Chad's website is beautiful and creative and exciting and enticing. That is the problem... While Chad is completely creative and brilliant at design, and his site clearly illustrates such, it is false advertising!
Walking away from what should have been the best day of my life completely heartbroken is what Chad Michael Peters et al provided in regard to his and his company's services. Chad and I were friends prior to my engagement and wedding. I was so very excited to work with both Chad and his company in producing an extremely detail orientated wedding weekend and a wedding that illustrated both mine and my now husband's style. I will be nothing but honest in this review, both good and bad... as not everything was bad. Moreover, I will not tell a couple to not work with Chad, I will simply say this: even if you feel confident in your choice of wedding designers (Chad or any other designer) be sure to do your own footwork, keep amazing records, and do not allow yourself to rest the week of your wedding, as you MUST follow up and even nag, if needed, to ensure all your little details and expectations are being met!
To begin, my family hired Chad Michael Peters per my request. I was so excited to work with Chad after coming to know him personally and to see the level of detail and care he put into everything professionally and personally. I was living in Germany when I got engaged (my fiancé was stationed there). I was so excited to tell friends and family, and I was super excited to tell Chad personally. From the onset, Chad was awesome! He set up phone calls with me to discuss ideas, colors, and locations. Chad even took it upon himself, prior to us having an agreement on paper, to assist in location scouting! I truly valued his willingness to do such things! Once we had the location and a date, which Chad noted he and his company were available on, he met with my stepmother to finalize our agreement on paper and work out pricing. In the end we hired CMP for the following: Stationary package, lighting, linens, rentals of chairs, dance floor, tables, design, and coordination. Basically he was hired to take care of the entire wedding minus hiring the catering company, photographer, band and transportation. Under a separate agreement we hired Chad for my flower package.
Once we had the location and the agreement in place, Chad began to design our "save the dates"... which we LOVED! He truly has talent! He designed caricatures of both my finance and myself along with our pup... he had us in traditional German attire with the Alps in the background. Clearly, these words do not do justice for how truly cute and fun our "save the dates" were... but to put it plainly, people are still talking about them as being super creative and fun! After that, Chad and I spoke a few more times in regard to flowers, and I bounced various ideas off of him on how I would like my centerpieces, which he agreed would be wonderful and fun!
We came back to the States in March and both my fiancé and I met with Chad at his office to hammer out some big details: linens, plates, flatware, flowers, colors, and lighting. The meeting itself, like all of our meetings from that point on, was fun and lighthearted. I made sure to ask if all the items discussed were within budget and Chad said (as he had every time I ask it from that point on) "It is not my job to present things to you that are not in your budget, I would not being doing my job promising you something you could not afford." Both my finance and I walked away excited about our big day! Moreover, Chad offered me the opportunity to work with he and his company after the wedding! I was super excited at the possibility to work with him and see how his creative mind worked. More than that, I was flattered. I was flattered that he thought I was talented enough to work with him and I was flattered with all the brilliant things he said to me in regard to my person and my interests and my sense of style!
We had a few more meetings in which we all discussed various things related to the wedding and finally I asked the big question, "what will the tent layout be so I can assign tables and create table names"... after having to ask this question more than once and also via email, the response back was "use the layout that the tent company sent you"... nothing more, nothing less was said. So I started what I thought was the MOST painful process of wedding planning, figuring out who should sit where and with whom. I then forwarded over the plan that I was told to use, but since our original estimate of guests was much higher than our actual attendance, I needed to removed tables from the layout and let Chad and his team know that they could use their best judgment on how to specifically layout the tables under the tent (spacing, etc.), but to remember that all the tables need to be organized in the way that people groupings remain as I had them organized.
