Dropping the Ball

No, not me. I’m talking about our first caterer visit—or non-visit, as it were.

After being pretty pumped about getting an appointment to do a tasting during one of the only available times between the work-school-work insanity that is my life, we had one of our biggest disappointments yet in the planning process.

Both Monsieur P and I had to make arrangements to leave work early in order to make it to the appointment, which was supposed to start at 5:00. At 5:02 (with such a jam-packed schedule, I often am a few minutes behind), I was yanking on the caterer’s doors, to no avail. They were locked. I poked around and the place appeared to be empty, which I didn’t think really made sense, as their normal hours were supposed to be until 6:00 PM, though they operate mainly through appointments, of course.

I went back to my car, pulled up the email on my phone to make sure I had the right day and time, and I did. I called the number in the email and left a voicemail something like this: “Hi, this is Miss Parisian”¦I’m here, but no one else seems to be”¦I don’t know what happeneddddd”¦” with mounting annoyance at the end because the longer I waited, the more angry I got!

By this point, the mister had shown up, completely confused. He had gotten caught up at work coming back from a trip and had to drop off a fleet vehicle, so he was running a little later than I was. He could tell from the look on my face that something wasn’t right, or maybe he could see the steam coming out of my ears. He asked me what was wrong, and I pretty much exploded.

Mobile data roaming charges - woman in red screaming at mobile phone

Image via which.co.uk

http://www.1to1media.com/weblog/angry%20phone%20customer.jpg

A much more adorable version of how Monsieur P found me / Image via Dynamic Edge, Inc.

The anger, disappointment, frustration, and, strangely enough, embarrassment, made me want to cry. I know it’s stupid to cry over something as silly as a vendor missing an appointment, but I knew that this was one shot to get something done for the wedding, and I had already set my mind to this caterer being my #1 choice. We gathered our composure and headed home, where I promptly changed into PJs and moped on the couch the rest of the evening.

This sounds about right”¦ / Image via someecards

Since that incident, I have received a couple of voicemails and emails from the caterer, with what I deemed to be a bullshit apology and explanation—that there is another girl with the same name getting married at the same place, who scheduled an appointment for another day/time, so they got them mixed up and thought I had rescheduled our appointment.

And then, I did a horrible thing. I did nothing. I didn’t respond to the emails or the voicemails.

Now, there’s something you should know about me. I’m headstrong, bull-headed, stubborn, outspoken, and generally not afraid of confrontation. But I can also be a bit of a conflict-avoider at times, which is the trait that took over in this situation. I couldn’t bring myself to terms with the situation and find the right way to move forward, so I just did nothing.

Now, we’re eight months from the day and still don’t have our caterer situation figured out, because I can’t seem to bring myself to deal with it. I think the hardest part is thinking that I may veto my top-choice vendor based on one count of poor time management. But standing us up for an appointment, to me, shows a few different negative things—poor management in the office, a disrespect for my time, and the potential for future mishaps, just because my name is popular enough to get me confused with another bride?! In the end, I can’t see us choosing a vendor that made such a big mistake and put so much distrust into my mind. Life is stressful enough without dealing with a flaky vendor.

Did you suffer any planning setbacks? Were you stood up by a vendor? Please tell me I’m not the only one with avoidance issues”¦

BLOGGER

Miss Parisian

Location:
Pittsburgh, PA
Wedding Date:
September 2014

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  1. Member
    thunderberry 511 posts, Busy bee @ 10:15 am

    I definitely feel you. When we were first hunting down our photographer, there was one we were really excited for because her website looked great and her prices were REALLY low… suspiciously low, I know now. Our first meeting, she completely missed, and sent us an apology an hour later saying her baby had kept her up all night and she slept through her alarm. I do have some sympathy for a new mother, so I agreed to set up a second appointment… and she ended up confusing the location and being over 20 mins late. In the end, we didn’t love her pictures once we saw some full weddings rather than just the picked and chosen portfolio, but even if we had I don’t think I could have dealt with the stress of having a vendor who was so unreliable. And a caterer is even more important than a photographer when it comes to reliability!

  2. Member
    Jen041815 635 posts, Busy bee @ 10:19 am

    I agree. “Flaky” and “poor time management skills” are not attractive traits in any vendor or any business person for that matter. I would find another caterer.

  3. Member
    Mrs. Milk Cow 207 posts, Helper bee @ 10:26 am

    I always get so mad in the moment and then just let it go afterwards when I should push back! I think avoidance issues is the correct way to describe it :)
    I’m so sorry about what happened, though – I wouldn’t be able to work with them either. I wouldn’t want to risk something happening on my wedding day.

  4. Member
    campfire 1045 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:51 am

    This would make me SO mad. It’s completely unprofessional!

  5. Member
    mspalmtree 1122 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:54 am

    I’m so sorry that this happened. =/ It’s really disheartening when things like this happen because even though, rationally, you know that you’re not the only Bride in the world it doesn’t mean that you should have to be reminded of that through a vendor’s mix up – one of their most important jobs is to make you feel like you ARE the only Bride in the world. Ugh.

