Broke-Ass Tag: wedding vendors

5/20

Affiliate Disclaimer NewEtsy TheAngelPaperie These are My People Quote on Canvas

Quote on Canvas available from Etsy seller TheAngelPaperie

I recently re-shared a post I wrote last year about fear-mongering, shaming and budget weddings because I’ve been noticing a trend that concerns me — not necessarily among our readers, but more among wedding businesses. Recently on BAB’s Facebook page, one of our advertisers was harassed and bullied due to the nature of her business. See, she was an online wedding gown retailer — her gowns were made by seamstresses overseas, but she was not the rip-off, knock-off business you’ve read about on Buzzfeed. Rather, like a very large majority of retailers across all sectors, she outsourced the manufacturing of her gowns overseas to cut down on costs and save her customers money. And her customers are primarily brides working with smaller budgets, so her advertising with us was kind of a no-brainer. I had thoroughly done my research before agreeing to work with her, because we try to ensure our partnerships aren’t only good for us as a business, but for you guys as consumers.

One of our primary goals here is to provide a safe space for businesses and couples of all ilks to come and connect. Not every wedding business is cut from the same cloth and they tend to cater to a wide range of customers, just as not every couple is the same and will make decisions best for them based on their budgets and wants. But finding the right people for you when there are a million and a half websites and options out there can be tricky. So we try to help and support both you and those businesses.

In the incident with the wedding gown retailer, she had purchased a Facebook shoutout sometime in April. Last week, a woman — who I discovered is the owner of a brick and mortar bridal salon in Kentucky — started accusing our advertiser of being a wedding gown counterfeiter. Though our advertiser responded that she was not a counterfeiter and offered to privately discuss her business with this woman, the comments did not stop. And in fact, the woman pulled in other brick and mortar bridal salon owners to comment as well, eventually leading to a thread about 50 comments deep and genuinely full of harassing and bullying comments. They even recruited a staffer of a well-known bridal magazine and started accusing the advertiser of tax fraud among other unethical business practices. I remained in communication with the advertiser the whole time, trying to support and defend her — because that’s what we do when we’ve vetted a business we believe is a good fit. And we certainly don’t tolerate bullying or harassment of any kind, especially not on our own social media platforms. In the end, the advertiser asked me to delete the Facebook post, which I did, and she decided to close her shop for a while.

You guys, this behavior lead her to CLOSE HER SHOP. As in, stop her business. That’s not very cool. And in the end, it came to light that the whole ruckus began because the brick and mortar salon owner believes online retailers are a threat to her business — so rather than doing her research, she attacked.

Here at The Broke-Ass Bride, we have often promoted nontraditional methods of obtaining your wedding gown — whether it’s shopping off-the-rack, buying from online retailers, sewing your own gown or even daring to get your gown from an overseas retailer. We try to provide you with the best information and education possible so you can make the best decision for you and your budget. We know that your budgets vary, based on the figures you give us to work with for Can’t Afford It? Get Over It! and we know that bridal salons may not be the best place for you to buy your wedding gown, given they often have starting prices that are double what many of you would like to spend. For many of you, dropping mad cash on a gown you will wear for a single day is not a priority, so we try to help you find options that work for you. But others of you place high priority on the gown and want the salon experience, and we applaud that as well.

And this goes beyond wedding gowns. We try to provide you with tips, tricks, DIY tutorials and advice to help you be creative and savvy with your wedding dollars, regardless of your budget. We realize no two of you darling Broke-Asses are alike, nor will your weddings be. You are all prioritizing differently for your weddings, which we well know just from our Real Brides, so we try to include as much information as possible. And we strive to make this a safe, judgment-free community for you to come to, regardless if your wedding budget is $100 or $50,000 (or more!). Budget means different things to different people, and is totally relative depending on where you live, what you do, etc. We stand behind the companies we we work with because we believe they’ll be a great fit for you.

We often hear the word “tacky” thrown around a lot in Weddingland, and we actually have our comment moderation set up both here and on Facebook to require manual approval for any comment that contains the word, because we feel so strongly about not hurting other people’s feelings. We keep a close eye on all of our social media platforms to ensure everyone is playing nice and you, our readers, feel safe having conversations in the space we provide. Because weddings are stressful, y’all, and the last thing you or anyone needs is for a stranger to openly and wantonly judge or harass you based on the decisions you make that are best for your situation. In an industry that stretches into the billions in revenue yearly and relies on the likes of celebrities and their multi-million dollar nuptials to forecast trends, being a bride with a small budget — whether by choice or by circumstance — can be difficult and shade can and will be thrown.

But not here. Whether you’re an advertiser who wants to work with Broke-Ass couples or you are a part of a Broke-Ass couple, this is your space. This area was made for you. And we try to make it safe so you can be who you are and throw the wedding you want, whatever that looks like and however you accomplish that.

