Friday, August 26, 2011


I'm frustrated, and instead of keeping it locked inside, like I usually do, I need to just let it all out.
I would love to enlist ya'll's advice.

I'm experiencing a classic vendor hiccup. I need to find a makeup artist and hair stylist for the wedding day. I personally do not want to go to a salon before the wedding. Part of the reason for that is just convenience, partly it's because I love all the ladies surrounding me and want to pamper them. But there's another kind of annoying, tiny reason why I don't want to travel a lot the day of our wedding...

Or in the vegans' case:

Ha, gross.

Anyway, our wedding is a day after Thanksgiving. Like all normal businesses, our venue is closed on Thanksgiving. Our rehearsal, therefore, is the morning of our wedding. I'm a little freaked out time-wise as it is about how we're going to fit everything in. Add a drive to and from a salon on top of it? In Black Friday traffic??

Yeah, no thanks.
(Our venue is right in the heart of Lancaster, very close to the outlets. It's this serious.)

ANYway, I'm sure you're asking yourselves when I'm going to come to my point. Well, I already talked about looking for a makeup artist. And I was happy with her. I had a serious ideological problem paying as much for someone to come to me as it cost to actually perform their service ($100 for hair, $100 for travel, sometimes that didn't even include makeup). Rikki Smith does not charge for travel because she lives in Lancaster, and her prices were just significantly lower on top of all that. She's a little more independent, doesn't have a big salon name to back her up, but I dare myself to tell the difference between her and anyone else...

We seemed doomed from the start though. I e-mailed her a request first, she called me but I was in a stairwell or something so I missed the call. I called back but didn't hear back from her, so then I tried e-mail and she would be super snail slow to respond via e-mail. I finally got in touch with her and we set a date for a make-up trial...

Then she cancelled it. But it seemed ok because she just moved it to the next day...

Then she cancelled that too. Then I tried to reschedule with her via text message (the only method of communication she seems to respond to) and the date I was available was not good for her. So I found another available date (and of course by now we're getting dangerously close to the wedding) and texted her again, but she hasn't gotten back to me...

Got all that??
I finally found another date that works for me (dinners, baby showers, my own shower, you name it, I do not have a lot of free weekends for the next three months) and I really need to know if it will work for her and she won't answer my texts! Every time I e-mail her I get an auto-response about her being out of town. She always seems to be out of town.

Anyway, I sound more peeved than I am, I am peeved, but not quite ready to give up on her. I got a really good vibe from her. Nonetheless, I started panicking this morning because my alternative is paying over twice as much for someone from Philadelphia to drive all the way to Lancaster and charge me an arm and a leg for their gas! So I looked once more for another makeup artist in Lancaster and I found one.

Mirror opposite of Rikki, I filled out an e-mail request form from her website and heard back within a few hours. I e-mailed her back with available dates and she e-mail me right back to confirm. Then she told me her prices...
Turns out she was going to cost almost as much as the spa people in Philadelphia... and she doesn't charge for travel, she's just that expensive.

So, now we come to the dilemma; and I need some help here:

  • I did not get quite as chill and friendly a vibe from this new potential makeup artist but I love her succinct response time.
  • Her prices though are pretty astronomical. More than twice what I wanted to pay for makeup.
  • She's available for a trail, she's available for the wedding. Did I mention she gets back to me really quickly and answers all my questions??
On the other hand:
  • Rikki is a cool chick, I like her a lot. From my experience so far with vendors, that goes a long long way.
  • Her prices are super low. I don't want to be swayed by money here, that's not what the decision should be about BUT that doesn't mean I shouldn't keep it in mind. We really don't have a lot of wiggle room in the budget to just throw that much money at paint for our faces.
  • Did I mention it's hell trying to get ahold of this woman?!
So what now?? My new potential makeup artist is waiting for me to respond to her confirming that we can have a trial, but I'm waiting to hear back from Rikki. So,

  1. Do I switch to the new artist and give up on Rikki?
  2. Or do I stick with Rikki no matter what? Trusting that no matter what hurtles we encounter up to the wedding, she will do a great job?
  3. Oooooor do you think I should write a firm but kind e-mail to Rikki explaining that I really like her but if I can't count on her communication skills, then it's not going to work??
Have you had any similar vendor woes? How did you approach them??


  1. I dunno how I'd feel about Rikki not being seems rather unreliable, and how are you going to find her if she doesn't show up the day of the wedding? Maybe there's a reason her prices are lower?

    On the other hand, spending a zillion dollars isn't exactly ideal either.....I would say go with your instinct on this one.

  2. I do agree that Rikki does not sound very reliable and what if she flakes closer to the wedding, I'd say try to find someone else, even if you do have to pay a bit more, it may be worth it for ease of mind. Good luck!