Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Ask Liz: Buyer's Remorse and How to Swing It

This wedding advice column I wrote for BAB a while back has been re-pinned from my Pinterest feed 638 times. So, if you're worried that you made the wrong decision, and you have to make it right again, you are not the only one. I hope this helps, and if you need more advice, call me...

Dear Liz:
Our caterer completely screwed up our wedding. The menu was supposed to be 100% vegan and gluten free and was neither. My groom and I, and many of our guests, had nothing to eat. They’ve offered a refund of 50% of the food (about $700) but I feel like that isn’t enough. How do I handle it?


Dear Post,

You're right, it’s not enough. Come up with a number that you think is fair, and it’s okay if that’s 100% of the bill. Explain to them calmly, why that’s fair: You and your husband, the people that paid for the catering, didn’t have anything to eat. AT YOUR WEDDING. The majority of your guests had nothing to eat, either, and this was not your fault. Tell them how surprised you were that this happened, especially given their reputation (if that’s valid and you can back it up. Personal referral? Yelp or website review? Don't try and sell a lie, it’s harder). And then give them the amount — not a percentage — that you feel should be refunded. And then don't say anything after that, just get their response. If they don’t agree to it, and come back with $700 or another number, tell them you can't (not “won't”) take that. Their reason will probably be that they did provide enough food for x number of people, and they have to cover their expenses for that or whatever. Reiterate that you and your guests went hungry, and on top of that, it was incredibly embarrassing. If you're okay with getting a little less back, counter with a number closer to your original amount. So, your first number was $1400, they come back with $700, you counter with something between $1,000 — $1250. Pick a number, not a range. I suggest the high end of that, so you have more negotiation room. Again, remind them that you and your guests had nothing to eat, and this created a humiliating situation ON YOUR WEDDING DAY.
If it’s a cash flow problem on their end (which it might be),  be willing to take the refund in separate payments. Do not take it in credit or trade.
Don't do this over email, do it over the phone or in person.
Don't get angry.

Remember that you have nothing to lose by trying to get what you deserve.

Dear Liz,

I am getting married on November 3rd. I went to David’s Bridal and tried on a dress and fell in love with it. Of course it was out of my budget. It was gorgeous,  all lace with beaded applique. I didn't get it because I couldn’t pay full price for it, and I didn't want to finance my wedding gown!  I went to a consignment store and found one that was very pretty. I got it and the veil, and paid less than $350 for them both. I  have tried it on a few times since, and  for friends, and now I've realized I don't like it. I've searched and looked and can't find one that I like that’s in my budget. What do I do??


Dear Undressed,

Babe, you're just going to have to keep looking. First of all, take the dress you bought back to the consignment store and ask if you can either return it in full, or sell it back to them.
Bridal show season is gearing up again, so the second thing is to check and see if there is one in your area that is having a dress sale, which is becoming really big these days. 

There’s also Brides Against Breast Cancer, a national traveling dress show, and their dresses start around that, too. I Googled “bridal dresses for charity” and came up with a list of other organizations, too. Do the same search and add your closest metropolitan city, and see what comes up.
You've got more time than you think, but it’s important to see as many dresses as you can. I know it’s really frustrating, but it’s important that you believe that you will find what you want. Because you will.

See you at the end of the aisle, 

Liz  Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events

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