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Wedding Woes

Wedding Planners and Law Suits

Just wanted to give a heads up to anyone hiring a wedding planner, or anyone for that matter, especially if a contract is involved as to my experience. This would apply to anyone, but I would like to caution specifically the western Maryland, DC area people.

My story, the short version. We got married last Saturday, it was amazing. The perfect day. We had a few issues with our wedding planner, and through several conversations with her she was not an enormous help, and she even ended up yelling at my bride the day before our wedding when we told her we would like the sides on the tent for our backyard wedding to be removed. After the wedding, I posted negative, but truthful reviews online, and was immediately called by the wedding planner and threatened with action if I did not remove them. I obviously did not remove them, and so next I received an email from a lawyer treatening to sue me for defamation if the reviews were not removed. Again, I did not remove the posts because nothing I have said has been untrue.

So, to sum it up. I'm glad that I had not personally signed a contract, nor my wife, with this wedding planner, and that my rights to freedom of speech should still be protected by the constitution. But I would caution anyone hiring wedding planners or hiring anyone at all to really read your contract, and I would also caution anyone planning on doing business with Theresa Daly of Vanity Fair Weddings and Special Events, LLC (aka Vanity Fair Events).
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Re: Wedding Planners and Law Suits

  • What did these reviews say, exactly?  Because freedom of speech doesn't exempt actual defamation.  Without seeing the reviews, it's impossible to determine who is right here.
  • VarunaTT said:
    Freedom of speech is protection from government infringement on speech.  The wedding planner is not the government.

    You can say anything you want; you don't have protection from the consequences of saying what you want from society and/or individuals.
    V, you said that so much better than I could.  All legal-like.  :)
    VarunaTTmrsconn23
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'm sorry your planner was bad, but seriously?! Freedom of speech?! Freedom of speech does not equal consequence free speech. 
    image

    The first amendment is: "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech". 

    So unless your elected representative put a motion before congress that what you said was illegal, your freedom of speech was perfectly intact.

    If you can prove what you said was a verifiable fact (ie she sent me a harrasing email- here is evidence) and not just "she is a monster", she won't win a defamation case. But do be careful that everything you wrote in your review was factual and based on verifiable evidence. But if you wrote: "She is the most unorganised person in the world and you are stupid to hire her" it is a grey area.
  • IrishPirate60IrishPirate60 Clare Island member
    Fourth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    You got married six days ago and, I'm guessing, went online Monday morning to kvetch about your planner? If you and your wife did not hire the planner, did you talk with whoever DID sign on the dotted line BEFORE you started complaining publicly?
  • IrishPirate60IrishPirate60 Clare Island member
    Fourth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    Just wanted to give a heads up to anyone hiring a wedding planner, or anyone for that matter, especially if a contract is involved as to my experience. This would apply to anyone, but I would like to caution specifically the western Maryland, DC area people. My story, the short version. We got married last Saturday, it was amazing. The perfect day. We had a few issues with our wedding planner, and through several conversations with her she was not an enormous help, and she even ended up yelling at my bride the day before our wedding when we told her we would like the sides on the tent for our backyard wedding to be removed. After the wedding, I posted negative, but truthful reviews online, and was immediately called by the wedding planner and threatened with action if I did not remove them. I obviously did not remove them, and so next I received an email from a lawyer treatening to sue me for defamation if the reviews were not removed. Again, I did not remove the posts because nothing I have said has been untrue. So, to sum it up. I'm glad that I had not personally signed a contract, nor my wife, with this wedding planner, and that my rights to freedom of speech should still be protected by the constitution. But I would caution anyone hiring wedding planners or hiring anyone at all to really read your contract, and I would also caution anyone planning on doing business with Theresa Daly of Vanity Fair Weddings and Special Events, LLC (aka Vanity Fair Events).

