Ok Vendors, here we go...
I recently Directed a Ceremony & Decorated the Venue for a Bride. I spent at least 4 hours decorating with my crew and did my best to make everything to her taste. The Bride ended up in tears and complained 3 days later that she was dissatisfied with the Cake (which I did not make), the Candy Buffet ( she thought it would be bigger-venue only had a curved 4ft table) and the fresh flower centerpieces which contained crystals ( she said the crystals were not hanging enough). Her Guests were amazed at the decor and how beautiful the ceremony and reception were.
She wanted to be reimbursed some money because of her disappointment. My contract states "No Refunds after Services have been rendered".
Tell me what would you do or what do you think?
Yikes! What an un-fun situation to be in.
It does appear that you've fulfilled your agreement per your contract. However, one unhappy bride can make a lot of bad press for you.
While you might legally be in the right to stick to your guns and not give her a refund, it could get ugly.
I'd issue her a partial refund. It will make it much more difficult for her to bad mouth your business if you've "made it right." It sucks, but it's a cost of doing business. That's what I'd do, anyway.
Tough situation! Perhaps, I'd give her a gift but I would not refund any of her money. If you start that, the word will get out and you will be taken advantage of by other brides. She could be faking just to get a refund.
Im surprised that these details werent discussed in great detail beforehand. As a bride I remember going through the furniture inventory, even measuring tables, and knew exactly what the centrepieces would look like etc. It seems like a breakdown in communication where her expectations were not clearly communicated.
I usually do a sample and pictures of the samples approved prior to the event. I have learned, painfully, to be very careful with what I do. Also, were the specifications of all items in writing prior to the event and approved? Unfortunately, the bride is your client and is the one who really counts. I would stick to the contract if she approved all items prior to and knew what they would be.
Did she do a walk through with you so that she could see the size of the table? A cake tasting, sample of the centerpieces? I show my Brides everything and I make them sign off on everything. Especially the things Brides think are important This way she can't say she is not pleased, because she made the final approval. I also put in my contract that if she uses a Vendor of her choice, not one of my of my preferred vendor I won't be held responsible for his/her work. I usually have 1 table set up at the venue with the linen, place setting and centerpieces to allow her to make changes at that time, and I do that when we go to the Venue for her "tasting". As for a refund? If its my work, my vendor and I didn't get her final approval ; I would give her a partial refund once she signed a "Hold Harmless" addendum to her contract.
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