Two bail outs in the past two weeks. Coupled with the bail out from the friend doing the photography a few months ago (which happily, ended brilliantly), this makes three.
The first of the most recent bailings you might know about if you follow me on Twitter. The hair and make-up lady that I had booked, following much research almost a year ago, suddenly decided that I wasn’t worth her time. Luckily (for her) I don’t believe that it’s right to name and shame. But after what happened, I was sorely tempted.
I wish I could put it a better way, but after much thought, it really did seem to be that I wasn’t paying enough –she clearly had a better offer from someone with deep pockets.
When I booked, it took me a couple of weeks to make a decision on whether to go ahead because of the small matter of a budget. I mentioned this – and she said we could make it work. She also emailed me a couple of times every week to ask how I was getting on; was there anything she could do to help? She assured me I was doing the right thing.
In the end, I was won over. She seemed amazing. The total cost (because I really wish someone had talked costs with me earlier on) was going to be £50 for a trial, and £180 for hair and make-up on the day. So £230. Plus travel costs – about £40. Not the cheapest – but she seemed so good, and I decided that this would be a real treat – for a girl who barely wears make up and never does anything with her hair (ie. me). But it was RIGHT AT THE TOP of what I could afford. I was shocked at the price, but assumed it was the going rate.
Until last Friday, it was all going well. We were planning a trial and sorting out a date. Then she said she was concerned. Was it just me having my make up and hair done? Well, yes, I said: it was. I’d said it might be from the start. I’d even filled in a form in January that listed just me, no one else. With each bridesmaid an extra £55 for make up ONLY and five best ladies, it was just a huge stretch.
Well, she said, she’d DEFINITELY told me that she didn’t come out just to do the bride. And she had a £400 minimum booking fee.
Woah. That was a punch to the gut. And seven weeks before the wedding. Not nice.
Hmm. How to resolve this? This is not a conversation I remember having. She certainly asked if there was anyone else in the party and I said I’d check. She never said I’d lose the booking if there wasn’t, or I’d have never booked. Red flags would have popped up all over the place. I’m no dumb bride. And then I'd filled in the form with no one else - and no queries.
Also, I’d suggest that something so vital to the process should not be in an ‘I’m sure I told you this phone call’ but WRITTEN DOWN from the very beginning so that everyone is clear. But no – there’s no mention of it. No T&Cs, nothing on the website. Nothing at all, in fact.
Luckily, I get my deposit back (perhaps recognition on her part that this could have been HER screw up, rather than mine). And it’s worked out for the best. It seems that my gut instinct was right all along. She was rather pricey. And I have now several people who can do a great job, for a little fairer price. And best of all, I feel that maybe I can rely on them, this time...