    JIC
    mrsconn23TrixieJessjustsieInLoveInQueens
  • We did indeed talk with my mother-in-law prior to leaving a negative review. The review was based solely on truth and therefore defamation is a not a concern of mine. If I was lying that would be another story. I did not slander, name call or use profanity, I simply stated the areas that her services did not meet our expectations. For example, we had prime rib on the menu, she failed to order steak knives. We had beer and wine and a champagne toast, all she ordered was highball glasses and coffee mugs. We had provided her with a menu from our caterer and told her we hired a bartender to serve beer and wine. My mother in law called her the night before the wedding to discuss glassware and received an unsavory response. She ordered the wrong kind of heaters for the tent, she ordered forced hot air heaters for tents with sides after we stated that we did not want sides, then she refused to swap them for patio heaters stating to me that anyone who knew anything about party rentals knows you can't put a patio heater under a tent. That is incorrect because I worked in party rental years ago, and patio heaters were the only kind of heaters we used, and they got set up in tents all the time. She also refused to move her car from the driveway after my bride asked her to please move her car when the delivery truck was dropping off supplies, forcing the delivery truck to hug close to a tree on the property which resulted in damage to the tree. She told our photographers they couldn't eat when I was under a signed contract to provide them dinner and a break, forcing me to take time out of my wedding reception to tell a groomsman to tell the photographers to go eat. I work in food service and event catering, and have worked in party rental and event planning in the past, so I know our requests and requirements were not unreasonable. The bottom line is that the client is paying you, so you give the client what they want until they stop paying you. There is no excuses for arguing with a client, and especially not yelling at one especially considering the fact that the requests were within her capability and were not unreasonable.
  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited October 2015
    We did indeed talk with my mother-in-law prior to leaving a negative review. The review was based solely on truth and therefore defamation is a not a concern of mine. If I was lying that would be another story. I did not slander, name call or use profanity, I simply stated the areas that her services did not meet our expectations. For example, we had prime rib on the menu, she failed to order steak knives. We had beer and wine and a champagne toast, all she ordered was highball glasses and coffee mugs. We had provided her with a menu from our caterer and told her we hired a bartender to serve beer and wine. My mother in law called her the night before the wedding to discuss glassware and received an unsavory response. She ordered the wrong kind of heaters for the tent, she ordered forced hot air heaters for tents with sides after we stated that we did not want sides, then she refused to swap them for patio heaters stating to me that anyone who knew anything about party rentals knows you can't put a patio heater under a tent. That is incorrect because I worked in party rental years ago, and patio heaters were the only kind of heaters we used, and they got set up in tents all the time. She also refused to move her car from the driveway after my bride asked her to please move her car when the delivery truck was dropping off supplies, forcing the delivery truck to hug close to a tree on the property which resulted in damage to the tree. She told our photographers they couldn't eat when I was under a signed contract to provide them dinner and a break, forcing me to take time out of my wedding reception to tell a groomsman to tell the photographers to go eat. I work in food service and event catering, and have worked in party rental and event planning in the past, so I know our requests and requirements were not unreasonable. The bottom line is that the client is paying you, so you give the client what they want until they stop paying you. There is no excuses for arguing with a client, and especially not yelling at one especially considering the fact that the requests were within her capability and were not unreasonable.

    First, your grasp on the Constitution is truly terrifying. You clearly have no idea what the First Amendment and Freedom of speech mean.

    Second, While the wedding planner doesn't sound great. It sounds like you, 'your bride' and MIL are partly to blame.

    And I cant believe you had to take 6 seconds out of your wedding to tell a GM to tell the photographers they can eat. GASP, the horror!!! Why did you even bother your GM with this? Just go straight to the photog

    BabyFruit Ticker
    InLoveInQueenssouthernbelle0915
  • KatWAG said:


    First, your grasp on the Constitution is truly terrifying. You clearly have no idea what the First Amendment and Freedom of speech mean.

    Second, While the wedding planner doesn't sound great. It sounds like you, 'your bride' and MIL are partly to blame.

