Jennilee and keep us posted!
Post # 12
I would totally hire a new florist, right now. Unlike photographers, florists often do several events on the same day – as long as they can accomodate all the delivery and set-up. So it is not as big a deal to get a florist sort of "last minute" as it would be with other vendors.
I would also let your coordinator know that the game is up – that you strongly suspect from talking to the decorator that she lied to you about the centerpieces. Let her know that you have chosen another florist, and also that you are contacting the ABC to file a complaint. I would make sure to do all this in person (you and your FI, maybe even bring another friend or family member as a witness). If possible figure out how difficult it would be to get another coordinator altogether. I hope you saved all the emails on this subject, as they will come in handy if you have to take her to small claims court to get your money back.
Post # 13
Pretty Katie that is a GREAT idea! Our news teams in my area do that too!!!! Awesome thought!!!
Post # 14
**UPDATE**My fiance talked to the florist and explained the situation to her. Just like I thought, she had no idea what he was talking about! She was talking about signing contracts not even realized that our coordinator had already had us sign a contract for "her work". BUSTED! At this point, if we can get our coordinator to fork over the money to the REAL florist, then I will be able to breath a little easier until the big day. Now I dont know what to do about confronting her. Maybe this is the time to call the Association of Bridal Consultants and see what they think….hmmmmm….
Post # 15
Wow. I think the mistake here is having a single contract, such that everybody works for the coordinator and not for you, and she handles all the money. Is that normal? It seems like a very risky situation. I would think that someone could plan, find vendors, and coordinate services without having their fingers in your entire budget.
Post # 16
Good sleuthing Jennilee. Hopefully the florist thing will work out. Keep us updated. We’re rooting for you.