Post # 1
I went to my first invitation store this past weekend and it was such a horrible experience. After going through all of the details, looking through samples, discussing pricing etc. (lasted at least 45 min) the lady tells me that they require 50% of the total for the retainer fee BEFORE I can even see a digital proof. I am new to this, but I would at least expect to see a digital proof before signing a full on contract with these people. When she emailed me the contract write up, I simply wrote her an email back saying I wasn’t comfortable paying 50% without seeing any kind of proof. She then went behind my back and contacted my wedding coordinator from my reception venue (She had worked with her on other weddings) and told her to email me and convince me to use their company. When I spoke with my coordinator, she was unaware that I had told the company I would prefer working with someone else and felt horrible that she was dragged in the middle. Now my coordinator acts all weird around me. Am I being unreasonable? I just would hate to put 50% down and then see the proof and absolutely hate it. Sure, I could change it but the invitation I picked was really the only one I liked from their selection. The last thing I want to do is be viewed as a bridezilla, but 50% just seems high to me without seeing a proof.
Post # 3
@MrsDeLovely: Part of the proofing process isi they show you a proof, and then you can make changes. You get to see examples of their work, and tel them what aspects to include and what not to include. You’re asking them to spend hours to prepare a proof for you, any custom order usually requires 50% down (whether it’s invitations or a dress). If you “hate” the proof, I’m sure they have outlined how many proofs and changes are allowed before charging more. If you are not able to handle the uncertainty, then I would advise you not to go completely custom and to use minted.com or other such sites that have really high quality designs.
Post # 4
@love108: Okay, I get that there is time put into creating a proof. However, I do not think charging $300 for that time is reasonable at all. The caterer had to spend lots of time prepping for tastings (which by the way we had two with the same caterer) before we even signed a contract. As for hating the proof, I am aware they can do a proof change…I am saying if I don’t like the invitation at all I am then stuck with their company. I would have appreciated them telling me this before I wasted my time/my bridesmaids time sitting there. I really find it hard to believe that most places charge 50% for a proof. Not a physical proof, but an online proof.
Post # 5
@MrsDeLovely: Most caterers don’t give free tastings, so you lucked out there.
Putting 50% down on things that require upfront work, like proofs, is really standard. If you don’t like it, you should research other options. There are a million invite vendors out there.
Post # 6
@MrsDeLovely: I think part of the reason for the high deposit might also be to discourage people from letting the shop do the work then have the customer come check out the results only to cancel and go replicate all that work in DIY software. It sucks that you only liked one design, because if you’re not happy with the proof, it limits your options for changing it…
Post # 7
Generally any custom work for anything is a 50% down payment. When I ran my small business I required it on any custom orders. That’s just how it is — they don’t want to be out money for someone who could just go, “Eh.”
I got my invitations through weddingpaperdivas and I got a proof after I sent in my full payment. They have to pay someone to make the proofs, and that money has to come from someone.
@Daisy_Mae: “I think part of the reason for the high deposit might also be to discourage people from letting the shop do the work then have the customer come check out the results only to cancel and go replicate all that work in DIY software.”
Winner winner chicken dinner!
Post # 8
I didn’t have to do a proof, but I also had a family friend who owned a printing press and did them for me. The PPs make a good point about discouraging people from seeing their designs and then not purchasing them.
Post # 9
@crayfish: May be an area thing….we looked at 5 catering companies and all offered free tastings. Same with all of the bakeries! The money isn’t the issue I can “handle” paying 50%. I just feel like my time was wasted and I would think it’s standard practice to mention the retainer fee upfront when we were discussing pricing. We ordered our Save the Dates from wedding paper divas and I was able to see my design before I paid the full fee. I loved it so we ordered it. I really don’t know how this is considered standard. I get how it would be different for a custom dress, but digital proof? For $300? Sorry, that just seems absurd. I will take my business elsewhere!