    And I cant believe you had to take 6 seconds out of your wedding to tell a GM to tell the photographers they can eat. GASP, the horror!!! Why did you even bother your GM with this? Just go straight to the photog

    I would love to hear your interpetation of freedom of speech. I never claimed to be perfect or not in any fault, and it isn't a big deal to have to take a minute to fix the situation, but I also shouldn't have had to fix the problem in the first place. The point here, which I think in all your trolling you forgot to grasp, is that I am indeed entitled to my opinion as you are entitled to yours, and that I do have the right to write a comment, a review, or an entire novel if I choose to about the services performed by vendors at my wedding without being bullied or intimidated with threats of law suits. I am not trying to spread rumors and lies, and my intent is not to slander. I only wish to make the truth public, the things that I know to be true, because I was there and witnessed them along with roughly 100 other people. I also do not wish to get into an internet forum battle with "Barbie", "KatWAG" or anyone else for that matter, so if you don't have anything worth while to contribute, please troll along someplace else and have a nice life.

  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    First, your grasp on the Constitution is truly terrifying. You clearly have no idea what the First Amendment and Freedom of speech mean.

    Second, While the wedding planner doesn't sound great. It sounds like you, 'your bride' and MIL are partly to blame.

    And I cant believe you had to take 6 seconds out of your wedding to tell a GM to tell the photographers they can eat. GASP, the horror!!! Why did you even bother your GM with this? Just go straight to the photog

    I would love to hear your interpetation of freedom of speech. I never claimed to be perfect or not in any fault, and it isn't a big deal to have to take a minute to fix the situation, but I also shouldn't have had to fix the problem in the first place. The point here, which I think in all your trolling you forgot to grasp, is that I am indeed entitled to my opinion as you are entitled to yours, and that I do have the right to write a comment, a review, or an entire novel if I choose to about the services performed by vendors at my wedding without being bullied or intimidated with threats of law suits. I am not trying to spread rumors and lies, and my intent is not to slander. I only wish to make the truth public, the things that I know to be true, because I was there and witnessed them along with roughly 100 other people. I also do not wish to get into an internet forum battle with "Barbie", "KatWAG" or anyone else for that matter, so if you don't have anything worth while to contribute, please troll along someplace else and have a nice life.

    Slow your roll.

    My interpretation of the First Amendment is exactly what @LondonLisa stated. The US government did not try to pass legislation banning you from writing your review or expressing your thoughts. So you First Amendment/ Freedom of Speech argument is not valid.

    No one said that you are not entitled to your opinions. And yes you may post them wherever you like. But making those posts have consequences such as a potential lawsuit for defamation or people on an internet forum commenting on your ranting and ravings.

    And if you didn't wish to engage in a discuss about your wedding planner, why did you post this on a forum? Are you unfamiliar with how forums work?

    BabyFruit Ticker
    VarunaTTPrettyGirlLost
  • KahlylaKahlyla Moncton, NB member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    First, your grasp on the Constitution is truly terrifying. You clearly have no idea what the First Amendment and Freedom of speech mean.

    Second, While the wedding planner doesn't sound great. It sounds like you, 'your bride' and MIL are partly to blame.

    And I cant believe you had to take 6 seconds out of your wedding to tell a GM to tell the photographers they can eat. GASP, the horror!!! Why did you even bother your GM with this? Just go straight to the photog

    I would love to hear your interpetation of freedom of speech. I never claimed to be perfect or not in any fault, and it isn't a big deal to have to take a minute to fix the situation, but I also shouldn't have had to fix the problem in the first place. The point here, which I think in all your trolling you forgot to grasp, is that I am indeed entitled to my opinion as you are entitled to yours, and that I do have the right to write a comment, a review, or an entire novel if I choose to about the services performed by vendors at my wedding <--- YES without being bullied or intimidated with threats of law suits. <--- NO I am not trying to spread rumors and lies, and my intent is not to slander. I only wish to make the truth public, the things that I know to be true, because I was there and witnessed them along with roughly 100 other people. I also do not wish to get into an internet forum battle with "Barbie", "KatWAG" or anyone else for that matter, so if you don't have anything worth while to contribute, please troll along someplace else and have a nice life.

