Saturday, June 22, 2013

Supplier Review - Coordinator

The other day I posted about our caterer's boo-boos. Today would be about one of the famous Wedding Coordinators in the Philippines.


Eto ang tagal ko na dapat ni-blog pero, alam mo yun, nakakapagod magalit at ayoko nang i-recall yung na-feel ko nung panahon na yun. But my friends insisted I have to write a review for the sake of other brides.

photo by: wpic.typepad.com
My coordinator is one of the famous ones and I thought we're in good hands, I was wrong. I should have cancelled my booking with them as soon as I heard my couple friends stories about them. To make my couple friends long story short, they almost hired a new coordinator a week before their wedding dahil nga naii-stress na sila sa coordinator na yun which happened to be our coordinator too.

 Yan nga ang problema pag sikat na coordinator. Marami bookings. Nagmu-multi-task sila. Di ka na natututukan. Now, I'm not being a brat, what I'm asking for is since I paid for the services, I deserve a good service. Hindi yung half-baked.

So here's the list of boo-boos, in no particular order (but I did save the best for last, lol)

1. Na-offend sila sa detailed instructions ko and my list that tells them everything that i would need help to. Sinabihan ako ng "we know what we're doing, marlin".  Ang taray. Ayoko lang mag-assume kaya I list them all down para kung di nila pede gawin yun or out of scope yung gusto namin ipagawa malalaman namin agad and I can assign someone to do it.

Case in point, I want to record our musicians. Kasi yun yung pinagsisihan namin ni hubby nung Civil wedding namin. Tuwang-tuwa kami sa musicians namin pero we didn't get to hear them ofcourse during cocktails kasi nagpi-pictorial kami. So one of the items on my list for them is need someone to just push the record button and change batteries if need be. Sabi nila hindi na nila scope yun. See, that is why I have that list. Because of that I know I need to delegate it to someone else.

2. Wedding banns - Doble bayad. Umuwi ako 5 months before our wedding to take care of some wedding stuff. So I asked them kung gusto ba nila ako na maglakad ng church requirements ko (ie: baptismal, confirmation, etc), sabi nila sila na bahala at yun Wedding Banns na lang asikasuhin ko. So I did that. Tapos I paid for it na rin, kahit you really don't have to pay until it's time to get it back. Tapos I sent them an email with the photo of the claim form with the receipt that it's been paid in full. May OR number pa nga. When it's time to get the Wedding Banns, late pa nga nila nakuha but that's another story. So yun nga, nakuha nila at binigyan ako ng receipt magkano binayad nila. E bayad na nga yun! I had to resend my email to them that has the receipt. Tsk, not paying attention talaga.

3. Very slow replies and they keep you in the dark as to why. We're an overseas couple, madali kami ma-praning kapag yung suppliers namin na binayaran namin at hindi namin kilala ay hindi nagre-reply sa emails namin. Tapos pag finally sumagot sila sasabihin nila may namatay kasi sa sa family. actually 5 beses may namatay sa family nila nung 2012. That''s OK, I understand that, hindi naman ako bato but what I dont like is how they turn the situation around as if I'm being inconsiderate. E malay ko bang namatayan sila, wala akong ESP no! They should atleast have an out of office notice or something (which I think they do sometimes and sometimes wala talaga)

Eto pa, one time, same thing, may important question na ang tagal-tagal nila bago nag-reply na eventually nag-complain ako. banatan ba naman ako sa email ng: "nde kme lagi online like u" . Tama ba namang sagot yan. They should check their emails regularly. And take note, hindi nama kame yung tipong gusto sasagot agad. We usually give them atleast 3 days to 1 week to reply. I therefore conclude, hindi sila pwede sa overseas couple.

