Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bridezilla? Not really...

Well... the wedding is 138 days away. That basically means it's 4 months and about a week and some change away. And all is on track. With a tiny hiccup yesterday that felt like a severe case of heart burn for about half an hour.

Getting married this fall wasn't "out of the blue". Rod and I had been talking about our futures for quite some time, but I had said I would not do any wedding planning at all until it was official and the ring was on the finger. We know... February 11th it was all official. BUT... working in the special events world since I was in college had my producer brain in a bit of a state of quandry.

October is a very popular month... and southern Illinois is quite busy at that time of year, too. I didn't want to lose out on holding rooms for wedding guests just because I wasn't sure WHEN we'd be officially engaged.

Just so you guys know... Rod and I spoke and agreed that I would make room reservations right after the beginning of the year. So the pending engagement wasn't a surprise - I knew it was coming - but I didn't know WHEN or HOW Rod would propose. If you're reading this blog, you have quite possibly read the "engagement" blog. I'll spare you any more details. Besides... with the mention of Bridezilla in the title of this blog, you are probably reading and wondering, "WHERE IS BRIDEZILLA?!?!?"

In January when I called the various Bed and Breakfasts in southern Illinois, I had one credit card my father had told me to use to make the reservations. And this card expires in August of this year - 08/10 - as one would tell any vendor asking for the expiration date.

No problem. Or so I thought.

I had one B&B email me and say that the card I gave them expired before our wedding date, so she wanted another card to keep the rooms for us. I emailed back and said I wouldn't have another card until about a month before the current one expires (which is normal practice for all credit card companies and banks to do, right?) and that was that. All the other B&Bs were fine with me calling as we got closer to that expiration date to update info. I thought this one was, too.

In February or March, I received an email from our Wedding Central B&B The Davie School Inn and Andrea the owner mentioned that at one of their association meetings some of the folks had mentioned the same concern - we had used a card that would expire before our wedding date... what should they do? Thankfully I've known Andrea for quite some time and she said that it shouldn't be a problem... we'd be traveling out to Anna this summer for tastings and I had promised to update them with a new card as that date approached. Thank you advocate Andrea!

But I had mentioned this to my father and he decided that I should use a different credit card for "all things wedding". The card arrives. It expires June 2011. WAY past our wedding date. No problem-o.

So yesterday I started calling the B&Bs that I had posted on our wedding website to update the credit card information like I had promised. I don't know why I chose to start with this one particular B&B... but I did. And I was told that our rooms had not been held because I had used an expired credit card to hold the rooms and that she had never heard back from me with an updated card.

I confess that I felt my blood boil more rapidly than lava spewing out of the Icelandic volcano that no one knows how to pronounce unless you're FROM Iceland. And I let the proprietor know my displeasure. Extreme displeasure. Anger. Livid, blood boiling, major disappointment and ready to suck the marrow out of her bones displeasure.

Anna's a small town. Maybe 5,000 people total. And I am excited to be helping out the local economy by having our wedding there and encouraging our guests to spend a delightful weekend there at the B&Bs and hoping they enjoy the experience of traveling to southern Illinois for our wedding.

This B&B had 4 rooms available. Now there was only 1 room available. I said I would not encourage my guests to call and ask for the ONE room. We haven't even sent out the official invitations yet! But several of our friends and family have made reservations for October. How fortunate are those B&B owners?

When I was told AGAIN that I had used an invalid credit card to make my reservation, my fact drilling brain kicked into high gear.

1) Is a card that expires in August of this year invalid in January of this year - 8 months prior to the expiration date? NO IT IS NOT.

2) If I took the time to reserve rooms in January for an October wedding when I wasn't even officially engaged yet, do you think that I would want to use a card that was invalid? NO I WOULD NOT.

3) Could I still be using that card to charge things for the wedding as of today? YES. How about up to August 31, 2010? YOU BET YOUR SWEET BIPPY!

4) Do credit card companies send out replacement cards 8 months before they expire? NO THEY DO NOT.

So when I was apologized to again, I said, "What would make this right for me is to let those people know who you gave MY rooms to that you made a mistake and you give me my rooms back."

No... she couldn't do that... because they had used valid credit cards.

That was it. I was DONE with this conversation. Almost.

"If you aren't willing to honor what we had agreed upon on January 8th of this year and you insist on telling me that my VALID credit card was INVALID, I hope that you remember this situation the next time someone chooses to have a wedding in southern Illinois and has people traveling from all over the world and takes the time and effort and due diligence to hold rooms for guests WAY in advance KNOWING that the card will expire and KNOWING that there are cancellation policies that we agreed to and you don't make another wedding party have to deal with this kind of unprofessional situation. As a small business owner, shame on you. Good bye."

Then I called the remaining B&Bs and everyone else was surprised I was calling in May with an updated card. They had held my rooms. They knew I'd be calling them. They are excited for our wedding. And they knew exactly who I had dealt with regarding my situation on the first call.


My steaming nostrils cooled down and my gnashing teeth and scratching nails retracted.

I wasn't asking for something off-the-charts obnoxious or demanding unrealistic expectations of this B&B. I was merely expecting that our agreement was honored. And it wasn't. And I was upset. Obviously.

Bridezilla? No. Not really. But we still have 138 days to go. Heh heh heh...

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