    image
    mrsconn23
  • I'm not butthurt. Look. There were two reasons I posted. Firstly, to warn anyone about how I had been treated, and secondly was to attempt to get a little validation for being shocked that instead of trying to make things right, the wedding planner chose to lawyer up. I'm sorry I feel that good customer service goes beyond the initial service or sale. We wouldn't be talking about this at all if instead of threatening me with a law suit for voicing my honest review of her services, she had simply asked "Well what can I do to make this right?" When I posted the review I wasn't even looking for a response or compensation or anythin at all except to leave an accurate account of my experience, but I also could not have anticipated the aggressive response I got either. This could have gone down a much different path.
  • Oh, this is easy then.

    We're not validating your "free speech" worries, b/c they're unfounded.

    As for the review, it's against The Knot TOS, so good luck with that.
    Heffalumpmrsconn23charcoalandblush
  • I'm not butthurt. Look. There were two reasons I posted. Firstly, to warn anyone about how I had been treated, and secondly was to attempt to get a little validation for being shocked that instead of trying to make things right, the wedding planner chose to lawyer up. I'm sorry I feel that good customer service goes beyond the initial service or sale. We wouldn't be talking about this at all if instead of threatening me with a law suit for voicing my honest review of her services, she had simply asked "Well what can I do to make this right?" When I posted the review I wasn't even looking for a response or compensation or anythin at all except to leave an accurate account of my experience, but I also could not have anticipated the aggressive response I got either. This could have gone down a much different path.
    http://mamaknowsitall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/maybe-its-you.jpg
    mrsconn23*Barbie*JediElizabethFiancB
  • jacques27 said:

    I'm super confused by this post. Do I have this straight?

    Someone who doesn't understand the first amendment is dispensing advice to read contracts before you sign them because his (her?) hobbies are juggling the obvious and being a constant disappointment to his high school civics teacher.

    Same person is also kind of insinuating that it's a good thing to not take any responsibility for the planning of your own wedding by letting others foot the bill and sign the contracts because otherwise your freedom to hang out on Yelp may be in jeopardy because, you know, contracts.

    Also contracts = constitutional party poopers and not actually detailed documents that outline exactly what is promised, providing recourse if not fulfilled.

    Oh, and industry knowledge is only for bragging and explaining how you knew better, but not for actually getting involved in the selection process for hiring someone in the industry you are so knowledgeable about, or in the planning process at all to ensure and quality check everything is in fact meeting your expectations.

    Is that the gist?

    Hahaha that post is awesome, no seriously, thank you, you make excellent points. I wish I could have been more involved with the planning and execution of the wedding, and if I had had a say in choosing the wedding planner I would have done some research, like I did for the caterer, photographers, dj, cake artist and ceremony officials, and many other things. The wedding took place a 7 hour drive from where I actually live, and I spent months away from my now wife for work, so having a planner in the area that the wedding was actually occuring in made sense, I guess maybe our thoughts, intentions and plans were not conveyed well enough, and I suppose I should have gotten more involved with the planner sooner and really made our wishes known sooner. Faults on both parts I suppose. Guess sometimes life just happens and things run amuck. In all honesty the wedding did come out amazing and I couldn't be happier, and I'm thankful for that. I'll pack up my bags and shut up now, because at the end of the day that's what really matters.
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    VarunaTT said:
    Oh, this is easy then.

    We're not validating your "free speech" worries, b/c they're unfounded.

    As for the review, it's against The Knot TOS, so good luck with that.

    Out of curiosity, how is posting a negative review against The Knot TOS. This is a serious question.

