It’s been a while, I know. But I’m feeling inspired to get back at blogging, and what’s more fun to blog (er-rant) about, than decorator reviews?! So here goes, my long overdue review of Sara Baig Designs.
Brides, remember that moment in your wedding planning process where you were just about ready to give up finding a vendor for something because nothing / no one was working out, and then all of a sudden you meet the one who you makes you feel like ‘yes, finally! S/he could be the one.’ Well that was exactly my first impression of meeting Sara Baig.
It started with the fact that her studio was downtown. This was impressive for two reasons: one she actually had office space, and it wasn’t her basement in Brampton. Instantly, this lady was legit.
I recall that SM, my brother, mother-in-law, father-in-law, and sister-in-law all went to this meeting (you know us desis, we travel in packs) and sat around her fancy table brainstorming event visions, design ideas, colour themes, and flower choices. For hours. Literally, it was the longest first meeting of all the decorator meetings that we had and Sara was so commanding with her knowledge of all things event decor. As we were talking, she was sketching and note taking and with each word she jotted on her note pad, it was as though she was basically writing the cheque that we were clearly going to be handing her. Because she made an impression in that meeting. And that impression was that she was not like other decorators, she was professional, detail-oriented, and stylish, and the events she did reflected her fine tastes. And we wanted our events to be part of that portfolio.
Three, maybe four hours later (my brother had long stopped caring about any of this after the first 30 minutes lol) our meeting adjourned and we said our khuda-hafezes. Sara said that she would get back to us with a quote shortly, and we left her lovely studio, excited and slightly afraid of what those quotes would say.
A week goes by. I follow up with Sara asking her for the quotes for our wedding decor; no response. Weird, I thought, we had spent so much time discussing designs, she promised us quotes by a certain date and then we didn’t hear from her. And if anyone were to be professional about timelines it would be someone like her – she had a studio downtown for God’s sake lol! Anyway SM told me to relax as he often does because she probably got busy and to wait another week. Finnnnnne, I (not-so-patiently) waited. Another couple of weeks went by, more following up, and radio silence from her. Then, and I think this is why annoyed me the most, I saw on Facebook that she had posted about her vacatation and I was like ‘ok, if you can post on Facebook, you can email back your potential customers!’ At this point I was so over her – despite the fact that I thought her work was amazing – but I couldn’t work with someone who was not responsive! Anyway, another month or so passes and she finally replies with a long apologetic email -and the quotes. And after I opened them, I actually laughed out loud. Because they said:
$7680 for the mehndi
$6280 for the wedding and
$11,198 for the Valima
For a grand total of (drum roll, please?)
Ok, now I’m going to try to be as fair as possible: that is way more than we wanted to spend on decor. To me, to spend that much, on decor alone, was laughable. And it was laughable because I did not have that kind of money. My family did not have that kind of money. And that made me laugh. (Lol still does).
But then there’s this point: everything is relative. To people who have more means, that’s probably a completely reasonable price point. To some people, half of that quote, a quarter of that quote, could be laughable or compeletely insane to spend on decor, alone. For me, I wasn’t about to hire Sara Baig because I simply couldn’t afford her. (And if I could?…. No I still wouldn’t have, because the lack of responsiveness and false deadline promises left a bad taste in my mouth).
Do I think she’s talented? Absolutely. Do I think her work is unique and sets her apart from her industry competitors? I do. And I also recognize that there are SO MANY people that have had positive experiences with her, her FaceBook page reviews are a reflection of that. So maybe my experience with her, disappointing as it was, was an outlier. But at the end of the day, it still was what it was – mine – and so in the profound words of JayZ, it was on to the next one!