Monday, July 2, 2007

Chinese wedding packages

I just went to a very lovely wedding this weekend. The weather was perfect (not too hot, nor too cool), the bride was beautiful, and it was a fun time all around. However, I am blogging because of the terrible experience she had with the wedding package, which confirms my feeling of the general sleaziness of Chinese wedding centers and to warn all prospective brides of the place across from the Queens Botanical Garden (think it's called NY Wedding Plaza). One caveat to this "review" though, is that another friend (a year prior) used the same place and loved it.

The friend who got married this weekend ended up not wearing a cheongsam/qipao because when she originally went to the wedding center, they wheedled her in by promising a free red dress (she was already renting a limo and father's tux from them). When she showed up with her bridesmaids for their fitting, they said the dress is free to rent but she would have to pay for alterations. Then finally, on the third visit, they told her she had to pay for everything because the red dress she picked out was "special." Sound familiar, anyone? The florist we both used has also heard of similar scams about Chinese wedding one-stop shops because this must be a common occurence.

My friend was also very worried about transportation on the day of because they wouldn't give her the contact info of the limo until a day before. At first they told her it would be two days before but then when her fiance called, they told her the day before. She was especially worried because of what happened with the BMs' dresses....

The BM dresses were purchased elsewhere but this place said that they would take care of the alterations for a good price. The BMs did not have a good feeling about it, even at their first fitting because the seamstress (and that's a very generous term to describe her, given her shoddy work) didn't seem to be paying much attention and things just didn't quite feel right. Lo and behold, when they went to pick up their dresses, they were way too short and/or too loose/tight in the bodice. Mind you, some of the BMs wore heels to the fitting and when they tried on the altered dresses in flats, the hem was still too short. Despite their arguments, the seamstress ignored their concerns and tried to convince them that everything was OK. The BMs, seeing that they couldn't win in this situation (she wouldn't even compromise, refusing to believe she had done any wrong) walked out without paying. Luckily, they were able to find a tailor/miracle-worker who could fix the dresses in time by elongating the bodice with extra fabric from their shawls (and luckily the dresses had a sash to cover all this). But the story doesn't end there. Afterwards, my friend's mother received a call from the wedding place, saying that she was owed the money. Not only that, when my friend went with another BM to argue with them about the dresses, the proprietor was very demeaning, talking to them as if they were children (she said she would call and tell their 'mommy'). In the end, my friend (or her mother, since she was called by the store) paid the money because she was afraid that they would screw with the limo reservation and tux rental. But the agony to have to suffer because of incompetence and greed is unfathomable and totally unconscionable. I can't believe people would take advantage of others like this, especially for something that's supposed to be a happy occasion. Ugh, I am disgusted.