  • I don't know "how".  It is a TOS though.  You'd have to look it up, but it was a big deal a few years ago, b/c they pulled all the bios that had reviews in them.  IDK if they police it like they used to, but any reviews (not just negative), technically aren't allowed in the forums.
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    VarunaTT said:
    I don't know "how".  It is a TOS though.  You'd have to look it up, but it was a big deal a few years ago, b/c they pulled all the bios that had reviews in them.  IDK if they police it like they used to, but any reviews (not just negative), technically aren't allowed in the forums.

    Got it! I thought you specifically meant a negative review. Thanks!
  • jacques27jacques27 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments 5 Answers
    edited October 2015
    I'm super confused by this post. Do I have this straight? Someone who doesn't understand the first amendment is dispensing advice to read contracts before you sign them because his (her?) hobbies are juggling the obvious and being a constant disappointment to his high school civics teacher. Same person is also kind of insinuating that it's a good thing to not take any responsibility for the planning of your own wedding by letting others foot the bill and sign the contracts because otherwise your freedom to hang out on Yelp may be in jeopardy because, you know, contracts. Also contracts = constitutional party poopers and not actually detailed documents that outline exactly what is promised, providing recourse if not fulfilled. Oh, and industry knowledge is only for bragging and explaining how you knew better, but not for actually getting involved in the selection process for hiring someone in the industry you are so knowledgeable about, or in the planning process at all to ensure and quality check everything is in fact meeting your expectations. Is that the gist?
    Hahaha that post is awesome, no seriously, thank you, you make excellent points. I wish I could have been more involved with the planning and execution of the wedding, and if I had had a say in choosing the wedding planner I would have done some research, like I did for the caterer, photographers, dj, cake artist and ceremony officials, and many other things. The wedding took place a 7 hour drive from where I actually live, and I spent months away from my now wife for work, so having a planner in the area that the wedding was actually occuring in made sense, I guess maybe our thoughts, intentions and plans were not conveyed well enough, and I suppose I should have gotten more involved with the planner sooner and really made our wishes known sooner. Faults on both parts I suppose. Guess sometimes life just happens and things run amuck. In all honesty the wedding did come out amazing and I couldn't be happier, and I'm thankful for that. I'll pack up my bags and shut up now, because at the end of the day that's what really matters.
    @sixty4bitdiablo On the chance you are still around, I have a serious question.

    What were you trying to accomplish with the negative review?

    It sounds like you were expecting her to fall all over herself to right the things you perceived as wrong. Let's put this another way.  I have a lot of friends who are small business owners, a lot who are etailers selling handmade products on their own websites, eBay, etsy, and similar.  I am also a frequent customer and friendly with a lot of the owners of these companies.  There is sort of an unwritten courtesy among the community that if you have a problem with the product, you deal with it privately with the owner/company and allow them the opportunity to correct the problem or offer some sort of restitution before you post your feedback online.  If for some reason a satisfactory conclusion cannot be reached or the owner is hostile or uncooperative, then you write a factual review of not only the initial transgression, but also the follow-up interactions where you tried to give them an opportunity to solve the problem.

    Your posts don't seem to indicate that this occurred.  It seems like not only did you skip several steps in that process and jump to negative reviews online, but you're also not even the customer.  Your name isn't on the contract, your money wasn't on the line.  You may have been the recipient of the services, but the person who should have been handling this directly with the owner and not via an online review is the person who signed the contract.  I would have been pissed off if I was the owner, too.

    Note:  I am not saying that she isn't a lackluster event planner who possibly dropped the ball on several items.  Everything you say may very well be true.  And maybe there is no way to make up for it after the fact.  But the decent thing to do would have been to nicely and privately provide her this feedback first after the wedding was over, allowing her an opportunity to respond.  Then if you (and by you, I mean the contract signer) still felt that these issues, the ones that by your own admission did not so horribly mar your day that you can still call it "amazing", were still so grievous to warrant warning the whole world wide web about them, you could have at least included the additional attempts on your part to communicate and how she responded to that, good or bad.
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