My family continued to pay the bills in accordance to the billing requirements (we had a few hiccups on the payments for the flowers related to my mother, but in the end... four weeks prior to my wedding, that bill was 100% paid in full... which is the all of Chads bills were set up, payment 100% within a month of the wedding... this was fairly standard) and my fiancé and I did our part for preparing for the wedding. I asked Chad at a meeting if I should give my bathroom decorations and baskets to the port-o-john company prior to the wedding and he said "no we will take care of it for you, just drop it all off here." So as the week of the wedding approached I finalized my attendants gifts, followed up with the catering company and the band, and met with Chad and members of his team to coordinate for the day of... it was on this day that I brought over a large box with decorations for all four of the bathrooms at the venue. Also included in the box was my handmade guestbook, antique bottles (which were my grandfathers), the buttons to be used on my bouquet and handmade chalk boards which were supposed to be at the bars noting our signature drinks. At this meeting I was a bit shocked when Chad pulled out two linens for me to look at and ask me, yes folks, ask me "if these were the correct colors and styles". I was taken aback seeing as we selected the linens and such back in March! The linen samples he showed were similar, but they were not specifically what we wanted. After going through a couple of books we picked our linens again (with the thought in my mind, "It is the week of my wedding, what the hell?"... Then I thought, "Eh, Chad does this stuff for a living, I should not be worried.) and then began our meeting for logistics the day of the wedding. I asked very specific questions and my mind was put at ease with each answer from both Chad and his team member. I asked Chad if he followed up with all the vendors whose names he had been given and he said yes. So while I felt a bit off by the linen issue, I felt ready to get married and see all the little details that both Chad and I had talked about for months!
Enter my wedding weekend - The Friday Night was our Grooms Cocktail Party, which Chad and his husband were invited, and Chad promised he would make an appearance and help us with an informal rehearsal. Now mind you, Chad was invited as a guest, not as my wedding designer. Both my finance and I had grown to truly enjoy our times with Chad and wanted to show our appreciation. Needless to say, Chad never came. While I was a bit disappointed, I figured he was busy getting all my things ready for the next day!
The day of my wedding, Chad and his team delivered mine and my attendants flowers to the hotel. We said quick hellos... he helped a bridesmaid with a dress issue. Gave a high five to my fiancé. And was off and running to the wedding location. My flowers were beautiful! Not going to lie. I was taken aback since my bouquet was supposed to be primarily white with touches of pink, but I let that go considering how absolutely amazing and brilliant it was. Moreover, Chad made sure to find fun a fun accent color in the bouquet... he used vibrant red berries to accent my Tiffany Blue dress. The only thing missing from the bouquet were my buttons. But at this stage of the game, what were some buttons if the rest of the day was beautiful.
We went and took our photos prior to the wedding and arrived at the wedding location to take a few more. Chad came up from the tent, gave me a huge hug, took a photo with me, did the whole putting my mind at ease with everything and then told me there was one issue. He said that the box with my entire bathroom decor had been stolen. Now here is the deal with my bathroom decor: I provided large L'occitane liquid soaps and lotions, I used antique bottles and filled them with spices and placed all three items in an antique box for the counters. Then I had soy wax candles made in rustic jars to accent the smells of the wedding. Then I provided baskets filled with every imaginable thing known to man that people may need. On top of that, I put additional large bottles in there for my flowers for the bathrooms. I took a lot of time to put these together and tons of thought on colors, the looks of each item, and the quality of each item to be enjoyed by my guests and definitely the smells. Then I remembered the other items that were in the box: my handmade guestbook and the chalkboards. But Chad assured me that his "team was all over it, and the items would be replaced and they would be the quality of which he himself would use in his own home!" That made me feel better, seeing as Chad keeps a wonderful home! He then said, he was off to shower and change and he would be back for drinks and a dance, but that he was leaving me in capable hands. Now enters the start of my horror...
Once I got down to the wedding site, I was super excited! The location was beautiful, I loved my wedding party, I was getting ready to marry my best friend and I was excited to see all my little details come to life. However, the site was sheer chaos!
