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Recent Wedding Planning Reviews in Peoria

  • F
    Vivid Imagenation Photography
    Our encounter with Mary Fielder/Vivid Imagenation has been a sovereign learning experience. I can tell you that I will never take a vendor/contractor/business owner at their word ever again. I always knew there were scam artists in this world, and they could be cruel and deceitful, but I have never experienced it in such a capacious manner. Every rebuttal that Mary Fielder has made in relation to our complaint and request for acumen and rectitude has been filled with more lies than the last. It is truly appalling on so many levels. She is in a business that involves the most important day of a couple's union, and she has no remorse whatsoever for tainting their experience. It is also very disturbing that she is setting an example as being a liar and a thief for her children. If nothing else, I would expect more from a parent that is molding young minds. It breaks my heart for those poor children. Mary ignored all of our efforts to contact her after we paid a deposit of services, so we were forced to proceed with contacting the BBB-- she did not even respond to this complaint until 6 months after I initially contacted the BBB. What is even more laughable-- most of what she said is untrue. 1) At no time did we state that we were only available on Sundays. This is simply not true, so we would have had no reason to say it. When I spoke to Mary on the phone the day before signing our contract and paying our $500 retainer in August, I made it clear that I A) wanted autumn engagement photos B) wanted to use them for Save the Dates C) wanted to send them out with our Christmas cards. At that time, Mary said that would be no problem, and we could schedule that session as soon as our retainer was paid. My fiancé and I have very flexible schedules and began trying to contact her to schedule an AUTUMN ENGAGEMENT SESSION beginning September 1, 2015. She did not respond to any method of communication for approx 2 months. She claims to have not received our e-mails. I find this ironic, because she did receive our signed contract at the same e-mail address. At no point during our booking Mary did she mention that she would not be available to do an engagement shoot until mid November. If she had at any time mentioned this, I would have completely understood and gladly hired a different photographer. When Mary finally responded to us on 10/21/15, she said that the only available spots she had open would be an 11/9 evening appt or an 11/22 appointment, with no specified time. I pointed out that 11/9 would be after daylight savings time and we would not be able to do outdoor photos in the dark, so that was probably a bad choice. This left us with 11/22 as our only option so we said 11/22 would work, and asked A) Where we should meet her and B) What time. She never responded to either of these questions. In fact, from that date forward (10/21/15, which I remember so clearly because 10/21 happens to be my birthday) we again had no communication from Mary. That led us to contacting our bank to try to get a refund of our $500 on 11/20/15, as we were under the assumption that she had STOLEN our money and disappeared. We got all the way to the morning of 11/22 (which was supposed to be the date of our engagement photos) and hadn't heard anything from Mary-- No time for the session or meeting location. So we went on with our lives that morning and went to church like we do every Sunday. Then, after the service, we noticed that Mary had sent us text messages while we were in the service (with our phones turned off) and said "Hey guys! Are you ready for today?" We replied and said we were indeed NOT ready, because she had not communicated AT ALL for over a month and had failed to tell us what time this appt was to occur, or where. Mary claims to not have received any of our e-mails, but I can provide them, dated and time stamped, from both my business and personal e-mail accounts, if anyone is interested in seeing them. Mary keeps mentioning our "non-refundable retainer" in a way that makes it seem that we don't understand what a retainer is. We very much understand. And when we signed our contract, we were under the impression that Mary/VIP was a reputable business and would live up to their word, and that they were trustworthy-- this is not the case. Mary initially stated that she had "passed on 2 other weddings" so we could not have our retainer back, but she keeps changing the number so I am not sure exactly what the truth is. Honestly, I doubt that she has passed on anything-- she is not a high demand photographer. That is why we were able to book her for such a low price. That honestly should have been a HUGE red flag-- you get what you pay for, and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. We did also contact the Attorney General-- at the advice of the BBB. The Attorney General's office followed up with us and suggested that we hire an attorney, because our case did not fall under the scope of matters that they handle. And, interestingly enough, they provided us with a copy of Mary's response, and it too was riddled with fallacies. Mary is a very good liar. Again, I can only pray that her children do not inherit this trait. Mary has stated that we and/or our friends have posted "negative and misinforming" information about her on Facebook. I would like to say this in response: Anything negative that was posted, was true. The truth hurts when you are living in a life of lies. If she would like to point out to me anything that was "misinforming" I would be interested in seeing it, as I am well aware of everything that has transpired in this situation, and also-- I, unlike Mary Fielder, am not a liar. When we went to small claims court, the judge did in fact, begrudgingly, side in her favor. He stated that our case was a difficult one for him, and that he was very empathetic to our situation, and that it was apparent that Ms. Fielder was not a very diligent or professional business owner. He reprimanded her and suggested that she work on her communication skills. He stated that the only reason he felt he could not side with us, was that our contract stated that engagement sessions were to be completed within 6 months of the wedding date. However, he did acknowledge that it was clear that we had requested an engagement shoot to take place in the fall of 2015 and that Mary had clearly agreed to it, and then not held up her end of the deal. He wished us well, and said he can only imagine how frustrated we must be. From a moral standpoint, he agreed with us. But the job a a judge is to be impartial and implicitly follow the law. This is the reason for him siding in Mary's favor. I must say that I was extremely upset about this whole ordeal for quite some time, but then when I stopped to look back at everything, and look at the somewhat pathetic existence that this woman is leading-- trust me, I've seen her house and her car, it is evident that she needs $500 WAYYYYY more than I do. So maybe it was in God's plan for us to donate it to her. I have been meaning to contact my attorney and see if we can write it off as charity to a needy family. If nothing else comes from this headache of an ordeal, I will rest assured knowing that I have been contacted by many people who have thanked me, and stated that it never occurred to them to check the BBB site before hiring wedding vendors, but they will now do so, and also tell friends and family to do the same. I wish Mary Fielder well in her life, and I hope that our $500 helped her pay some bills that she was behind on. She mentioned that in one of her last e-mails to us, that she couldn't refund our money because she was behind on bills. In closing, I would like to thank the BBB for all of their help with this matter! And I am glad to finally put it to a close. We have since hired a phenomenal photographer that we trust and adore.
    - Sarah S.
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