  6. Member
    msbicycle 718 posts, Busy bee @ 11:09 am

    I guess they didn’t want your money after all?!

  7. Member
    laurafoureyes 47 posts, Newbee @ 11:15 am

    I think you should cross them off your list. They have already lost your trust, and the rest of the time you are planning, you will be worried they won’t show up / mess you selections up with the other bride, etc. It’s stress you can completely avoid.

    I can relate. In the excitement to get my wedding planning started right after the proposal, ignoring red flags, I signed a contract with a wedding planner (it’s a destination wedding) who had been kinda uncommunicative before. I loved her work/website and just wanted to start. Well, she basically disappeared after that for a few weeks. I wrote her an email freaking out saying I just need her to respond back, and she never responded. So, when I was getting close to the termination deadline where I could get my deposit back, I told her I was cancelling and she wrote me back IMMEDIATELY. She said she had been sick, was out of the office, etc. etc. Now, you can call me unsympathetic if she was really sick, but I called BS immediately, and was so happy to move on. I found a new planner who has been amazing.

    Long story short – save yourself the stress. Find someone else.

  8. Member
    roadtrip 803 posts, Busy bee @ 11:16 am

    That would have been a 1-strike-you’re-out for me, too: I’d never be able to trust that they wouldn’t have a similar screw-up at the wedding.

  9. Member
    parisian 588 posts, Busy bee @ 11:16 am

    @thunderberry: @Jen041815: @Mrs. Campfire: @Mrs. Bicycle: Seriously, I was so disappointed because as far as appearing professional, this option was by far the best. But such a letdown!

    @Mrs. Palm Tree: I definitely don’t need a caterer to treat me like I’m the only Bride in their world, but I expect them to get my name right and if they have multiple brides, ask for a last name! (which I always provided in correspondence anyway)

    @Miss Milk Cow: My thoughts exactly. If we did end up using them, I would be concerned non-stop that they were going to show up at the wrong place, time, or have some other absurd mix-up!

  10. Member
    parisian 588 posts, Busy bee @ 11:17 am

    @LauraFourEyes: UGH, that sounds awful. I’m glad you were able to find someone else!
    @Mrs. Road Trip: Exactly, I don’t need to add more stress because I don’t trust them now for even basic things!

  11. Member
    pyramid 98 posts, Worker bee @ 11:18 am

    I would be super angry too. I don’t have a lot of time for appointments with my work schedule either, so I would have been PISSED. The same name – really?
    I’m an avoider about some things too, and I don’t realize how much time has passed until I look at the date of an email and realize it’s been weeks and I should probably respond. Whoops.
    Good luck with figuring out the caterer!

  12. Member
    parisian 588 posts, Busy bee @ 11:45 am

    @Miss Pyramid: Yeah, having my time wasted is really something I don’t take kindly to! I’m still unsure of what to do, but trying again is supposed to be my activity of the month, so we’ll see! :)

  13. Member
    Mrs. Clover 123 posts, Blushing bee @ 2:28 pm

    I’d nix them too. I didn’t have anyone stand me up, but the photographer whose pictures everyone loved never replied to my calls or emails. At all. SO frustrating.

    I would wonder if they have a different person now though, especially if they were your first choice. I had issues with my venue at first, but it turned out they a) don’t use the office phone much, b) the coordinators husband just had emergency surgery and c) I left a voicemail on the wrong number once. So ultimately it really was ok, and they’ve been great so far (both the coordinator and her assistant gave me their personal cell numbers and told me to call whenever).

  14. Member
    jennmariee 947 posts, Busy bee @ 9:34 pm

    Ugh I’m sorry, I know the feeling and it’s awful. A venue we went to look at stood us up. But the bizarre thing about it was that they were THERE, we could hear and see them talking (to another couple I guess?) in a room, with an open door, not far from where we were standing. They didn’t come out to tell us they’d be late, or greet us, or acknowledge we were alive. I’m quite certain they could see and hear that we were there. We waited too long (20 minutes, I wanted to leave after 5 but FI has more patience). It helped that the place was ugly and I was absolutely certain I didn’t want to get married there within 10 seconds of entering the building. They never even called or contacted us, just disappeared. Weird…

  15. Member
    jetsetter 535 posts, Busy bee @ 6:06 am

    First of all, that baby screaming is hysterical and I can’t stop laughing. Second of all, you’re completely justified!! If a vendor is ALREADY showing signs of disorganization and flighty-ness…I’d be out the door in a heartbeat.

  16. Member
    parisian 588 posts, Busy bee @ 6:23 am

    @Miss Clover: Unfortunately, my correspondence was mostly with the owner, so no chance of her changing ;-) I do think there’s a chance that the confusion happened because of another employee, but still. That still leaves the door open for the same thing to happen later, and that’s just unacceptable.
    @jennmariee: EW, that is so bizarre that they didn’t come out to greet you or anything! I would’ve just poked my head in and been like UHH HELLOOOOOO, but I’m a loudmouth. :)
    @Mrs. Jet Setter: I know, when I saw it, I knew I had to share it! Too funny.

