This morning, a tipster sent us a local Dallas news story about a bride who is upset that her wedding invitations were delivered with the wrong kind of doilies. The tipster suggested that Gawker "make fun" of this bride, who was so distressed by the mixup that she turned to her local ABC affiliate to air her grievances.
Having both read the story and conducted thorough internet research about the bride and her impending nuptials, I see no reason to make fun at all. In fact, I'd like to issue a call to arms. But first, let's look at the facts.
"She said it was 'different.' I didn't know how different"
Dallas-area bride-to-be Natalie DeGraffenreid will—god-willing—marry her fiancé Cory Teague in 35 days on April 4, 2015. No thanks at all to Lauren Heymann, owner of the six-year-old stationery firm "Art by Ellie." As DeGraffenreid explained to WFAA-8, Heymann ran out of the specific doilies that she requested for her invitations.
DeGraffenreid hired Arlington-based Art by Ellie to create the custom design, and said she was drawn to an invitation with a doily design. She placed her order in early January; paid her $500 deposit; signed the company's contract; and waited for delivery.
Then came problems.
DeGraffenreid said at first, only half of the invitations she had ordered were ready. And then staff at Art by Ellie told her there weren't enough of the same style of doilies for the entire order.
"When she e-mailed me a few days later and said she didn't have the same pattern— that she was ordering a new one—she said it was 'different.' I didn't know how different," DeGraffenreid said.
This is not a lie or a joke. The doilies are different.
One doily is what DeGraffenreid ordered; one is not. It's all a matter of taste, but: One doily says "a day we will always remember," and the other says [sound of dog pissing on the train of a wedding dress].
This is not what I call satisfactory customer service.
"That means she could give me whatever she wanted... and she did"
DeGraffenreid told WFAA-8 that she does not believe Heymann provided what she ordered, so she hasn't yet paid the remaining balance for the invitations. She said she asked for a refund or discount, but those requests were denied. Instead, Heymann pointed out that Art by Ellie is not contractually obligated to provide DeGraffenreid the correct doilies.
DeGraffenreid told WFAA-8 that Heymann wrote this to her in an email:
We are not under contract for a guaranteed specific delivery date, a specific envelope, or a specific doily pattern with your contract.
As DeGraffenreid translates, "That means she could give me whatever she wanted... and she did."
While specific doily patterns may not have been written out in DeGraffenreid's contract, Art by Ellie's website clearly states, "we wouldn't dream of sending anything to the printers without your final approval." Per the FAQ page:
WILL I SEE THE INVITATIONS BEFORE THEY GO TO PRINT?
Of course; you are involved every step of the way. We work with you to get a feel for your event style and then we begin working on your first round of proofs. The first e-mail will usually contain a few concepts and then we'll go from there, making changes until it's perfect, and we wouldn't dream of sending anything to the printers without your final approval.
I can now conclude that Art by Ellie's website is a lie.
Furthermore, per WFAA-8, "an attorney representing Art by Ellie contacted DeGraffenreid this week demanding full payment of the rest of her bill, with the hope of avoiding any future legal action."
"It matters to me. I'm the bride, and I'm the one that paid for it"
One [doily] was done in a swirling pattern of lacy white starbursts, the other in a not-really-swirling pattern of lacy white starbursts.
This is not about Eric Nicholson or you. This is about Natalie DeGraffenreid, who ordered a specific product and made a sizable deposit for said product in good faith. As DeGraffenreid explained, "It matters to me. I'm the bride, and I'm the one that paid for it."
DeGraffenreid is a nurse. Her husband-to-be is a firefighter and a paramedic. They are our nation's heroes, who have no doubt been saving up to make their wedding a day their family and friends will enjoy.
Give DeGraffenreid the right goddamn doilies or let her keep the shitty ones for free.
I have reached out to DeGraffenreid, who has deleted her wedding website in the wake of this controversy, and will update if I hear back.
[Photos via DeGraffenreid's site and WFAA-8]