4. Late to submit Church Requirements. Ang sabi sa Notre Dame De Vie checklist "All requirements should be submitted three (3) months before the wedding" (which is October 19, in our case). So ako, I trust them naman so hindi ko na sila ni-remind kasi baka mapadalhan na naman ako ng email na "we know what we're doing". Pero nagtataka ako bakit parang wala akong nare-receive na emails from them with copies of my church requirements, or update na napasa na nila yung requirements. Tapos, nung nakausap ko tatay ko sabi nya hindi pa rin daw kinukuha ng coordinator yung NSO birth certificate ko. E lagpas na ng deadline for submission at isa yung birth certificate sa requirements. So nag-follow-up ako.

Dahilan nila, kesyo they were trying to contact Bro Reyn daw and can't reach him that they had to call my AE at Fernbrook and they found out Bro Reyn's only there on certain days. Duh, I told them that already. Ngayon lang nila nalaman? So yun dinahilan nila. But how do you explain yung statement nila na they will get my NSO birth certificate from my father on October 30. Which gives me the impression na nalimutan nila to work on my requirements.

Dahilan nila lenient naman Notre Dame sa overseas couple so kahit late requirements, but that's not the issue here. I'm pissed that they are not on top of things and they didn't update me on what's going on with my church requirements. Tapos out of the country pala sila nun, sana man lang inayos nila bago sila umalis. Alam mo, minsan lang naman updates lang gusto marinig ng couples e. Assurance na, you are actually paying attention to their needs at kung male-late or whatever just inform the couple right away. Anyway,  1 gray hair later, na-send na nila sa Notre Dame De Vie but not until November 1.

5. Bridal March boo-boo. I specifically told them not to play my Bridal March song (The first time I loved Forever) until the door opens. So narinig ko na ang Canon D for the Entourage so good. Halfway thru ng ento march pinalabas na ako ng bridal car. Tapos konting retouch. Ayos ng veil. Ganun. Tapos nagulat ako biglang tinutugtog na Bridal March song ko! Eh inaayusan pa ako! Gusto ko sigawan yung coordinator ko, pero sabi, let go daw. So fine. Ayoko masira yung moment ko. So mga 5 minutes nang tinutugtog yung Bridal March song ko, naiinis na talaga ako pero nagta-try lang ako magpigil. Isip ko song lang yan, at second wedding na 'to namin ni hubby so ok lang yan. But in short, nawala dramatic entrance ko. So isa ulit proof na they are not on top of things.


6. They find it hard to go an extra mile for a client.  Remember yung tape recorder thingie that I mentioned on #1. Sabi nila sobrang busy na sila nun and that would be a nuissance for them. E ang simple lang kaya nun. Apat naman sila. At ano naman yung mag-allot sila ng 5 minutes just to check kung may battery pa yung tape recorder ko. So jan pa lang makikita mo nang hindi sila dedicated sa clients nila. Na "matabang" ang customer service nila.

7. Imposing sila. I mean, it's Ok to suggest, in fact I like that and some of their suggestions we actually incorporated on our wedding pero to be pushy, na sinabi na ng couple na "no" pilit pa rin nilang pinu-push yung suggestion nila. This is our wedding not theirs. We have our own vision of our wedding and I don't care what their vision is.

One example yung sa couples' sofa sa stage. Kesyo pangit daw yung napili namin, dapat park bench kinda thing dapat. Eh ayoko nga! Pilit pa rin sila. That they will find a nice bench daw, etcetera. Pero pinaglaban ko yung couple's sofa ko, haha. Isa pa example of this is the Love Story-Interview video. Gusto ko kasi i-play yun bago kami i-introduce. Para maiba. Tsaka feeling ko mas appropriate yun dahil 90% of our guests hindi kilala si hubby at hindi alam pano kami nagkakilala, so perfect introduction yun before kami pumasok sa reception venue. They insist na masyado mahaba ang video (11 minutes) at mas Ok kung during dinner/reception na lang, etc. Sino ang nag-set ng rule na dapat yung pang-intro video ay 3 minutes lang. Sino nag-set ng rule na bawal video before the couple's grand entrance?  Sino? Kasi daw baka ma-bored ang guests. Hindi sila mabo-bored because I know them. They've been dying to know how we met specially since my hubby is a foreign national. Isa pa, wala ba kaming karapatan gawin kung ano gusto namin mangyari sa wedding namin? Bakit kelangan ko pang ipaglaban ano gusto naming mangyari sa wedding, eh wedding namin yun, binayaran namin yun. Pero in the end napagod na ako, at pati si hubby sinabihan na ako na let go na  lang kasi nga naii-stress na ako. So yung gusto nila nangyari. Bottom line is, di dapat sila nakikipag-argue. Suggest, explain their point, tapos let the couple sit on it to decide and when the couple decided at ayaw talaga sa suggestion nila, drop it na. Wag nang buhayin ulit ang topic. Wag nang ipilit yung gusto nila.


