I Can't Believe This! Venting...

Decorating By Babarooskie Updated 5 Jun 2008 , 8:10pm by aswartzw

Babarooskie Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 3:07am
post #1 of 20

OK, so this has nothing to do with cakes...

I'm getting married next year. I hired a wedding planner. She charges $1200 for her fee (contacting location, catering, supervising, etc.). If I brought in 3 or more of my own vendors (which I did because they're family members: DJ, Photography, & Video), then she raises the price to $2000. But I explained to her that they're family members and I don't have an "official" contract with them. She says, "OK, then I'll only charge you $1400. I agree.

Then she recommends a location...right on the water! It's perfect for my theme: tropical. She says the price for renting out the location (includes tables and chairs) for 5 hour reception is $1100. I agree. THEN, today I call the location...why? I have no clue to be honest with you. For some reason I had this gut feeling to call the location to confirm the price. The nice gentleman tells me, "For a 5 our reception, tables & chairs, it's $617.00!!! icon_eek.gif
Do you all see where I'm going with this??

Not only did the wedding planner expect $1400 for her services, now she was trying to collect $400 behind my back!!! I am so livid!! Plus, I feel so betrayed! I confirmed the price again with someone else and she told me the same thing. No hidden fees or taxes...

THEN....she had made the reservation under HER name. I tried to explain to the guy that it's really for me, but unfortunately, he can't change it because she has to cancel it herself. Soo... I called her, pretended everything was good to go BUT that I wanted to change the date to Feb. 14 2009 rather than Feb. 7 2009. She has the t*ts to tell me that it's going to be more because it's V-Day and "you know how the city is" (the location is owned by the City of Miami). Yea, sureeee..... icon_confused.gif
So she said she was going to send them an e-mail to request that day. I know that day is available because the asked. So when she cancels the Feb. 7th date, I will call myself and reserve it under MY name. Then she's FIRED!!
And to think, I got the deposit check from my Father for her fees $675.
Luckily, I found this out before and especially lucky that my Father made out the check to me because he'll be out of town for the next 2 weeks.

Sorry this is long, but I had to vent... icon_cry.gif

Thanks

19 replies
veejaytx Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 3:25am
post #2 of 20

Sure glad you found out in time what type of person you were working with...and that there is a way to get out of the deal with her.

Some people have all the nerve! Greedy, greedy person, and I don't think she will be in business too long operating like that!

mkolmar Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 3:30am
post #3 of 20

I hope things get better for you Of course in most businesses there is mark-up no matter what you get so this may be one of those cases where she tells you it costs more so she has a profit. This is normal for almost any business, but why do you need a wedding planner then. Just a little bit of leg work and you can save money for more important things. Get rid of her and plan the day you want. It's a lot of work but worth it in the end to have the wedding you want and saving money in the process.

MeMo07 Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 4:27am
post #4 of 20

That makes me so mad for you! Let us know what she says. I'd also call the venue and let him know that as soon as she calls to cancel you want your name down. Just so no one else gets it.


I'd also tell her how greedy and unprofessional she is. If she wanted more money for her services, she should have stated so to begin with, or stuck with a higher price. Not jacked up all the other prices!

Auryn Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 10:47am
post #5 of 20

wow
what a creep
I am so sorry you'r having to deal with someone like that

I agree though, you have plenty of time, you can do it yourself and save yourself a lot of money.
Just by getting rid of her you just saved yourself $2,000

Congrats on getting married.
Where in miami is the location?? (Im in lauderdale)

Cakepro Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 1:56pm
post #6 of 20

I totally empathize with you, but she hasn't done anything different than every other wedding planner I've ever worked with. They do charge a mark-up on services. You are paying her to do all of the legwork for you so you have nothing to worry about. It sounds like you should just do it yourself though, because you are defeating the purpose of having a wedding planner.

Before you pull the rug out from under her, you ought to make sure that the $1100 venue fee that she charged doesn't include linens, china, table decor, servers, etc.

I really hope you are going to compensate her for the time she already spent on your event. If you have signed a contract, you may get sued.

ccr03 Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 1:59pm
post #7 of 20

wow - my first issue/question was, why would she charge you MORE for doing LESS work??? (YOU bought in vendors, thus less work for her to do)

Do you have any type of contract with her? Cancellation fees? Losing any money? Make sure you know thorough know/read your contract, otherwise she'll be on her wedding planner forum saying how this bride cancelled on her and now wants a refund & her fellow wedding planners will back her up - the same way we do when it happens to one of us.

OH, and congrats!!

Babarooskie Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 2:14pm
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakepro

I totally empathize with you, but she hasn't done anything different than every other wedding planner I've ever worked with. They do charge a mark-up on services. You are paying her to do all of the legwork for you so you have nothing to worry about. It sounds like you should just do it yourself though, because you are defeating the purpose of having a wedding planner.

