- 10 years ago
- Wedding: October 2007
I’m new to this site, but right now I’m trying to get the word out as much as possible about a horrendous ordeal I had with a wedding planner out of the Fort Lauderdale/Miami area, so that hopefully no one else falls victim to their scheme!
I’m from Indiana, but my now husband and I decided that we wanted to get married in Florida (dream beach wedding, who doesn’t want that?!) Since we’re not from the area, we looked online through the BBB and other sites to find a wedding planner to help us, and we found Weddings By the Sea (http://www.weddingsbythesea.net). We noticed they were originally from Indianapolis too, and were the most affordable, so in June we spoke with them and got a contract set up for one of their packages. As you can tell by the front page of their site, as well as the convos we had with Charles and Shirley (the owners), we were told that the location of the wedding was included in our package and was provided by the company.
To make a very long story short, we paid a $200 deposit that we were told secured our "date and location" which was South Pointe Park in Miami Beach on October 20th. We had limited contact with WBTS after the contract was signed, were blown off when we called, messages not returned, etc. The week of the wedding, Shirley called me and told me "everything is perfect, great, and ready for you on Saturday!"
We arrive the day before to check in and meet with our wedding planner, a guy named David. We went to the meeting place (the location of the wedding) and found a construction site with bulldozers, but NO PARK. Our hotel staff and the restaurants next door said the construction had started to build condos there and had been going on throughout the entire summer (at least 4 months!) which was BEFORE our contract even occurred!
The wedding planner had nothing to contribute, and Charles and Shirley were no help in finding an alternate location. They kept saying "just pick somewhere".. the day of, we found a private resort that let us use the planner/minister and get married on their grounds (for $900!) We were furious, but still had the ceremony because we had 16 out of town guests paying to be there with us. We get back to Indiana and Charles is leaving harassing voicemails to us, stating we owe the $1300 contract balance in full because "technically we got married" and "he doesn’t guarantee the location, so not his fault". Not only that, but he (even 2 months later!) is HOLDING our wedding pictures and our marriage license, so we aren’t even legally married and I can’t change my name on anything. We’ve tried reasoning and negotiating, all to no avail. He wants "all or nothing".
Basically, this post is to say STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM WEDDINGS BY THE SEA IN FORT LAUDERDALE! They will find any way they can to lie to you, scam you, and then act like it’s your fault! Charles is a bully and tried to scare us into paying him every penny, when he didn’t even fulfill the contract by giving us the wedding we wanted! If you’re thinking of a destination wedding, don’t use Charles and Weddings By The Sea.. and pass this on to anyone you know who might have interest!
also, if you’d like to email them and leave them hate mail, their email address is on their website. 🙂 I won’t be mad.
Thanks for listening!