Wedding Regrets, Part III

In my previous posts, I discussed a few different things that I regret about my wedding – my mom having to take care of all the setup and clean up, forgetting the cake knife, issues with the guest book, the issue with the cake topper, etc. Today I’m going to share a final post discussing what I wish had gone differently. Today I’m talking about some of the challenges I had with my vendors.

Since I’m a professional in the business, I don’t want to vendor bash. So instead of offering specifics about the vendors I worked with, I’m only going to speak generally. If you’re in the Dayton area and would like some more specifics, I’d be happy to share my opinions more fully – just ask. With that disclaimer aside, I’m going to start by talking rentals.

I reserved my rentals on Black Friday. The rental company I had to go with is only open Monday through Friday from 9a-5p and Saturday 9a-12p. As someone with a full-time job, the hours were my first gripe – it was really inconvenient for me to physically get to the rental place to look at their rental items. I called ahead before going to the rental company to make sure that they were open, and I specifically said that I wanted to reserve some items for an upcoming wedding.

When my mom and I arrived at the rental place, we were informed that the wedding coordinator was not there, but the employee who was working would try to help us the best that she could. Her assistance was fine. My complaint is that as I was making the reservation, I told her where I was getting married. The venue we had does a lot of business with this company, so I assumed that they were aware of the venue’s policy – if there’s another wedding the next day, your rentals must be delivered the day of the wedding, and picked up by 9a the following day.

The employee I worked with was unaware of this policy – which prompted me to ask if there were any additional fees for this above and beyond the normal delivery fees. I was assured there weren’t, but she promised to check and call me Monday if she was wrong. I never received a phone call, so I was quite surprised two months before the wedding when an additional fee was tacked on. By then I had no choice but to pay it – no one likes unexpected expenses, especially those that are wedding related.

In addition to the fee issue, I also had to field three phone calls from the rental company the week of my wedding. The most frustrating part is that each phone call was a different employee asking the same questions! Although pretty minor, it left me very unnerved, because I suddenly felt like I couldn’t depend on them to do what they needed to do. That being said, the items we rented were fine and were delivered and picked up on time. I just wish I hadn’t had so many issues with them prior to the wedding.

The other vendor I had some issues with was the bakery baking and delivering our wedding cake. One week before our wedding the cake coordinator we’d been working with left the bakery, and despite being assured that there wouldn’t be any transition issues, there were a few bumps.

The day before the wedding, I got a phone call from the new cake coordinator. She was confused about the delivery time for the cake. Our ceremony started at 3p, but we’d decided to have the cake delivered and set up during dinner (approx. 5:30p). Our reception area was an outdoor space, and due to dietary restrictions (being strategically vague here – only one bakery in the area can make wedding cakes with our required restrictions), our cake was a bit different than the average cake and the cake coordinator we initially worked with was concerned about how long the cake would hold up in the heat. So, rather than having it delivered before the ceremony (2p) we decided to minimize that time.

I explained all this when the new cake coordinator asked about timing, and she said she was unaware that the heat could affect the cake. I asked if she had ever made a cake like ours, and she hadn’t. But she still wanted to change the timing on the cake, because it was more convenient for her, and she was pretty sure it’d be okay. Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I’m spending about $800 on a cake, “pretty sure” doesn’t quite cut it for me. I told her this, and she reluctantly agreed to follow the timeline that I had set with the previous coordinator.

A couple hours later, the cake coordinator called again. She was confused about which topper was for the wedding cake and which topper was for the groom’s cake. Not a big deal – that only took a moment to explain.

Then she called back again another hour later – she wasn’t sure what the theme of the groom’s cake was supposed to be. At this point, I was starting to lose my patience. It was less than 24 hours before my wedding, and I was tired of being bothered with details that had been settled months ago. It was not my finest moment, and I’m pretty sure I was a little rude to her. Oops. In my defense, she probably should have looked over our file sooner and asked her questions then, instead of waiting. Other than that, the cakes were delicious. The wedding cake didn’t look quite like I’d imagined, but it was close enough. The groom’s cake was perfect – everyone loved it, and it too was quite good.

Every wedding has issues – that’s just a fact of life. But I wish that I didn’t have to deal with vendor details the last few days before the wedding. I was not in the right frame of mind to be dealing with the items, plus I was busy entertaining guests in from out of town, including my bridesmaids who I hadn’t seen in months, and my godmother, who I hadn’t seen in about twenty-five years.

In hindsight, I should have hired a day of coordinator. Most coordinators handle the last minute details with the vendors, consulting the bride as needed. This reduces stress for the bride, and allows her to focus on the really important things, like spending time with friends and family.

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