Before you pull the rug out from under her, you ought to make sure that the $1100 venue fee that she charged doesn't include linens, china, table decor, servers, etc.

I really hope you are going to compensate her for the time she already spent on your event. If you have signed a contract, you may get sued.




I called the location this morning to confirm again. She had booked it for a total of 13 hours (prep time and reception). I asked how much it is for 13 hours...$617. Last night I was thinking to myself, "Well m ybe it's that much because they have an additional 4 hours to prep and thats what it came out to." NOPE. Still $617. I understand what you're saying- she may charge extra (besides the $1400), but it was never stated on her website, never told me, nor in an e-mail. She specifically said the location in $1100. And I know for a fact that price does not include linens, china, table decor, etc. because that's included with the catering.

I didn't sign anything, I haven't given her money yet. It's as if on my website I state that a fondant cake for 20 starts at $3.50/per person. Then I tell her that the price $100 when it should be $70.

Auryn Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 2:21pm
post #9 of 20

Good thing you havent signed anything or given her any money
I would call up the location and tell them to please put you at the top of the waiting list for that date- so as soon as she cancels your in
and then tell her bye bye

one thing is a mark up- another thing is to basically double the price of the location- for what cause she made a phone call??

Cakepro Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 2:31pm
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Auryn

one thing is a mark up- another thing is to basically double the price of the location- for what cause she made a phone call??




LOL, I can almost hear someone saying, "YOU CHARGE $5 A SERVING FOR CAKE? FOR WHAT? IT'S ONLY FLOUR, SUGAR, AND EGGS!" Heehee

It's called doing business in a capitalistic society. icon_smile.gif


--------

Bab ~ it's a good thing you have no contract and haven't handed over any money. It sounds like you can extricate yourself pretty easily. I hope you can get the venue booked on your chosen date.

Are you doing your own wedding cake?

Auryn Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 2:38pm
post #11 of 20

Its not the same thing though- in my opinion
because when you bake a cake- your investing your time and heard earned experience. They are paying for your talent more than the ingredients.

All this lady did was make a phone call- theoretically thats what the $1400 is for- her time in making the arrangements and her experience in getting things worked out properly.

dinas27 Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 2:53pm
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Babarooskie

OK, so this has nothing to do with cakes...

I'm getting married next year. I hired a wedding planner. She charges $1200 for her fee (contacting location, catering, supervising, etc.). If I brought in 3 or more of my own vendors (which I did because they're family members: DJ, Photography, & Video), then she raises the price to $2000. But I explained to her that they're family members and I don't have an "official" contract with them. She says, "OK, then I'll only charge you $1400. I agree.




that would have been my first indication. I dislike kickbacks. I know this is a standard in some places but I like to be totally upfront. Part of the purpose of working with a wedding planner (IMO) is that you get to take advantage of THEIR discounts- similar to hiring an interior decorator or contractor. The bride should be saving money - not the wedding planner pocketing it!

Secondly- part of the weddding planners job is to source out vendors, if you have family members as vendors you have already sourced them and the planner has a whole lot less work to do.

Third - I dont think you need a planner! You sound very organized and I know that you are very creative. If you are good with money and can stick to a budget you dont need a wedding planner to tell you were to put your money. Think about how much you make in a week - even if you take an extra week off work before the wedding unpaid you will still be ahead compared to what you are paying for a planner.

I planned my own wedding - made all my own invitations, centerpieces, favors, programs and cake and had to travel almost 9 hours to get back to my hometown had just finished university so very tight budget and had a full time job. it can be done! If you need any creative input send me a PM - I'm going to be going into wedding planning withdrawl soon - I got married last August and then started helping my brother and his fiancee plan their wedding. Its coming up in 2 weeks and then I'll be in withdrawl... like when CC goes down icon_redface.gif

Babarooskie Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 3:05pm
post #13 of 20

Thanks everyone for letting me vent here LOL

I thought about making my own cake, but then who do I trust to take it to the location and set it up icon_confused.gif

I have posted a bulletin here searching for someone in the Miami area for a cake...
Anyway, I have great news so far...with her catering package, it came out to $5,000 (chicken, fish, meat, etc.) However, my Fiance and I want a nice but simple reception. After all, the theme is tropical, the location is on the ocean...and I'm not into the whole "fancy, extravagant" wedding. So i thought about serving Paella..and guess who much it comes out to (including waiters, bartenders, linens, appetizer)= $3,000!!
I'm going to stick to doing it myself...and if I need some brilliant ideas, I always have you wonderful people on CC!

BTW- when and why is CC going down???????

dinas27 Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 3:32pm
post #14 of 20

oh I just meant that I'm going to go into wedding planning withdrawl like I do into withdrawl when I cant log into CC.

Thats great about saving so much money on catering!

If you would like to read about my wedding cake saga I wrote in this post
http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-588896-.html
its on the first page.

