Reporting Kurtis Ming
Photo booths with wacky props are the thing to have at your wedding these days. A Sacramento couple called Kurtis when the photo booth company never showed up to their wedding. They paid up front, which we’re told isn’t unusual. But, there were a few red flags leading up to this no-show that other brides and grooms can learn from.
“This is from another wedding we went to in June of last year,” says Natalie Vezia, holding a strip of photo booth pictures.
Like friends who got married before them, Natalie and her new husband, Reggie wanted a photo booth at their wedding.
“It’s just kind of great fun interaction, and it’s a good gift for them to take home too, kind of a cool memory,” said Natalie.
In January Natalie booked with Sugar Plums Photo Booth over the phone and put the entire $450 bill on Reggie’s credit card.
After that, she says she got nothing in writing and communication with the owner was sporadic.
Then came the wedding day. It was smooth sailing until the middle of the reception, when Natalie realized Sugar Plums was a no-show.
“And I just had this moment, and I was like, ‘The photo booth isn’t here!’” recalls Natalie.
Sugar Plums owner said her partner had been in a car accident with the photo booth. A refund was promised, which Natalie says she was told could take up to 30 days.
After paying for a huge wedding, we’re like, “Oh, this $450, I can’t wait to get this check,” said Natalie.
More than two months after their wedding and the couple still hadn’t received their refund.
“It’s been story after story or flake after flake,” said Natalie.
“I would pull the cord immediately if I didn’t have anything in writing, first and foremost,” said Wedding Planner Kate Whelan Miller, of Kate Miller Events.
Whelan Miller says a lot of vendors ask for payment up front. She recommends holding off paying them until you get a contract or invoice laying out exactly what you’re getting.
“If they’re a professional company, they’re used to working that way because they’re creating a level of trust with you when they send that to you,” said Whelan Miller.
So why didn’t Sugar Plums have anything in writing about the Vezias’ reservation? And why haven’t they issued a refund in all this time? We don’t know. The owner hung up on us. But within hours of our call she hand-delivered a check to the newlyweds.
“It was the best day of my life, regardless of this hiccup. It was awesome,” said Natalie.
Whelan Miller recommends checking out reviews of vendors on Yelp and wedding sites before choosing one. She says she’d pick a business that has at least ten solid reviews.