- 6 years ago
- Wedding: May 2012
***Apologies in advance for the length***
My wedding is in 155 days in a city that is over 1,300 miles away (closer to his family). I’m not at the point where things are urgent, but I *am* at the point where certain details like invitations really need to get pinned down and underway.
Three of my vendors are totally unresponsive. Or I’m being a *total* zilla control freak.
1. My venue. We originally planned on having our ceremony in a city park and reception at this venue. Due to logistical issues, it looks like we’re going to spend the $700 extra to also have our ceremony at the reception site. We have a significant deposit down at the venue and the remainder of our payment is due in mid-January. We’re doing a Sunday brunch, which is a little different for this venue, but the site coordinator will not discuss menu (catering is provided by the venue) until 1 month prior. This is a bit of concern due to some food allergies to prominent regional delicaces, but I figure it will be fine. I also feel like I don’t really have a choice at this point. More frustrating are the communication issues which are holding up other important planning aspects. Our ceremony in the park was going to begin at 10am, run for 30 minutes, with 30 minutes to get to the venue for our 11am-2pm reception. We *must* be finished by 2pm, as they will need to begin prep for a wedding that evening. If we move the ceremony to the venue, I need to know how long between ceremony and reception we will need for the transition from ceremony seating to tables/chairs for the reception, as they’re held in the same place, and whether the ceremony time may need to be moved earlier (although I hate to go earlier than 10am). In addition, I need to know what responsibilities venue staff will coordinate so I can determine whether I will need a day-of coordinator to set up centerpieces, escort cards, etc. (if the venue will not be doing this, we cannot have the ceremony there, since the $700 ceremony payment would otherwise be going toward my day-of coordinator budget). This is a really important division of responsibility, since we will not have a florist, caterer, etc. to provide that support which I know is usually expected. Finally, the ceremony/reception area is outdoor and tents must be rented through the venue. I requested pricing extimates since, again, we have a tight budget and if the fees are exorbitant, we would need to make alternate arrangements for the ceremony.
I emailed her on December 1 after making a trip down to meet with her in person and tour the venue the day before (we placed our deposit after only reviewing photos on the website; it was even more beautiful in person as it was online. Since our deposit is down and the contract is signed, I prefer having everything in writing. We have *NO* wiggle room in our budget). After no response, I emailed again on December 7 to confirm that she received the email. Both emails were clear, quick, and cordial (“Just checking in to make sure you got my previous email. We’re about to finalize our invitations and need to decide where the ceremony will be before Christmas.”). December 8, she wrote back saying she missed the email after being off for a few days. She said she would price the tent rental and get back to us, and gave a few decorating guidelines, but basically said that the florist would be aware of those. I responded the same day, explaining that we wouldn’t have a florist since I was doing the decorations myself. I also again raised the concern about scheduling and thanked her for looking into the rental for us. No response. On December 13, I sent another email, saying “Just wanted to follow up and see if tent pricing info was available yet, and to get your feedback on that scheduling issue. I hope I’m not being a pain, I’m just trying to get the info I need to the printer for the invitations. If phone is better for you, feel free to give me a call at my home phone ###-###-####.” I still have no response. Am I being unreasonable? How long is it ok to wait for a vendor response? Is it inappropriate for me to be asking for this information now?
2. Cake vendor. Cake vendor is a busy, popular bakery in fiancee’s hometown. They also do wedding cakes, although they have very little wedding business, especially this time of year. When trying to make our initial appointment, it took 2 in person visits and 4 phone calls before actually getting a hold of the one woman who coordinates wedding cakes. During the same trip where we saw the venue, we met with her and were pleased with the appointment. We still had some details to work out regarding design, and I promised I would email her some images when we returned home. Given the distance, she said working out the details over email would be fine. We did not put down a deposit, and she said as long as we had it in a month or two before the wedding, it would also be fine. I understand based on this there is no rush, however given the delay in previous communications, the fact that I am so far away, and the number of DIY details involved in this wedding, I would really like to have these little tasks resolved as early as possible since there are a zillion others I’m trying to manage.
3 days after the appointment, I sent her the icing decorations we wanted for each tier and requested confirmation that they could replicate them. I also asked for a quote on a specific style of gumpaste flowers and whether any fillings would be available for the cake with associated pricing (this was not covered at all in our appointment, and all of the tasting cakes were unfilled). Finally, I asked for an additional quote for a cake for our rehearsal dinner based on a design we discussed during the appointment. She also needed photos of our topper and images for groom’s cake reference, which were also provided. 5 days later, I still hadn’t had any response, so I sent a “just checking” email similar to the one I sent to our venue. 5 days after that, she responded, basically saying “I got the email, thanks!” None of our questions were addressed at all, and I haven’t heard from her since. I’m planning on sending a follow up email to reiterate the questions, but I’m not optimistic about any meaningful response? I just don’t get what is so COMPLICATED about answering a few basic questions. On top of that, this vendor does a *ton* of business with king cakes during Mardi Gras, so I know if we don’t have this sorted out soon, I’m going to pretty much lose any contact for a few weeks at best, and probably closer to a few months.
3. After-party dress vendor. Because we’re doing a brunch ceremony and reception, we wanted to have an after-party at our favorite restaurant for ourselves and Out of Town guests. I did *not* want to wear my glorious dream dress to a place that is essentially a dive bar, so I purchased a shorter “throw away” dress to wear to the after party (After Six 6553 in ivory, if anyone’s interested). The vendor that I purchased it from is a major online discount dress retailer, although I went to one of their stores in a city that rhymes with Sh-baa-co while visiting a family member. The customer service sucked, but I was happy with the dress, as was my fiancee.
I guess the “moral of the story” is I just DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT IS SO HARD ABOUT RETURNING AN EMAIL?!?!?!?!?! Even just a quick “Got it, I’ll get back to you!” (let alone a timely follow up) would be a huge improvement compared to the complete absence of any meaningful communication. Am I just being a huge control freak or is this as ridiculous as it seems?