I googled this company and decided to give it a shot. The compay's director responded to my voice mail and we talked for about 10 minutes. After talking about her family issues, she assured me that I would not have to worry about the planning or execution of the music for my wedding. She said that she would take charge of all of that, and I would just sit back and watch the wedding. However, it couldn't have been further from the truth. She went away to take care of her family issues and totally forgot about us. She said she would contact our vocalist to practice and did not do so. We tried paying online, but couldn't figure out the link so told her we'd pay her in person. Not sure wether she was coming or not, I was brought to tears not knowing that we had a musician for the event until about an hour before the ceremony. She did not answer my emails or my calls for days up to the wedding. We had no idea what to do, and my soon to be husband finally took over, since I was hysterically crying. On my wedding day. She decided finally to answer her phone, and confirm that she was coming about an hour before our lifetime committment. When they came, we were so busy getting everything together that we couldn't find them to pay. 4:30pm everything was supposed to start, but they refused to play until they were paid in full. A true nightmare. The only good thing that happened was that she had rehearsed a song that we asked her to. But the vocalist did not hear from her until the day of the wedding to practice it with her. Some of the musician's notes were off and in the end it was just a headache. Nobody should have to feel like their wedding is unplanned or stressed out up to the last hour of the ceremony. It's a big event, and if you want everything set in place before it happens, book someone else. Bad news. Save yourself the headache.
Grace Note String Ensembles ~ Church, Indoor & Outdoor Weddings says:
BRIDES please do read this if you are wary - I am the human being & musician responsible for the "company" ! ~ Dori
I'm not enjoying having to respond to being called a “nightmare”...so...here goes. :-\ Warning: it’s a long one. But to this, I don’t know a smarter way to respond!
First, I thought you two had a beautiful wedding. Not sure why you are disappointed in me.
Let's address what you mentioned above.
THE Preamble: It's a shame you feel this way, as I did everything I could to put your wedding together in a very short two week time frame. Normally, most all our couples are paid in full and have their music plans finished by two weeks prior to the wedding. You had not decided on your instruments by that point. It's always lower stress, and a good idea to have things done early! I was happy to do custom music for you in a short time frame. Some family members and even the hired folks mentioned to us how nice the music was that day.
PAYMENT LINK DIDN’T WORK? We don’t have one. On the contract, it says to send a check. You didn’t send one (USPS Priority Mail is only $4.50) , and then you emailed finally me during the wedding week telling me your fiancé would Paypal us money. I NEVER REC’d any PAYMENT through Paypal even though it was the week of the wedding.
YOU DIDN’T PAY US. WE CLEARLY STATE PAYMENT IN FULL before the Wedding Day. That is standard & stated on our very simple contract.
YOU SAY COULDN’T FIND US TO PAY ON THE DAY OF? What?? Just ask your best friend vocalist. Or the Pastor. Or the coordinator for the venue. We saw them all, and spoke to them on the ceremony pad BEFORE the wedding preludes, and stayed there to setup, rehearse, warmup. And you’re not supposed to pay on the wedding day anyway. Told you in emails it was not our policy and way too stressful .
We really don't like to chase folks for money via email or phone, and certainly try to never call brides on their wedding day seeking our payments either - it's unfortunate that had to happen.
“SHE DIDN’T ANSWER MY CALLs OR EMAILS for days before the wedding” . Just not true. Read your July 11th email. That is when your email account was actually, finally, in working order and you responded by saying you’d pay by Paypal. An excerpt of that email is further down in the body of this response.
THE PART I WANT TO LEAVE OUT: I was nice as can be in all our calls and emails, and you were as well. But, with things not done by you and your fiancé til the last minute, no wonder you were panicky on the wedding day! I had spoken to you just days prior. How do you think this human being feels - having to do everything the week of the wedding, you telling me you’d pay, and you didn’t do so? Especially when we were away during part of the week (you knew), settling on a house for my 84 year old Dad…moving him too. (that is my "family issue" for those who care that I do talk on a personal level to my brides. We are people, not a large corporation!) I leave this in my response, because it’s important for people to know we are people too, with families, and couples do need to be responsible on some levels, right?. But that’s a moot point. The Point is YOUR email wasn’t working & then, when it was working… you didn’t do what you were supposed to do. I kept on top of your contract, music planner, payment reminders, gave info and options for completing things on time…we even had a personal call about the music, rather than completing that by email, due to your email not working. YES TRUE, your email wasn’t working the week before the wedding. But by four days prior to the wedding, your email was back in gear, through a different account on gmail.
That you called me on your wedding day because you didn’t plan or PAY is not part of any stress caused by me or my company – you didn’t pay after kindly reminders that you’d need to do just that.