Vendors did not have a point of contact, things were not set up, guests were arriving, items were missing that we had discussed, my plates were incorrect, my centerpieces were all wrong, the location of the cocktail party was not set up correctly, the gift table was in the wrong location, there was nothing designating our charity which we donated money to in lieu of favors, nor were was there anything noting that all the flowers were being donated to the VA, there was no guestbook at all (no replacement), and the seating cards were set up incorrectly! Couple all of that with the fact that my guests were walking all over the wedding site and there was no one to direct them to a proper location... all in all, it was a mess! I have never in my life been a part of something so disorganized, and here it was my wedding! THEN, I had guests starting to get their seating cards and enter the reception location... a location that was not yet set up and was entirely set up incorrectly!
Minus the above, I had my dream wedding ceremony, we had wonderful food, plenty of drinks, the photographer was brilliant, the band was simply awesome and my catering company was fun and fantastic! And the two members of the CMP team truly tried their best to make the day... I will never fault them, they were putting out fires and still attempting to be attentive to my husband and I. But oddly enough, Chad never returned.
After the wedding my now husband and I sat down to attempt to remember all that was wrong and missing... the list is amazing, I am still in shock when I think of it: centerpieces were all incorrect, bathroom replacements (given the fact that the box with all the correct items went missing) were hideous (they were items I would NEVER put in my own home and definitely did not amount to the level of class I was looking for), the guestbook was missing, shirts for the bartenders with our logo on it did not arrive until the last hour of the wedding, the tables were larger than we originally requested, the seating cards were set up on a table and not on a board with ribbon as previously planned (and there were cards missing... case in point, mine), there was nothing designating our charity or that we were donating the flowers, the old fashioned lemonade stand was missing from the cocktail hour, napkins with our logo for the cocktail hour were missing, the plates were all wrong (we were supposed to have five different types of plates all mixed up and placed on tables... but instead we had two patterns and they placed one pattern in half the tent and one pattern in the other half), the napkins too were supposed to be a mix of different things (but they were all one type), the chalkboards never arrived, lighting decor (candles and such) only ended up being tea lights... which we discussed lanterns. All in all, there was no design to my wedding, it just happened.
Now we have the biggest issue, yes, bigger than all mentioned above. I met with Chad after the wedding, he apologized up and down about not returning and the missing lemonade stand and bathroom things, then discussed my future employment opportunity with him and told me that there were a few "extras" that needed to be presented to my parents. I told him it would behoove him not to contact them right now as they were upset over logistical issues from the wedding, and his response, "they are both business people, I am certain they will understand." Understand they did not! Nor did my husband and I...
We were being charged for items that were NEVER approved. Linen up-charge, plate and glassware up-charge, paper lantern up-charge, stationary up-charge, up-charge on table rentals, dance floor up-charge (which Chad claimed was due to my approving the tent layout... remember, I asked for a tent layout from him and never approved it, simply approved table designations). The odd thing here is this, I had an estimated 275 guests on my agreement with Chad, but I only had 230 guests attend the wedding... so it seems more than odd that I would be charged extra for the previously mentioned. All in all, the extras were 32% of my original agreed and previously paid in full amount! After stating that we would not honor the charges Chad began to harass me via phone, on Facebook, and via email. This went on for weeks. We sought legal council and I even had to go as far as filing a police report due to harassment. Moreover, he started harassing my parents and making false claims and vulgar.
In the end, I married my best friend. My wedding party was beautiful. My bad was spectacular. My wedding ceremony was my dream. My catering company was fun and professional. My photographer was a dream to work with and did beautiful work. All these things, had nothing to do with Chad Michael Peters as a company, nor did they have anything to do with Chad Michael Peters as a person. My biggest regret was and will continue to be hiring him. Now that I look back, Chad had too many things going on that weekend to give my wedding the attention I have witnessed him giving to other weddings. Clearly those other events were of more importance to him than the even that was of the utmost importance to me. Moreover, I should have been more of a "bride"... I should have been that annoying person who calls all the time to check on details, but I blindly put my trust in a reputation and a person that I once admired and respected. While my flowers were clearly beautiful, they were all wrong... even specific flowers I wanted were missing. In the end, what should have been my happiest day, makes me angry and sad... and I do not wish that on any couple who is planning their wedding.