Archive - Vendors RSS Feed

Paper Dolling: Is This Happening?

An article by Sandy Malone was published by HuffPo the other day. In it, she tells the harrowing story of a client of her wedding planning service and what happened to her when she went shopping at an unnamed bridal salon in Waltham, Mass.

According to Malone, the bride informed the salon of her size (though I have to say I’m puzzled as to why an ‘average sized’ woman should have to do that) and was told it would be ‘no problem.’ I should certainly hope there would be no problem fitting an average sized woman in a reasonably well-stocked bridal salon. And while samples rarely fit brides precisely, there certainly ought to be a few gowns in a size close enough that a woman can try some things on to get a general idea of how they might look on her.

Apparently, this was not the case.

It seems that what the salon did instead of putting an ill-fitting dress on the bride and asking her to use her imagination as to how it will look when it is properly fitted, the consultant took the gown and began pinning it to the bride’s undergarments in front… in a tiny room with mirrors on three sides and only a flimsy curtain on the fourth wall. This process, apparently, is called ‘paper dolling.’ To add insult to injury, when the bride’s friends wanted to see what the consultants were oohing and ahing over in that tiny cubicle, one of them simply threw open the curtain, exposing the bride’s panty-clad backside to all and sundry without warning.

The bride, of course, was pretty traumatized by this experience, as would be any right-thinking person. Paper dolling sounds pretty useless. After all, a dress needs to be seen in three dimensions to get the full effect, and wedding gowns in particular need to be seen from the back, because during the ceremony, chances are that’s what your friends and family will be seeing the most of. Most bridal couples do stand facing the officiant who faces the witnesses.

On top of that, the sudden and completely insensitive near-indecent exposure of the bride was appalling. You ask first whether the bride wishes to show off the dress she’s trying on, and if it’s not actually on her, this is an extra vital step.

Malone winds up the article with a warning to all brides to shun this pernicious practice, which is excellent advice. I, too, would counsel brides not to allow a salon to ‘paper doll’ them into a dress.

But here’s the interesting thing. When I googled the term and several variations on it… I got only Malone’s original article from two days ago, and a whole lot of articles about making or collecting actual paper dolls. Is this one shop in Waltham the one place in the world that does this? Is there another reason the term might not get a lot of hits in bridal terms?

Has anyone out there heard about this anywhere else? Known someone subjected to it? Survived the experience themselves?

Curiouser and curiouser.

Would You Rent to This Couple?


They seem nice enough to me.

Apparently, though, Pauline Bailey, 27, and Paul Carty, 51, were not good enough for one employee of Stoke Park Hotel in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire. Michele Connelly did not specify why she felt the couple were unworthy to wed at Stoke Park Hotel, but it seems she found them not ‘the type of people’ who should be allowed to marry there.

And how did the happy couple learn this factoid?

Well, it all started when they tried to book the hotel for their june wedding. They met with Connelly and were given a tour of the facility. They spoke of specific plans. They did not balk at the ten thousand pound price tag, and in point of fact added another thousand pounds to said price tag by asking for a fireworks display. They planned to invite only thirty guests, so it can’t have been that there wasn’t room for all those people, either.

The happy couple went home and waited to hear confirmation of their date… and waited… and waited. After ten days, they contacted Connelly to ask what was happening and why they hadn’t heard back. Connelly emailed back saying she’d been on vacation during that period and they would hear from her shortly.

They did.

The next day, Connelly sent an email to her sales manager, Carlo Zoccali, begging him to give her a way to deny the couple a spot on the calendar.

Too bad for her she cc’d it to Bailey and Carty, too.

The only reason Connelly gave for wanting to put the couple off was that they are ‘not the type of people’ she wanted to rent to. For the record, both are gainfully employed. In fact, Carty works for the Ministry of Defence as an engineer. Bailey is a counsellor. So unless she has an unreasoning prejudice against engineers or counsellors, what is the problem? There has been no accusation or evidence of untoward behavior on the part of the couple in question.

Bailey believes she knows the answer. Her theory? That it’s about the age gap between her and her intended, and possibly his pierced eyebrow.

And that’s why Bailey and Carty are currently seeking legal counsel with an eye to bringing a lawsuit in the matter.

Let that be a lesson to us all to a) do our best to treat all comers as fairly as possible, and b) always be very, very careful to whom we forward our emails.

So You’ve Called It Off. Now What?


You’ve just interrupted your ‘I do’s’ by running off with the man your mother thought wasn’t good enough for you (but was plenty good enough for her to seduce!) and are getting on a bus with no idea where it’s going. But what about all those deposits?

Okay, if you wait until that point, chances are there’s nothing you can do but pay all those wedding bills or declare bankruptcy.

If, on the other hand, you decide a bit earlier in the proceedings that things just aren’t going to work out, there is a way to recoup some of the expense you’ve been to and help another couple have the nice wedding of your dreams.

Bridal Brokerage is there to help you pick up the financial pieces and get you on your feet again.

You enter your details in a handy online form, and Bridal Brokerage does the rest. They contact the vendors and find another couple who are in need of a wedding much like yours. You receive a percentage of your wedding expenditures already made, cope with your own broken heart, and contact your own guests, but after that you don’t have to deal with the details of canceling your wedding beyond that.