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  • 5/17

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewSkid Row Hotel photograph by Etsy seller StovallPhotography

    Photograph available from Etsy seller StovallPhotography

    Whelp, BABs. Turns out the hotel contract that I raved about in my previous post got pulled.

    Last week Monday, I gleefully took my lunch hour to walk up to the hotel to drop our contract off. The hotel was more beautiful than the pictures. The historic look of the hotel would be perfect for our photos. I ended up more excited about our Plan B than I was about our Plan A. The woman at the front desk was pleasant and the doorman made me smile.

    Before I dropped it off, I emailed my hotel contact and asked that he let me know when he’s received it, since I was dropping it off at the front desk and it had my credit card information on it. I didn’t hear from him. I didn’t want to be a pest, so I waited until Wednesday and asked him again if he’d received it.

    A few hours later, I get an email from my contact’s boss, the Director of Sales for the hotel. She asked me to give her a call regarding our guests’ minimum nights stay, and a food and beverage minimum on the dressing rooms we’ve reserved.

    I knew what she was calling about. It was the exact two things that I had questioned on my contract that were removed. Our guests were going to have to stay two nights to get the discounted rate, and there was a $200 food and beverage minimum. The two nights stay was going to be a deal breaker for us, so I plainly asked if that’s what the issue was, and if there was any wiggle room on it.

    The answer regarding wiggle room was a pleasant and barely apologetic no. She was sorry about the miscommunication, but the hotel requires this of all their wedding blocks.

    I was disappointed that the hotel made no effort to work with me. With rooms, after party bar tabs and brunch the next day, they probably lost close to $3000. My feelings on these sort of things is always to wash my hands of it and move on. I don’t dwell.

    On to Plan C.

    Plan C is a great hotel, a few more blocks away than I would prefer, but still only eight blocks from our venue. It’s maybe a little more modern looking than we had hoped, but they were responsive, friendly and gave us everything we asked for. Contract is signed, delivered and countersigned.

    It is important to us, myself in particular, to have gift bags at the hotel. I know it’s just a little thing, but I feel like people are spending a lot of money to come in from out of town. It’s a small gesture of appreciation for those who went the extra mile, literally. We couldn’t do that without a room block. I also wanted to make sure everyone wasn’t scattered and could easily attend preceremony and after party things.

    So, the moral of my last post was to read your contracts carefully. The moral of this one is even when you do, things can still change, and having plans A, B and C at the ready, is crucial.

    Has this happened to any other BABs out there? Have you had a contract ready to go, then a vendor decides there was a mistake made and backs out?

  • 5/3

    hotel

    Photo available from Etsy seller KevinKlimaPhoto Hotels have been my largest vendor disappointment to date. Last year, I was really excited to learn that a brand new, boutique-style hotel was being built directly across the street from our ceremony location and venue. Couldn’t get much easier than that, right? I knew it would be a bit pricey, but was prepared to shell out some cash…

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    2/18

    Photo by Shaina Sheaff

    We talk a lot about taking the stress out of wedding planning and learning when to take a deep breath and let things go, but when it comes down to it, this is an incredibly special day and some things are worth a little fight. As our wedding day slips further and further into the past (almost five months, yo!), the glow of happiness is…

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    12/7

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Being a bride and also working in the industry gives me a unique perspective. I'm involved with an online community of bridal professionals and creatives, and I reached out to them this week when my bridal side had questions. Long story short, I was getting some anxiety because I was getting bad vibes from my photographer. Nothing terrible, just not feeling like we were clicking.…

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  • 11/23

    Wedspire

    Wouldn't wedding planning just be a breeze if you could create a wishlist, share it on one platform and get matched with pros and rentals that fit into your ideal budget? Even better if you earned points toward dollars off said rentals and purchases? Well, you know that if I brought it up, it's because it's a REAL THING YOU CAN DO. No, for serious.…

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    10/29

    Notice my bridesmaid's face...
Photo by Shaina Sheaff

    It’s crazy to think it’s been just over a month since over a year of work and worry and celebration and joy culminated into our beautiful wedding. In that month I’ve had a little time to go over what went wrong because when you read that something will go wrong, yeah, they’re right. Plenty of things from small snafus to (seemingly) dire disasters popped up…

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    2/23

    One thing I see over and over again are couples who have issues with a vendor’s performance, and don’t quite know how to proceed. For instance, I just heard about a wedding photographer who has not delivered prints for a wedding that happened two years ago. Can you imagine? Here are the steps I suggest you take when you have a conflict with your vendor,…

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  • 1/23

    DSC_0669

    Credit: Elizabeth Bates Photography It can be a cruel world out there for brides on a budget. So much of the pretty can be out of reach, and it gets exhausting trying to keep up with the Joneses. Bridal Burnout can take place way early on, because there is a butt-ton of brain juice going into your wedding. That's why, here at The Broke-Ass Bride, we…

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