  17. Member
    seabeeny 68 posts, Worker bee @ 6:57 am

    I had a caterer forget our appointment, too! He just full-on forgot, and then emailed me back what I remember to be a LOT later to apologize (although he had been apologetic when we got each other on the phone when I was trying to find out where he was). Funny how that can happen! So terrible.

  18. Guest Icon Guest
    ann s., Guest @ 7:14 am

    i’m sorry, but i have to add my opinion that this is a little …. over the top. i totally get that this is your day, no one is supposed to mess it up, yada yada, but the reality is, your vendor is HUMAN. have you ever made a mistake? did you hope that your HUMAN error was met with forgiveness and grace? or intolerance and anger? i am a therapist, and have a lot of clients in my office who simply cannot tolerate the “humanness” of others. give the sista a break — she clearly just messed up and it’s not worth the dramatics. come on! perspective here.

  19. Member
    parisian 588 posts, Busy bee @ 8:22 am

    @seabeeny: Terrible indeed. When you’re thinking you’ll be paying them ~$10,000, missing just one appointment is absolutely unacceptable! I understand that things happen, but no. You shouldn’t change my appointment without at least asking for a last name if you have multiple brides by the same first name (which is easy with my name). As for just forgetting, that’s just so unprofessional! It’s sad that this happens. :(

  20. Member
    parisian 588 posts, Busy bee @ 10:47 am

    @ann s.: No, I never make mistakes ever because I am perfect. Obviously, I’m joking. There’s a reason why my ranting did not include which vendor this happened with, because I don’t believe that leaving a bad rant in connection with the vendor’s name would be fair.

    Clearly you missed the part where I said that I “did nothing” about it… meaning that I did not call the caterer and scream about them making a mistake, or anything. I simply said that that, to me, is an unacceptable mistake to be made by a vendor. I was upset by the time I wasted, I don’t think it’s an acceptable way to treat potential customers, and therefore I am choosing not to further interact with this caterer unless our other options do not pan out. I did not flip out on them because I accept that mistakes happen, but I just CHOOSE not to deal with a vendor who makes such a gross error. That’s my prerogative as a customer.

  21. Member
    mswaterfall 1403 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:04 am

    I think you’re justified in crossing them off your list. There is such a plethora of vendors out there, and if a vendor can’t be bother to answer emails, return phonecalls, or worse… SHOW UP to a meeting when they’re still trying to get your business, I’m not very confident on how they’ll behave once they already have your money. I wouldn’t deal with them either. Mistakes are human, but there is such a thing as professionalism. And, if I just forgot to meet with one of my clients, or missed a court date, they wouldn’t want to be doing business with me either, right?

  22. Member
    parisian 588 posts, Busy bee @ 11:11 am

    @Mrs. Waterfall: That’s how I figured it as well. Of course, our venue actually limits our options, so there’s a chance we could end up still using that vendor, but I would prefer to deal with someone who is professional from the beginning.

  23. Member
    EllieBeeM 2 posts, Wannabee @ 5:22 pm

    TWICE!!! First we had 2 mariachi bands that we had previously heard and loved, we decided to meet with our favorite to book them and pay our deposit. The manager never showed up to the meeting, the person at the office told us to leave the money and write down our name, date and time. We walked out immediately. First the manager didn’t care to respect our time or leave us a message and the second person sounded like a scam. RED FLAGS ALL OVER.
    The second vendor issue was with my dress. I ordered my dress about 7 or 8 months in advance. The only thing I loved about the dress was the color “antique ivory” and lace. The idea was to completely modify the dress when it arrived. The store called me two months later to let me know the store was closing, but they would still take care of any clients they already had. When the dress arrived I made my appointment to pick it up, but the representative never showed up. During this time they did appointments only. I was pissed off, after a voicemail and email I kept calling. They finally answered and said they didn’t SEE my appointment, not once apologized. I made a second appointment, the representative was 15 minutes late and they ordered the wrong color! After a lot of back and forth I got the ok to get a refund.
    This company is now closed so there is no need to review them or use social media to let people know what a horrible experience they provided.
    Listen to all the signs and go with your gut. Check out all your vendors at least through three reliable sources.

  24. Member
    gondola 1046 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:17 am

    As someone who had a bad first meeting with my cake vendor which eventually led to her canceling my order, proceed with caution. And try to get a discount or bargain to make up for not showing up.

  25. Member
    parisian 588 posts, Busy bee @ 6:11 am

    @EllieBeeM: Oh gosh, that sounds awful! Thank goodness you had the good sense to not give your money to the band (agree it sounds too sketchy to be legitimate), and that you were able to get your dress refunded. But that had to have been so stressful!
    @Mrs. Gondola: Yeah, as sad as it is, I probably will avoid that vendor at all costs. It sucks because their menu was amazing though!

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