After reading this article, I contacted Alison of Toronto-based A Hot Pink Petticoat for her advice on how other couples can avoid this vendor nightmare. Here are Alison's comments:
- First off, if a vendor is aggressive, almost forceful, about getting your 50% deposit up front, then walk away. Receiving emails along the lines of "pay your balance or else" is a huge sign to just cut your losses and run!
- Like we hear all the time, if the prices are too good to be true, they are. This vendor was offering decor at prices that undercut their competitors by too much. Reputable vendors will not under price their value as much as this vendor did.
- Make sure your contract is air-tight. That is, make sure it states that if the vendor does not provide the services as per the contract, that you will be reimbursed 100% of payments already made.
Alison also recommends those individuals looking to hire a decorator to read this article, 7 Questions to Ask Your Decorator, written by professional decorator, Vivian of Vivian's Decor & Designs.
- Ask your other vendors about vendors you have yet to hire. If someone had asked me about this vendor, I would have told them how there has been some talk in the industry questioning this vendors' ethics.
A big thank you to Alison for sharing her wise advice with us. I would just add that if you are in the beginning stages of your wedding planning, you may want to consider hiring a event planner or an event co-ordinator. I know that this is an expense that many couples cannot afford especially in these economic times but the benefit of having someone 'in the know', who can guide you towards reputable vendors, may save you a lot of heartache and money in the long run. Finally, elaborating on Alison's comment above, make sure you read all your vendors' contracts. Legal contacts can be daunting sometimes and as easy as it is to just sign and file away, step up to the plate and read the contracts. You'll find that often times, it's in plain English disguised in 'legal font.' And don't be afraid to ask for clarification if you don't understand a provision. After all, it's YOUR money and YOUR big day on the line here!
If you are or were a client of Affairs with Flair, I encourage you to contact the author of the Toronto Star article, Nick Kyonka at email@example.com.