So wedding prep is still in full swing and today we’re talking invitations.
A really good time to send invitations is 3 months before the wedding. We got engaged end November, enjoyed the festive and sent invitations in mid-February.
My invitations were an exhausting process. I was based in Johannesburg and therefore all my suppliers were that side too. So I thought it would be clever to to find a stationer this side (Pretoria), killing to birds with one stone because I could use them in future (for clients).
So I got hold of the stationer. The first meeting went very well, he had a mockup for me and everything. I confirmed, as per my email, the invitations would be ready by the end of January. On the mock-up invitation, he hadn’t had all the info and said he would need me to send it to him and he would confirm the next meeting.
Now let me just say, with my suppliers in JHB, I tell them what I want and by when. They will send me an email to complete the information they require and a “due date”. I reply. Another mockup up. Sign off and bob’s your uncle.
This stationer, left the ball entirely in my court. I know it’s my wedding but I have a million things to. I am paying you, not only for a product but for a service and experience as well.
Too all service providers out there; if your client gives you a deadline, it is your responsibility to gather all relevant information in order to meet that deadline. It is not the responsibility of the client to ask what next. Also, if a client gives you a picture, I know you can’t do everything exactly as is due to copy right laws, but it is your responsibility to inform the client of all the changes you are going to make.
Now that we’ve cleared the air…A week before the “due date” I inquired as to how far the invitations were. I was told that he did not have the required information to complete the invitation therefore he could not proceed. (This was two weeks later.) For two weeks no work was done on my request and no follow up was done after the meeting. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and asked what information was required and sent it to him within 12 hours. He confirmed that he could do it within 2 weeks. I requested for it to be done within 1 and 1/2 as I was flying to CPT and needed to drop off invitations while I was there. It was agreed upon.
4 days later I received an email to say that after doing “research” he realised he was not able to do it in that time span and needed two weeks from “today”. I was going to CPT in a week and couldn’t accept. (Luckily, I hadn’t made any payment yet. Maybe that should have been my first clue. Most service provider’s I’ve dealt with won’t lift a finger until they receive a deposit.)
I came home, told my parents the story. My dad said ” I have a friend that can help”. Friend didn’t turn up for the first meeting. He popped in early the next morning and said “I will see what I can do and I will let you know” The day went by, nothing. Thursday went by, nothing. Friday went by, nothing. (During all of this I am nagging my dad to follow up.) Friday, evening he says he will have an answer by Monday. Monday, can’t get hold of him again. I can’t remember what happened but by Tuesday I was so fed up, I went to by closest stationary shop. I purchased paper, envelopes and a small guillotine and by Thursday the 11th of February all my invitations were done.
In complete honesty, they weren’t close to the invitations I wanted but they were elegant and had all the information.