This post came up shortly after my wedding and it was shockingly similar to the experience I had with Lulu. A friend of mine actually called me to ask if I posted it. It took me a long time to write this because I have never written a bad review and I really didn’t want to. But after talking with some friends who are currently planning weddings, I realized how important it is to be honest about wedding vendors. It’s important to find vendors who work with you; ones you trust and feel confident with. I went to college in New Orleans so I have a pretty good knowledge of the city, but I don’t currently live there so I needed someone down there who would be able to help out and had a good knowledge of the wedding industry there. I have a very busy job, so I wanted to hire someone who would help me with other vendors, timelines and budget. I wanted a planner that I could run ideas by, vet companies through and someone who would remind me when I needed to get something done. I hired Lulu because she had great reviews online. Our initial phone conversation was great. Shortly after that, I started having doubts. But I convinced myself that it was ok because her reviews were so good and I thought things were going to turn around.
It’s sort of hard to explain, but I got the feeling that she did not care about my wedding. I would tell her things and she would completely forget. I sent her an email stating that we had booked our rehearsal dinner venue and a week later she asked if we had done that yet. I told her I was bringing a hairstylist from home and even called her after my hair trial and she asked if I needed a stylist. I also discussed what was important to us and she would suggest other things. We really wanted a seated dinner and it was not something we were going to give up. More than once, she suggested doing it reception style. Having our young nieces and nephews participate in the second line was also important, and she kept pushing to do it at the end of the night, saying it would never work (it worked perfectly and our nieces and nephews had the best time). I did not feel like she was working with me at all.
Communication is so important when dealing with any wedding vendor, but I think it’s especially important when planning a destination wedding. Part of my package included unlimited communication. Unfortunately, I often had trouble getting in touch with Lulu. First, her phone was never on. And the few times we scheduled calls, she would call well after the scheduled time. Second, she was not always responsive to emails. I had to follow up a few times on emails, so eventually I asked her to confirm receipt of my emails. Her response was curt; she said she always replies within 24 hours. Perhaps this is her normal practice, but it wasn’t something I experienced.
I also had some issues with the room blocks. We had a large wedding over a holiday weekend and everyone was from out of town, but for some reason she only booked rooms for Friday and Saturday night. I didn’t notice at first, and when I did, I called and extended them. It wasn’t a big deal, but it didn’t make any sense. I wanted to make sure that my guests were getting the best rate for their entire stay. When I asked her and the hotels to see the contracts, they were never sent. We also had a lot of late bookers, so I wanted to secure another reasonably priced hotel a couple months before. Lulu said that no hotel would agree to a block that late. I called a couple and they offered me 20 rooms, at a lower rate than what was published, immediately. I am not sure how planners typically handle blocks, but I didn’t feel like my interests were being covered.
Another part of the contract was the development of a detailed floor plan and timeline. We had a seated dinner with escort cards and some of the tables needed to be broken down after dinner, so the floor plan was very important. Our venue had designed an initial floor plan based on early numbers. I sent that to Lulu along with the official numbers (30 less people), the exact size and number of tables and asked her to come up with the detailed plan she was contracted to provide. She sent back the same exact one the venue provided and just wrote over three tables “Head Table”, 2 and 3. It had extra tables and was completely useless. I had to follow up again twice before she actually provided something somewhat workable, although I would not call it “detailed” – per her contract. Timing at this point was extremely crucial because I needed to get my escort cards printed. A couple months before the wedding, I asked her for the “detailed timeline” that was in the agreement. She told me it was too early and she couldn’t develop anything until I filled out her questionnaire. I completed that a month before the wedding but did not see a timeline until the week before. The timeline was also supposed to be distributed to all the vendors before the wedding and a few mentioned they did not receive it.
The week of the wedding I was starting to get really nervous and stressed out. Our videographers asked if we could meet with them and Lulu so we scheduled a meeting. Unfortunately, my husband and I accidentally forgot our birth certificates and we were scrambling to get them from a relative flying in and get to the office in time to apply for a license. So I texted Lulu saying that I wanted to push the meeting until 4:30, but I was waiting to hear from the videographer. Getting to the airport, picking up the certificates and getting to the office by 3:00 was extremely overwhelming and I forgot to text Lulu back. At 4:00, she texted me asking if we were still on and mentioned that she lives 45 minutes away so she needed a heads up. I said yes we went to meet the videographer and waited. She never called or texted with any updates on her location or timing. Eventually, we just had the meeting without her. About an hour after our meeting had ended, she showed up. I don’t understand why she would not confirm earlier if she lived that far away. I hired a wedding planner to make things easier, but she was just adding stress.
The day of the rehearsal, we couldn’t find a cab and we were running late. It was supposed to start at 5:00. I got a text at 5:10 that said “Everyone here thinks that I have the programs but please remember you’re supposed to bring them.” I had given her to them the night before, mentioning specifically the big box that said “Programs.”
The day of the wedding, I was anxious about everything, that I asked one of my bridesmaids to help out. She works in events, so she knows how to run a wedding. Because she works almost every weekend, I really didn’t want her to “work” at my wedding, but she really stepped up in Lulu’s absence. In the morning, I texted Lulu and didn’t hear back for about three hours. At some point during her silence, I overheard my friend on the phone with the florist talking about how no one could get in touch with Lulu. All I could think about was the possibility of her not showing up. What should have been a fun morning with my friends and family turned into an incredibly stressful time. I was told that when she finally did turn up at the venue, she was totally unprepared.
I also found that she was rude to some of my guests. My aunt stopped by to check out the room (she’s a designer), she asked Lulu for a floor plan and was rudely answered (and was not given a floor plan). My sister had gone to a wedding a few months ago and the checks went missing, so she asked Lulu if someone was keeping an eye on the card box and she, again, gave an incredibly rude response. A vendor also mentioned that they had had an issue with her.
During the wedding, I didn’t see much of her (I will say her assistant was very nice and popped up every once in a while). One of the times I did see her, she approached me to ask if I wanted to sell some of my décor to another one of her brides (I bought some things and the florist provided the rest). I thought it was weird that that was the one thing she asked, I also didn’t want to spend my night talking about her other client’s wedding so I said ok. I wasn’t aware that my mom had already offered them to our florist. I should mention that the florist is a very good friend of mine. She also works events and coordinated the entire table, chairs and linen rentals for me. When they were breaking things down, the florist mentioned the décor was supposed to go with her but Lulu said “No, they’re mine” so she left it alone. The next day, I texted Lulu to tell her that I made a mistake and the décor would need to go to the florist. She said that she had some of it, but that the florist took the rest. I checked with the florist and she said that she never saw it. After a lot of back and forth, half of it was returned, but the other half was never recovered. When I talked to Lulu about it, she said she was certain it was given to my friend. Similarly to what happened to Nicki, she seemed to be trying to pit me against my friend. I am not sure where it went, but breakdown and delivery of reception items to the appropriate person was yet another part of her service agreement that went unmet.
Like Nicki mentioned in her review, this isn’t even everything. Lulu has some really great reviews online, but I was terribly disappointed with her performance. Weddings are already stressful and expensive, and hiring her added more stress and cost more money. I was lucky that all of my other vendors were amazing and I had friends and family to help out when she did not deliver. I would honestly warn against hiring her. Feel free to message me if you have any questions.