8. Told me they won't do RSVP after I printed their names on the invitation's RSVP details. I emailed them a few times asking about the contact details that I should  use for the RSVP part on our wedding invitations. I asked them kung Ok lang ba na sila contact person for RSVP, sabi nila oo. Pero! after ma-print yung invitation bigla akong nakatanggap ng email saying: "ay, hindi pala kasali yung RSVP sa package nyo". Letch talaga. So ngayon mo lang sasabihin kung kelan naka-print na ang invitations at ready to mail. Ayoko naman burahin pangalan nila dun at masisira aesthetics ng invitation. So I had to contact each of our guests to tell them to not RSVP using the coordinator, na i-FB na lang ako or email or text. Ang hassle di ba. Imbyerna to the highest level.

9. Wedding favors surplus. We only have 100 guests and madami kaming guests na hindi um-attend but we have 120 wedding favors so medyo marami natirang wedding favors. Sinabi naman nila sa amin na may natirang wedding favors pero sabi nila pinamigay na nila sa ibang suppliers. Ah eh. Ganun? Di man lang muna kami tinanong ano gusto namin gawin sa extra wedding favors, sila na nag-decide. Feeling namin inuwi na nila yun. I hope we're wrong. Medyo kakaiba pa man din yung wedding favors namin at in-order pa namin online.  Eto itsura nya, just scroll down ng konti click me.

and the best for last

10. They messed up the seating chart. Eto na naman isang proof that they're not paying attention sa instructions ng couple.

Ganito kasi. Meron sila workbook na kelangan ko fill-up-an. Kasali na dun list of guests. I added an additional tab for seating chart. Kasi yung seating chart namin not by numbers but by famous city names, pero I numbered it din. I gave that same seating chart sa Josiah din at naka-CC sila. I emailed them a few times about the seating chart dahil nakita ko yung floor plan nila for tables at mali. In short, they know it's there.

A few days before the wedding when we met with them nagtataka ako bakit mali pa rin yung layout, pero sabi lang nila aayusin nila yun. Dun pa lang medyo my alarm bells went off na talaga. Pero that time kasi, being it 4 days before the wedding, I decided to just trust them, to let them do their work. At ayoko na kasing mapagalitan nila ulit na "they know what their doing".

So come wedding day, nagtataka ako bakit may empty table sa pinakaharap. Pero sabi nga, on your wedding day, just let go para ma-enjoy mo yung wedding mo, so I "try" to ignore it, pero super eyesore pa rin sa kin kasi that means we wasted thousands of pesos for that table (food, flowers,etc). So anyway, after the wedding dun na nagsimula na may nagkwento sa kin na upset ang nanay ko dahil lahat ng kamag-anak nya nasa dulong-dulo while  yung kamag-anak ng tatay ko e nasa unahan lahat (they're both should be in front, one family on the left side, the other on the right).