I'm not sure what you would like for your cake.. I remember something about special filling and a football helmet grooms cake? If you do something like cupcakes - easier to set up but more time consuming. Perhaps your caterer would be willing to do it for a small fee? Can you access the kitchen coolers at your venue the night before when you decorate?

I am doing my brothers wedding cake in two weeks. I will be setting it up after the ceremony and family pictures but it will be a fairly simple cake decorated with strawberries and fresh flowers. Could you stack the cake at home and then have a couple of dependable men transport it? Now this all depends on distance to venue etc etc

Have you checked out craigslist? I did a search for cake and came up with some ads
http://miami.craigslist.org/search/sss?query=cake
the sunshinesatecakes website has a TON of flavors but no prices.

Babarooskie Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 4:06pm
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by dinas27

oh I just meant that I'm going to go into wedding planning withdrawl like I do into withdrawl when I cant log into CC.

Thats great about saving so much money on catering!

If you would like to read about my wedding cake saga I wrote in this post
http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-588896-.html
its on the first page.

I'm not sure what you would like for your cake.. I remember something about special filling and a football helmet grooms cake? If you do something like cupcakes - easier to set up but more time consuming. Perhaps your caterer would be willing to do it for a small fee? Can you access the kitchen coolers at your venue the night before when you decorate?

I am doing my brothers wedding cake in two weeks. I will be setting it up after the ceremony and family pictures but it will be a fairly simple cake decorated with strawberries and fresh flowers. Could you stack the cake at home and then have a couple of dependable men transport it? Now this all depends on distance to venue etc etc

Have you checked out craigslist? I did a search for cake and came up with some ads
http://miami.craigslist.org/search/sss?query=cake
the sunshinesatecakes website has a TON of flavors but no prices.




Thanks Dinas for all your help! I contact sunshinestatecakes, but she only does fondant..no BC.
I did want cookies & cream filling and for the grooms cake a peanut butter mousse filling. I was thinking of cupcakes that I can do myself and freeze them BUT where would I store 100+ cupcakes?? I live in an apartment.

dinas27 Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 4:47pm
post #16 of 20

Ah I see your dilemma. I also live in an apartment but have a small chest freezer in my back room and had my own seperate fridge at my parents house for the cake.

My mom does have these large containers (she used to buy her butter in bulk) that she uses for her christmas baking. They would probably hold 18+ cupcakes nicely even with icing because they are about 5 inches high. If you emptied your entire fridge freezer maybe you could fit enough of something like that in. Do you and yor fiancee live together - could you monopolize his freezer too? Just make sure you cant identify what is in there or the groomsmen might eat all your hard work!

You could check out nearby restaurants, grocery stores etc for large bulk food storage containers. I worked in a grocery store bakery and we went through buckets of bavarian cream, butter, cheese etc. and would just recycle the containers. Or you could go the tupperware route but that could be quite expensive - maybe dollarstore etc would have something large too. All you really would need is something to protect the cupcakes so even a flat peach box and well wrapped cupcakes would work.

You could also keep an eye out for an inexpensive chest freezer. i dont have mine plugged in all the time but it is handy. You could buy one and sell it later if you dont have much use for it.
http://miami.craigslist.org/ele/703687472.html
Cosco here in Canada sells them really cheap - $180 or so, I'm sure you could find something small for even cheaper in the US.

fondantgrl Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 4:53pm
post #17 of 20

I'm just wondering, if you can do all these work yourself, why did you hire this woman ? I'm just curious .

Babarooskie Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 5:16pm
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by fondantgrl

I'm just wondering, if you can do all these work yourself, why did you hire this woman ? I'm just curious .




I honestly thought that this would take off some stuff on my plate. Plus, I know that if I do it myself I will have friends and family to help, but I didn't want to add more on their plate as well...

Dina:
We live together soOo... that a tough one. Plus I have food in there. I THINK I can use my Dad's freezer. I think he emptied it out, I just have to double check.
::sigh::

I've thought about eloping so many times that it's not even funny. icon_cool.gif

TexasSugar Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 6:36pm
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Babarooskie

I didn't sign anything, I haven't given her money yet.




Then I would call her up and tell her that you have decided to plan your wedding yourself. You could call the venue to ask if they will old that date for you if they get a cancelation, just to be sure you can get it. But I wouldn't go through the hassle of getting her to change dates.

aswartzw Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 8:10pm
post #20 of 20

Seriously, I think wedding planners are just a hype. The only thing I can say is positive about them is they already know the popular places to go and they are helpful on the wedding day (if you get a good one).

My experience with them is they're just more work! My friend's wedding planner tried to talk her into getting wedding pictures before the wedding with the groom and then talked negatively about traditions of not seeing the groom beforehand.

It's a good thing you found this out so early. It definitely sounds like you've got it taken care of! thumbs_up.gif

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