July 12, 2011
We worked with Priti from Samaya Events in Schaumburg. In the beginning, we thought that she was approachable, willing to work with us, and organized. However, as our wedding planning continued, we noted that she became more and more disorganized, to the point that we started ignoring her "budget" and "to do" emails because we were more up-to-date than she was. What is the point of having a planner when you are more organized than they are? When we would send her detailed emails regarding various topics, most often than not, we would get responses that were literally no more than one or two phrases. And most of the time, those responses did not even address our initial email details. It got to the point that we were correcting Priti's mistakes regarding our other vendors (sometimes more than once with the same issue). We felt like she was not reliable in the end, and took on the job of verifying everything with each vendor ourselves. We were hoping that our planning experience was because we are both very detail oriented, and that perhaps we were expecting too much. Even with our above experience, we decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. We were hoping that on the actual day, Priti would come through and perform her job adequately. Unfortunately, on the actual day, Samaya Events' organization was so poor that we ended up having to rely on our wedding party to move things along. First, we paid for multiple wedding planners to be at our event: one for the groom, one for the bride, and one to oversee the whole event. However, on the actual day, *none* of the three planners were reliably found by anyone. They did not give us contact phone numbers or information on the wedding day, so when they were not found, we had no way of reaching them. And the two planners that were supposed to be by our side were with us for a few minutes in the beginning of the day, and then simply disappeared. The third wedding planner was also seldom seen. When we noticed this, we had to ask our wedding party to organize lines, open seating for our events, move people along, and communicate with the other vendors to let them know what was going on. We understand that there are a lot of "behind the scenes" organization that needs to occur at weddings, but if you specifically hire someone to stay by your side, wouldn't you expect that to happen? Second, we felt like rather than following a time-line that we, the bride and groom, wanted, we were simply doing things in a manner that Priti wanted. Throughout the entire process, there were specific details that we wanted to happen, to make the wedding day "our own". These were timing details about the order of events during the wedding, and the reception. We weren't so picky as to dictate minute by minute arrangements, but we had a general "flow of events" in our mind. We can't even begin to say how many times we repeated ourselves to Priti about these issues. But in the end, she gave a schedule to the other vendors (DJ for example), that was absolutely contradictory to what we wanted. Of course, the guests didn't know any better; but we did. When we noticed that things were being announced and events were happening that we didn't want to happen, we were literally powerless to stop them (what could we do? Say "no" with everyone watching when the DJ says that it's time to cut the cake, or that it's time for the first dance?). How could we have worked so hard to have things happen in a certain event timeline, only to have that dictated by an event planner's wishes in the end? We were furious. By the end of the night, we felt like our repeated reminders to Priti and her group were simply ignored, and that all they wanted to do was get to the end of the planned events as quickly as possible, so that they could leave. The interesting part is that Samaya Events requires you to pay all of their dues before the actual event day. The other vendors are not like this except for the food vendor. The others request that you pay them a deposit, and then pay them the remaining sum in full on the actual wedding day. We now have severe suspicions that Samaya does this because if you do end up having a bad experience with them, you cannot get any monetary retribution. Simply because by the time your wedding day happens, they have already received their full payment. Furthermore, we are now (weeks after the wedding) finding out that various presents are "missing" from friends and family (meaning that they indicate dropping them off at the gift table, but we never received them). Samaya Events was in charge of making sure that all of our presents and wedding cards were safely given to us. Needless to say, we don't know what happened, but are very concerned about their professionalism. We ABSOLUTELY DO NOT recommend Samaya Events, and in particular, Priti, as anyone's wedding planners. We went with them based on online reviews, but after our experience, we do not understand how they could still be in business.
This is the subjective opinion of an independent reviewer and not of Decidio, Inc.