Post # 1
You helped me out when it became clear I needed to fire my wedding planner, so I’m turning to you again for advice. After firing my wedding planner, I asked a dear friend, who happens to do interior design- to help out with my wedding- although it was against the advice of my Darling Husband. I made it clear that I was willing to pay her, but she said not to worry about it. I asked for her help with a few tasks and asked how much it was and she always charged for the cost of the item. I repeatedly asked what I could pay her and her response was always- don’t worry about it or we will figure something out.
When she wouldn’t commit to a cost and gave me a total of what I owed days before the wedding, I decided to give her a nice gift at the wedding, spending way more than anyone else. Yesterday she returned the stuff from the wedding and included in one of the totes was a bill for several hundred dollars for the time she spent making items for the wedding as well as her time spent at the wedding and clean up (although I had a group of people who helped tear down and specifically stated we just needed to remove the 4 totes of stuff I brought it- according to family she tore down everything, including folding tablecloths and napkins).
Now, I was willing from the start to pay her, so I guess my frustration is in the fact she repeatedly said don’t worry about it every time I brought it up. Would you say something to her about the bill or would you pay it and smile?
Post # 3
It’s really awkward the way she did this.. but since you were willing to pay her from the start I would just go ahead and pay it. As long as you think it’s a fair price for the work that she did. If you think she’s over charging you.. then you need to go have a discussion with her since she refused to give you a price point pefore the work was done.
Post # 4
Oh lordy–that’s a fun little knot.
Um, well, how much does her friendship matter to you? Because yes, what she did is not kosher, but you kind of helped her do it by not insisting on an agreement (which you should have done or at least nailed down a price as soon as she said “oh we’ll figure it out”). I think the gift also sort of complicated things as well. To me, I guess the bottom line is unless there was a contract, you don’t owe her anything. So then I pose my original question: how much do you want to keep her as a friend? You can call her up and have a big talk, but I think that before you do that, you should figure out exactly where you stand–are you going to pay her, negotiate payment (not recommended) or not pay at all? If you don’t want to pay her, that’s fine, but you’ll risk losing her as a friend–although frankly, she sounds like a difficult personality to have around!
Post # 5
Oh gosh, that’s tough. How awkward! Do yourself a favor and forget about the gift you gave her, for now at least. Then definitely talk to her and ask about the bill. Say you just want to understand the charges, because it’s a little bit of a surprise based on your prior conversations when she told you ‘not to worry about it’. Say you don’t mind paying her, but tried to figure this out before the wedding with her and were under the impression you were only being charged for the cost of items, not labor.
Get a better understanding of the charges and as long as you think they are fair, then just pay her. You are in a position now where you are negotiating her services after the fact, which is still possible but much more awkward.
Post # 6
It sounds like something happened to change her mind. Maybe she ended up doing a lot more than she thought or you thought, and decided to charge for her time after? I would probably talk to her about it, but just pay it… I mean you were going to anyways, and if she did a good job, then she deserves it. I know you bought her a gift, but maybe she doesn’t think that was enough?
Post # 7
I would understand if she wasn’t sure what to charge you, if at all, until after all the work was done, but it would have made more sense for her just to say that. If she gave you a ballpark figure of her rates and said she’d bill you after the wedding you would have been prepared and maybe not spent so much on her gift. Maybe she felt awkward but she handled incorrectly. If you feel like the bill reflects an appropriate amount I would just pay it and remember to set up an agreement if you ever use her services again.
Post # 8
I am confused…did she just bill you for her time, or did she actually buy items for your wedding and was looking to be reimbursed?
Also, while pretty loose, I think, don’t worry, we’ll figure it out, was not supposed to mean don’t pay me, but rather, I don’t know exactly what the amount is so we’ll figure it out later. I agree that when dealing with friends, it’s best to get the details ironed out right away. I don’t know what all she did or what it would have cost you to hire a professional to do them, but several hundred dollars doesn’t seem unreasonably high. I would pay her and, if it ever comes up again, ask if you can decide how you are being charged before the event.
Post # 9
I guess pay it and let it be! How rude though!
Post # 10
@Tatum- She made me a bracelet & earrings, a veil, a wreath, and a couple of other things. So there I was paying her for the items she made- which she told me included items purchased to make said item and her time. When she gave me the bill prior to the wedding, it was my understanding I had paid for everything she had purchased/made for me to that point. When I found the bill, she listed additional money for labor that was evidently not included in her previous total along with charges for her services the day of.
Like I said before, I was willing to pay her all along. Where I went wrong was when she repeatedly said “not to worry about it” when I asked about cost of services, I literally took it as she was doing this for me as a friend, not as a job. My bad, I admit, for that and not insisting on a contract, but I also think I gave her plenty of opportunities to name her price and we go from there. I wrote a check last night but do want to ask about her billed time since she told me she did things I specifically had written down she was not responsible for (parts of set up and tear down) and she took pictures of the event to use in her portfolio- while she did set up the room, she was not involved in the selection of anything in the room (nothing she made was at the reception). Hope someone else can learn from my experience.
Post # 11
That is weird that you had it in writing that she was not expected to do it and she did it anyways and billed you for it…has she run into some money problems recently and was looking to make some money off of this? I agree, how she went about it was not right. Hmm, maybe I can wash my neighbor’s car this afternoon without his permission then stick a bill in his mailbox…
Post # 12
Wow that is really uncool. The whole way it was handled is incredibly tacky. You can’t say “nah don’t pay me” and then just sneakily slip a bill in there. OR rather, a SECOND bill. Way lame.
Not very friendly. I never understood “charging” your true friends…but that’s me. If anything, she should have called you to DISCUSS the prices, not just slap you with a sticker price. I’d call it a wash and pay her, but the way it was handled would leave a bad taste in my mouth–very poor customer service. Also kinda get the impression she just wanted to suck some money from you. not cool
Post # 13
I would definitely have to get a clear understanding of exactly what she was billing you for. If she included the cost of labor and materials in the amounts that you have previously paid then what exactly is she charging you for now? I don’t get it. Like a previous poster said…you can’t really decided to do extra of your own free will and then turn around and charge somebody for it…not cool.
Post # 14
I would tell her you’ll pay her but you’re not comfortable with her putting pics of the wedding in her portfolio unless it’s a picture of the specific item she made. Tit for tat, she can bill you (RUDE MUCH?) and you can deny her recommendations.
Post # 15
I would pay, and never ask for her help again.
Post # 16
If the costs are unreasonable, you have a right (and should) go over the invoice with her like you would any other vendor and validate the costs. You can let her know, ‘i have looked over the invoice you gave me and have some questions about some of the costs on here’…
If you are uncomfortable doing that, then you should just pay her and let it go.