DEAR PRESTON: MY WEDDING DESIGNER WANTS ALL HER MONEY BEFORE THE WEDDING
September 13, 2011
My fiancé and I have been engaged for two years, and we’re finally getting married this fall. When we first started planning our wedding, we hired a designer, and we’ve already paid her most of her fee. However, now she wants to be paid in full ten days before our wedding. I did go back and look at our contract, and it does say she should be paid in full beforehand. But I don’t feel comfortable with that.
I told her that we’d pay her everything but the last 30% — just in case something goes wrong during our wedding. But she said that was unacceptable. She even said that if we don’t pay in full before the wedding, she won’t show up!
What should we do? Do you collect your full amount before or after the weddings you do?
A Fall Bride
Dear Fall Bride,
Pay up. I’m so sorry you didn’t read the fine print earlier, but a deal’s a deal. It sounds like your designer was very clear about her terms. You’ve already paid for your wedding dress in full, right? You’re not waiting to pay the balance on your wedding dress just in case you don’t like the way it looks on your wedding day, are you? I don’t think so.
Please forgive me for been so blunt, but it has been my experience that couples who want to pay after their wedding, always end up finding some reason or another not to pay the remaining balance. I’m sure you and your fiancé have no intention of doing that, but you can understand why your designer wants her money before your wedding.
Now, all this being said, there are still a few ways you and your fiancé can protect yourselves:
1. Make sure that you’ve seen and approved of every single design element that your designer is creating for your wedding, and make sure you get it all in writing.
2. Also, get a signed agreement from your designer which clearly states that you will be reimbursed for any agreed upon designs she fails to produce.
3. Once you’ve established items #1 and #2 above, please go to your wedding with joy, love and trust.
Good luck, and congratulations!
Dear Readers, what do you think she should do? As wedding professionals, what do you do? Please share!