Many of you can just stop reading here, I think…
REHEARSAL for VOCALIST? : WE sure did. I thought it was a pretty touching tribute to have your bestie sing a song you love, with meaningful lyrics. We played it in the same key as prearranged, and she rehearsed it on her own in that key, back home in Texas. We always work to rehearse with vocalists about 45min prior to the wedding, standard procedure for professional musicians. We don’t meet them on other days to rehearse, that is not practical (and we would have to charge more), and in this case as well - she is from TEXAS and just flew in that day. I did contact her via phone ( you said that was best) to let her know what time to meet us to rehearse, and to ensure that the key she was practicing was the correct one. You were confident in her, and she should be hugged for doing a nice job for you!
ON CONTACTING US, "DIDN'T RESPOND", “WENT AWAY & FORGOT ABOUT US”: And I quote YOU from YOUR own email. YOU SAID "Sorry I haven't gotten back to you sooner..." ) Yes, the Fourth of July week is a holiday time, and I do understand you were busy. It was a holiday for me for a few days too. That week, which was two weeks before the wedding, you two had not quite decided on what instruments you would use for the ceremony (per my recommendations, and your budget) prior to the Fourth of July, and your wedding was on the 15th of July...that's okay, but again, we normally try to have EVERYTHING finished by two weeks prior to a wedding!
BRIDE’S EMAIL WASN’T WORKING to ACCEPT OUR MUSIC CONTRACT, nor the MUSIC PLANNER: Here an excerpt from my the second time I send the contract, my email of July 11th four days before the wedding ( you did get this, and recognize it from me) :
Grace Note is writing this, on July 11th, referring to the bride not getting all the important emails I sent:
“Do, do. Do, do ...it's the twilight zone. We’ve never had that happen ever before, but we will prevail with smile!
A couple things: You now have the music planner on your gmail here. I am glad that part of your internet access is working, Adrienne!
We could use some of that other music planner information filled out and returned with your gmail account.
Also please contact your cousin, she will talk to us before the ceremony, give us a program, and please introduce the pastor to us.
Also we need payment, usually there is enough time for a check to reach us, but if you have to, you can use Paypal, if someone in your family has an account. I will give you instructions so we don't get charged a lot of fees. If you don't have an account, maybe we can meet somewhere. I'll be coming back from PA from my Dad's on Saturday day. I don't know when you'll be in our area this weekend. Hope you’re not in Texas? Like Heather? lol!
We don't take payment on the day of, too much hassle ~ people are so excited , they forget to pay us (I know from experience)...and its no fun chasing any parents or your groom or groomsmen on the day when they shouldn't be thinking of those things, just enjoying.
thanks so much, Dori
Official Contract followed here
NOTICE I nicely said we don’t take payment on day of…
NOTICE I am giving plenty of time to arrange some form of payment, even by PAYPAL (which is not normal)
NOTICE I even said I would meet somewhere to pick up whatever form of payment! I would do that to help!
You wound up calling me on the night before your wedding, and on the morning of the wedding because you didn’t follow through on the Paypal payment or any payment that we discussed on JULY 11th. That would have been the solution to your stress. I told you on the 11th I’d be out of town later in the week, but returning sometime Saturday (day before your wedding) in the above email. I rec’d these cell voicemails on the day of your wedding, and called as soon as I saw them. NOT an hour before, but 4 hours or so before. I can imagine that was stressful. It was for me, thinking you had just not wanted us to come or couldn’t pay after all my work.
WE KNOW SUBTLETY: No one can say that we were not as subtle as possible in seeking payment at the venue before your wedding, as to not interfere with the good spirit of your family wedding day! You didn't pay us as required and you are lucky we showed up. But I am a nice person, so we did ...
YOU KNEW WE WOULD PLAY, as long as we were paid. I spoke nicely on the phone about it with you the morning of the wedding again. If you had paid, as contracted? then there would be no problem (or as you say "nightmare") to think about on your wedding week or day of ! You were very nice in the emails but it was apparent that your stress level was getting very high as the day approached.
TIME FOR PRELUDES: Still, at the wedding, I did have to find & ask your cousin for the money right before we played preludes. There was NO envelope prepared & waiting for me…I had to ask, I had to explain...
Did I mention it was truly 99 degrees out on your wedding day? That didn't stop us. We played.
OUT OF TUNE ?? As for what you say were "out of tune" notes: we played your special vocal song in one key, but your vocalist sang part of the end verse of the song in another key entirely.
She had a good voice, but was really nervous...and from experience, that can make people sing off key. I did try to relax her a bit during our rehearsal, and told her not to worry, she’d do fine.
TEMPLE BOYER MUSIC GRADUATE: I didn't charge you for learning and obtaining the music to your custom Christian song, I was happy to do something special for you on our Grace Note Guitar and Violin Duet. Believe me, my guitarist for your wedding is a Temple Boyer Music School graduate. He didn't play out of tune.
That's all I have to say. I thought it was a beautiful wedding, Adrienne. ~ D.