Couples Share Their Gut Wrenching Experience With Bella Rose
Budget Friendly Wedding Photographer
By Jeffrey House Photography
"Budget Friendly Wedding Photography."
These are just some of the ways Bella Rose Photography in St. Cloud, MN describes their wedding photography and videography services. But if you read the recent news story about them, many couples will tell you they were anything but "award winning!" While "budget friendly" sounds tempting, it's usually just a softer way of saying "cheap" wedding photography.
I've Been A Victim & Don't Want You To Be One Too
The local news in St. Cloud, MN recently sat down with several brides and grooms and discussed their experience with Bella Rose Photography and Videography. If you're not familiar with Bella Rose, they are essentially a chain that provides wedding photography and videography services.
The couples that were interviewed in the article are clearly heartbroken. It was really important to me to share this article with you for several reasons. First, it's very easy to get overwhelmed by wedding expenses and make decisions that aren't in your own best interest. They may seem like good decisions at the time or you might think "I don't have to worry about that because it won't happen to me," but it can happen very easily.
Second, we dedicate a lot of time sharing tips and advice on how to avoid situations like these. I've been a victim a wedding business fraud, so it's a topic that I understand very well. I don't want you or any other couple to experience these deceitful tactics used in the wedding industry. While there are a lot of bad people in the wedding industry looking to take advantage of unsuspecting brides and grooms, there's also a lot of good people too. Hopefully, our articles will help you find the good vendors/professionals and avoid being a victim.
Heartbroken Brides & Grooms Share Their Stories
So, what did the Bella Rose company do that was so bad?
These couples reported that when they began searching for their photographer or videographer, they visited the website of Bella Rose. Their website spoke passionately about their services and how they are "so emotionally charged," "full of excitement," and "even strangers will smile and cry." The website was filled with beautiful pictures and videos. They really looked amazing, but these couples sadly learned that looks can be deceiving!
The couples reported paying between $2,500-$3,000 for their services. This is average, so nothing out of the ordinary. However, in the end couples said Bella Rose "stole from me!" Whether you're spending $800 or $3,000, when you feel cheated every dollar hurts. Obviously, it hurts worse with bigger investments.
Losing the money wasn't the biggest issue for most couples - it was the loss of their memories. You can always get the money back, but you can never replace your memories - especially your wedding memories. There's no "reset" button or "do overs." Once these moments are gone, they are gone forever.
One bride specifically commented on how she hired Bella Rose for her wedding video. She recalls her parents photos and wedding video, and she remembered how special it was to her. She too wanted a wedding video that would someday be shared with her children and now her dream is gone.
Another couple paid $3,000 was promised an hour long cinematic production of their wedding day, ceremony coverage, reception coverage, and 2 videographers. Instead, they got a "highlight" video that didn't even include coverage of their vows or the exchange of their rings. Two of the biggest moments from a wedding were not even included in their wedding video. They described their video as "bits and pieces" with no cinematic production. And they didn't get 2 videographers, they got 1.
Other couples complained because the quality of their videos were awful. Even though they were mic'd up, Bella Rose clearly didn't use the audio from the mics. The audio was awful and you couldn't even make out what was being said in the video.
A heartbroken bride recounted her experience and remarked how Bella Rose didn't capture a single photograph of her walking down the aisle with her father. This particular photograph is wedding photography 101 and it certainly should have been included in their photos.
One bride had specifically requested a picture of her grandmother. Her health was really poor and this would be the last family wedding she could attend. The bride was devastated to learn she didn't have single photograph of her grandmother.
The Pain Of Lost Memories
While these couples are all pursing legal action against Bella Photography, the process can take a while. And no matter the outcome, it won't change the fact their memories are gone forever. One of the brides commented that after a year she didn't think she would still be so emotional about it.
We have but a handful of moments in our lives that create amazing memories and evoke such emotion - A wedding is one of them. Couples invest a lot of money, time, and energy planning every detail. When a wedding vendor like Bella Rose takes your memories from you, it's a huge loss and it hurts. No bride or groom should ever have to experience this or feel this way.
Read the full article on Missing Memories!
4 Tips For Finding Reputable Wedding Vendors
1. Contract. Never do business with any wedding vendor that doesn't use a contract. It's critical to have a written document that outlines the exact terms of your agreement including price, included products and services, and the responsibilities of all parties involved.
2. Online profiles. Any wedding vendor you work with should have an extensive online presence. In other words, having a Facebook business page is NOT good enough. They should have a professional website, Facebook page, and active social profiles on sites like Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. They don't necessarily need to be on every site, but they should be on most.
3. References. Ask vendors to speak with prior clients and/or other wedding vendors they've worked with in the past.
4. Meet face-to-face. Be sure to meet in-person with potential vendors. We can tell a lot more about a person in-person than we can over the phone or through e-mail. What is their body language like? Do they make eye contact or do they appear nervous and sketchy?
Has anything like this happened to you or do you know someone that experienced this? Share your story now, we'd love to hear from you!