My husband and I hired Barbara Hearne of Barbara’s Brides as our wedding planner after interviewing several other coordinators. She reassured us that even as our “month of coordinator” she would be able to save us more money than we would spend hiring her. She told us stories of other budget brides with whom she worked and ways that she helped them achieve their dream wedding. She never seemed overly friendly, but at the time she seemed experienced and dedicated to doing a good job.
Post-wedding I can tell you that hiring her was the biggest mistake that we made. She never saved us a single penny, degraded us for our budget (which she supported upfront), refused to be flexible, was unable to tackle situations creatively, and delivered the promises in her contract poorly, if at all. Trying to be fair, we contacted her with our complaints after we returned from our honeymoon. Rather than answering in a professional manner, Barbara was belligerent, refused to take responsibility for anything, and then took it upon herself to list everything from our wedding that she didn’t like, most of which had nothing to do with her executing her job as a planner.
I can honestly tell you that her lack of professionalism and inability to plan an event ruined our reception. I could go on and on about the ways in which she failed to deliver, but my advice for anyone planning an event is to stay far away from Barbara’s Brides. We have since reported her to the Better Business Bureau. I only hope that future couples can enter into a contract and receive the quality service that they deserve.
The experience I had with Barbara was less than pleasant. Prior to the service of the wedding it was decided that my father would be placed in charge of videotaping the ceremony. I instructed him to find Barbara and she would instruct him as to the appropriate location to record the service. She simply handed him the video camera and walked away without providing him any guidance or detail about the order of the events of the ceremony. At the reception there were other instances where her inattention to detail proved to cause problems. When it came time to introduce the bride and groom, Barbara instructed me that it was my responsibility only a few minutes prior to the couple’s entrance without informing me as to how they would like to be introduced. There were also several issues with the structure of the reception. Barbara failed to inform the videographer as to when events were taking place; so several items are missing the first portion of the event. An example of this was the couple’s first dance. Throughout the course of the wedding events the battery on the video camera needed to be recharged. I instructed Barbara of this fact and told her she needed to notify me when the next event was taking place so that I would be able to retrieve the camera to record the event. When it came time for the first dance, I handed Barbara the iPod and told her to wait for me to retrieve the camera. As I was returning the music had already started and I missed the first half of the dance.
Aside from the inattention to detail there was also a lack of professionalism when conversing with Barbara. There were several instances where clarification was needed, and she responded in a condescending manner. For instance, there was some confusion as to what all needed to be removed from the venue before the end of the night. I went discuss the matter with Barbara and she dismissed me, stating that she had already addressed it with the bride’s mother. When in fact it was the bride’s mother who sent me to seek clarification.
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