On the buyer’s side, well, you fill out a similar form telling Bridal Brokerage when you’re hoping to tie the knot, how many guests you plan to have, etc. and they’ll contact you with weddings that might suit your needs. You choose the one that best fits your preferences, and buy it at a deep discount.

Again, Bridal Brokerage steps in to the rescue with the details. They’ll send out save-the-dates and invitations to your entire guest list and prepare programs, too.

I’m wondering, is there anyone out there who has used this service or one like it? What were your experiences like? Is this a service any of you out there would consider using on either end?

Getting As Close As You Can to What You Want

There are times in the wild and wooly roller coaster ride known as wedding planning when finding the sweet spot between what you want, what you can afford, and how much things cost can feel a bit like this:

Or even this:

Frankly, it’s not easy to find a balance, and the tighter your budget the smaller the window you have to try to fit through.

Still there are things you can do, both in allocating your funds well and in vendor negotiation, that will help you wriggle through with a minimum of misery, embarrassment, and red ink. Read on to find out what to do… and what not to do.
(more…)

Quickie Question: Do You Consider It Cheating?


As many of you know, I’m a fan of the bridal reality show Four Weddings. And now TLC has added Four Weddings Canada to the mix, too.

Again, I like it. It’s real couples having real weddings, without a lot of the staged nightmares of Bridezillas and similar shows, let alone their histrionics.

But I did have a bit of a thought about the episode aired last night. See the lady second from the right? That’s Jessica. She won the episode. I’m down with that, because I did feel she had the nicest wedding of the lot.

Still, I have this one niggling concern. You see, Jessica is a professional wedding planner. Not only was she allowed to participate in the show, her fellow contestants were not informed of this fact. She only revealed the truth as the winner’s limo was pulling up with her husband in it.

The thing is, I can’t think of another episode of either version of the show that has featured anyone who used a wedding planner, let alone was one. And I know that simply being in a profession isn’t proof positive that someone is good at it. After all, there was at least one professional wedding planner featured on Bridezillas who not only needed subtitles because she mumbled so horribly nobody could understand her, but seemed to have no clue at all how a wedding is organized.

All the same, it could be perceived as an unfair advantage. I kind of perceived it that way, and I know how little it takes to set up shop as a wedding planner.

What do you think? Should Jessica have been allowed to play the game? Should she have had to reveal her professional status before her wedding was rated? Am I being over sensitive about something that’s all in good fun?

Tell me what you think!

The Truth About Working With Wedding Vendors

While planning your wedding, chances are you’ll hire several vendors to help your dreams come true. If you look around, you’ll find a lot of opinions about this. Some people think that wedding vendors are evil stooges of an international conspiracy. Others that wedding vendors are angels sent from Heaven above to aid brides in making their dreams come true.

But here’s the thing: wedding vendors are just people in business for themselves.

That means that some of them are wonderful, warm, highly competent people and others are greedy, unscrupulous people. Some mean well but aren’t really all that good at what they do. Others are excellent at their jobs but unpleasant to work with. Most, I believe, choose their profession because they truly enjoy helping make wedding dreams come true… but they aren’t doing it purely out of the kindness of their hearts. They’re doing it to make money.

What does that mean for you? It means that you need to be diligent about finding competent vendors who can do what you want done, and who can give helpful input. It means that you need to keep in mind that most vendors think their piece of the wedding is the most important one, so you need to really consider how important it is to you as an individual couple getting married. It means you need to dot your i’s and cross your t’s in business and legal terms. It means that you get to make the final decisions about what services you do and do not want from this vendor.

But there’s another side of the coin to remembering that your vendors are just people: you need to treat them with the same consideration as you treat any other person. If the vendor is going to be onsite during the wedding (musicians, DJs, photographers, cater waiters, etc.) you’ll need to discuss things like breaks, whether and how they will be fed, where they will park, and what time they will be done with the job.

Whether or not they will be on site, remember the feelings of your vendors. Treat them with respect and courtesy in a professional manner.

After all, behaving in an entitled, bossy way only makes people want to cross you more. Listen carefully and with an open mind to suggestions. Ask questions about anything you don’t understand. Don’t assume that the florist, caterer, or DJ you’ve hired is out to get you… unless you get firm proof of the fact. Communicate as clearly and as promptly as you can. Remember that this person is just doing his or her job – the one you hired him or her to do for you – and probably wants it to go well so that you’ll spread the word about their business.

Ultimately, vendors are people, and people come in all kinds of ways. Just try to be the best person you can be while dealing with them, and it will go a long way toward making things work out well.

This Is Why You Ask For Examples and Recommendations


This is an image from the wedding album of Thomas and Anneka Geary. No, it was not taken by a drunken wedding guest. It was taken by professionals.

The Gearys engaged the photographic team of Ian McCloskey and Nikki Carter to photograph their wedding at a price of seven hundred fifty pounds sterling.

Lest you think that first photo is a complete fluke, here’s another example of McCloskey and Carter’s Work:
(more…)

Page 1 of 512345»