Post # 1
I’ve been a lurker for a while, but am finally ready to post. I wish I had a more positive contribution, but this is really the major issue for my fiance and me right now in our wedding planning process. I was wondering if anyone has worked with http://www.fabulousweddingsbykathy.com/ for a Monterey/Carmel wedding. I hate to name names, but it is a very specific question and I hope I am not violating anything in asking about the specific company. However, our experience has been…questionable at best.
I basically always assumed I would have a wedding planner help out with the details, particularly because it is a destination wedding. I especially didn’t want to be stressed out on the day of the wedding. However, so far, we’ve experienced only frustration and stress. We’ve also already paid the $500 deposit and I feel stuck. Our budget is small, so that is a big chunk of our money. I don’t want to throw good money after bad. I’m just wondering if anyone could tell me about their experience so I can either be encouraged that it will get better in the long run, or just know to bail now and do the rest of the planning myself (which I am basically doing because she’s not been very helpful).
As a more general question, have you ladies had any wedding planner/coordinator horror stories to share? Or perhaps, did you guys have relationships with wedding planners that were bad at the beginning but good later, or vice versa?
Post # 3
I don’t have any experience with them, but if you could elaborate on what your current concerns are it would be helpful. Maybe the concerns you are having are because your wedding is still 8 months away.
Post # 4
Hi Noritake22 (and/or anyone with the patience to read the following):
Sorry for the late response, but I decided to wait until I had actually resolved some of the issues and had better clarity of the situation. The problems we were having had little to do with our time frame as far as I know. Issues included her asking the same questions over and over again (e.g. how many guests we were expecting, the size of our bridal party, the date of our wedding, etc.) even after I’d given that basic information 2-3 times prior in email and over the phone.
The last planning-related conversation we had I thought was good at the time and it started to make me hopeful that things were looking up. She had contacted hotels for us to get information about rates, special deals, etc. However, two hotels were busy at the time and were supposed to contact me after the end of the week. Also, I asked her to followup on one hotel that had a special discount going on. She told us that the Reception was discounted from $1900 to $900 dollars (whoa, what a deal, right?). I asked her to followup on the Ceremony site to see if it was discounted as well and she said she would do so. (She said that she didn’t think we were interested in doing a Ceremony there so when they were about to give her the information, she declined it thinking we didn’t need it.) After almost 2 weeks of no information from her or the hotels, I emailed her to followup. She never responded to that email.
Since I was supposed to decide whether or not to go with that hotel by a deadline, I ended up calling them. It turns out the information she gave me about them was wrong. The Reception site was actually discounted from $1900 to $1200, and the Ceremony was actually discounted from $1100 to $900. (I guess she had in fact given us the information for the Ceremony, we just didn’t know it.) We could overlook this relatively simple mistake had it been the only one, but in aggregate with all of the other issues, we were really uncomfortable continuing the relationship. It was making us more stressed than doing things on our own.
Just to give you an idea of what communication has been like and why things have been so frustrating to me, here is how our “break up” went. I called at about 9:15PM CST/7:15PM PST and ended up leaving a voicemail. I got an email later that evening from her saying that she missed our call but since it was 10PM PST, it was midnight CST, so she didn’t want to call me that late. It was in fact about 10:15PM CST when I got this email. I don’t even know what to make of it.
I can write about 10 pages worth detailing all the issues we had, but I will keep this (relatively) short. I want to point out that I don’t in any way mean to bash her or her company, but merely explain my experience. I wouldn’t even call this a review. She was actually generous enough to refund us half of our deposit which I know she was not legally obligated to do.
I don’t know what wedding planners are supposed to be like and perhaps I was unreasonable in my expectations. It’s possible like you suggest that it was just because we were so far off from our wedding date that the attention to detail was not there. Perhaps it would have been more productive if we waited until it was much closer to our wedding date. There was just serious miscommunication to say the least, and it was the best decision for us to end things sooner than later.
(Sorry for the novel!)
Post # 5
@chubbins: As an event planner, I can assure you, THIS is not a normal occurance. I take a lot of pride in taking detailed notes and NOT having to ask the same simple questions over and over. So sorry to hear of your problems – hopefully you find the right planner soon.