My name is Katrina, a very excited bride-to-be from Las Vegas. I’ve been a fan of Bitchless Bride for a good year now. I love your no-bullshit approach and I love the Vendor Vents. I’m a graphic designer for a huge gaming company in Vegas, so I know just how bitchy them bitchy brides can get.
I will be marrying my Dashing Gentleman Friend in June, which means all the little details are coming together now. We’re having a small, happy, hopefully-fun, hopefully-sunny wedding in California. 30 family and friends will keep us laughing all day long.
All my vendors are in the town where are are to be married; most of them referred from my super cool planner with whom I just clicked right away. Everything has been smooth and easy and fun. Now there’s just one teensy problem that I’m hoping you can lend your glorious insight to–or just tell me to shut up and let it be.
I strayed from my planner’s referral once, for my hair/makeup artist, and now I regret it. I did it for the budget, which is tight and carefully controlled because Gentleman Friend and I are paying for everything. I did some research, consulted a few married friends, Yelped around and found a hair/makeup artist that had great reviews and was more in budget than my planner’s recommendation. Neither were outrageously priced, but saving a couple hundred here and there is a big deal for us.
She (let's call her H/MU) was quick to respond to my request for an estimate, which was cool because some others took three weeks. After the deposit was paid in January and the date booked, I asked to schedule a trial. I didn’t hear back for two months, during which I emailed her three times because I didn’t want to be a needy jerk. Plus I figured I had time and she probably didn’t have her summer schedule set just yet. In March she got back to me and we scheduled a date for the trial.
This week, my photographer put together a day-of schedule and I contacted H/MU to see if she was cool with it. She was, then was asking me when my trial was because she hadn’t written it down. And then she said “only hair, right?” Which was not right because not only did I ask for both, I emphasized that testing out my makeup was much more important than hair.
Now I need to figure out how to politely tell H/MU that she needs to get her crap together so I’m not sitting around on my wedding day with pretty hair and no makeup. The contract says four people for makeup + hair, but if she doesn’t follow through, we’re screwed. I don’t want to be an ass because it’s wedding season, it’s Southern Cali and she must have a life beyond other people’s faces.
Is it ok to ask to confirm my details? Should I just chill the hell out and talk to her at the trial? (I’m not sure if it will be H/MU doing my trial, she mentioned another girl’s name when scheduling.) Her emails are always super short, sent abruptly at 1:00 am and somehow riddled with typos despite being 10 words long. And at the end of all this, should this affect how much gratuity I give to her/her team? I love tipping generously, I think it’s the Vegas way. But it’s the overall experience that I consider and so far, she’s at a 4 out of 10.
I would appreciate any advice you have, bitchless or otherwise.
All the best,
I totally understand why brides stray from every now and again from good advice, and usually it does come down to saving money (which I totally get), but this is exactly why we, wedding planners, wish you'd listen to us from the get-go. You see, now you find yourself in somewhat of a kerfuffle that needs fixin', and remember, the amount of time spent fixing this problem is probably worth the money you'd have saved if you listened to your wedding planner initally... But, enough about how you should have listened to your planner, because my goal isn't to tell you, that "I told you so", it's to help you out of this shitty situation.
Katrina, here are my thoughts... Call your wedding planner immediately. Have her do some nosing around to see if any of the H/MU peeps in her network are available on your wedding day (this may be difficult considering the timing). Concurrently, I want you to call your H/MU person and ask that she call you as soon as she can. Now, just a hunch, but I'm guessing that you will get her VM. If that's the case then I'd leave somewhat of a cryptic message that would pique her interest enough to call you back. Something like, "Hey H/MU person, there's been a change of plan and I really need to talk with you. Thanks a lot!"
If she doesn't call you back, then send her the same cryptic-type of email. You may have to be persistent because we (your wedding vendors) are in the midst of wedding season, and if your wedding isn't within the next week or two, she may not get back to you so quickly. If you do get her on the phone, be honest about your expectations of service. I mean, based on your email, you seem quite bitchless; I don't feel as though you're asking anything of her that wasn't promised to you from your initial agreement. And, it's only fair that she not only follow through, but she's got to instill confidence in you too. Tell her that.
Remind her that you hired her based on her awesome Yelp reviews and referrals, but if she continues to leave you feeling like you might get stood up on your wedding day, then perhaps you need to reevaluate. And then listen... See how she bounces back, and then make your decision. If you are still left with a bad taste in your mouth, then cut your loses and run. I hate to say it, Katrina, but you're probably out your deposit if you bail now, but if you're not comfortable, then it's well worth it. It'd be awful if this H/MU person left you (and/or your wedding planner) scrambling on your wedding day. Right?
Please let me know how it all plays out!!
Image via True Photography