Cause you see, my parents are separated and my brother and I lived with our father when my mother left us. But I made sure none of my relatives would feel that I'm favoring one family over the other. I don't want to cause any tension. But because my coordinators didn't pay attention to my seating chart all of that effort was in vain. And who's getting all the  blame, me! Lalo pa nakita ng mga guests na may empty table sa unahan and the impression it gave them is I'd rather have that front table empty rather than have my my mother's family sit infront. Ang pangit pakinggan, di ba. Tapos jan na nagsimula ang mga chismis galing sa ibang guests na kesyo kinakawawa ko raw nanay ko. Kesyo may favoritism daw ako.

Ofcourse I emailed them about it, tinanong ko pa sila kung hindi ba nila pinansin yung seating chart na binigay ko, sabi sa kin "ofcourse we did, paulit-ulit pa dahil alam namin how detailed-oriented you are".....so tanong ako ulit bakit ganun nangyari, nung sumagot sila parang ako pa may kasalanan. Sabihan ba naman ako ng:
"...you have a better eye on all details and that you follow instructions to the letter we actually trusted that you would base all subsequent on it as well".

Nag-panting talaga ang tenga ko jan. Pag alam nila sila ang may kasalanan they like turning the stories around para magmukhang ikaw ang may kasalanan. We have given them all the artifacts, all the detailed instructions (to the point that they got offended that they feel I was teaching them how to do thier work) and all they had to do is read, ask questions if they have any, understand,  and then execute it.  I thought that's what Wedding Coordinators are for, to follow and execute what the couple wants for their "own" wedding. Di ba nila alam how important a seating chart is? If they don't know that, they're in the wrong field.


Yung iba readers siguro iniisip nyo maliit na bagay lang naman yung iba. Ok fine, maliit na bagay, pero nakakainis lang na  nakikita mo na yung yung ni-hire mo para maging stress-free ang wedding mo is the same people na nagbibigay sa yo ng stress!

I know what you're thinking I should have fired them sa simula pa lang, pero iniisip ko kasi nun baka nagba-bridezilla lang ako. Tsaka parang naii-stress ako lalo na isipin na we have to do turn overs, at nakausap na nila ang mga suppliers namin at may working relationship na sila with our suppliers and hiring a new coordinator might just confuse them. Tapos napa-paranoid pa ako na baka i-bad mouth kami ng coordinators namin sa existing suppliers namin pag ni-cancel namin yung service nlia at gumanti yung suppliers sa min on their behalf by sabotaging the goods they would deliver. I know, masyadong exag na yan, pero ewan. paranoid lang talaga. Actually, they gave us an option to cancel our contract or to downgrade and I did start scouting for new coordinators pero they offered that a month before the wedding, taken na yung mga good ones, so natakot ako and decided against cancelling. What we did was we downgraded (from turnover package to just OTD).

For the record, I'm not looking for a perfect wedding, alam ko imposible yun. This is just to warn other brides/soon-to-wed couples out there what they should watch out for para ma-minimize yung ganitong stress-inducers.

We still enjoyed our wedding kasi yung iba naman (like yung sa pagnanakaw ng servers ng food, at maling seating arrangement)  after the wedding ko na nalaman. And we have a lot of suppliers that we really really love na pag naiisip namin yung good stuff na yun, kahit paano nao-offset yung ibang palpak during the wedding. To follow yung good reviews.


So eto tips ko:

1. If you're an overseas bride and you're very hands-on, I suggest don't get them. See #1 & #3.
2. When booking a coordinator, make sure to ask about their cancellation policy, para kung ma-feel nyo hindi kayo magkakasundo you can easily fire them.
3. If sa simula pa lang pasaway na sila huwag ka nang magdalawang isip, fire them and look for another coordinator. It's not worth the stress.



Coordinator: Jetts and Rhona Battung (Canaan Celebrations)



P.S.
They know all this because we were emailing back and forth
because of those boo-boos. They even offered to refund our
payment pero di namin tinanggap. It's not about the money,
it's about making them aware that we are displeased and that
they should make sure it doesn't happen again to any of their
clients. Besides, hindi mo mababayaran ng pera yung psychological
at emotional effects nung nangyari.

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