May 29 , 2023 2.0
Would Not Recommend
Unfortunately, we did not have the most positive experience with Hala as our planner for our recent Wedding. We were initially very excited as it seemed Hala had the experience and said all the right things during the calls prior to signing. When we brought on Hala, we already had most of our vendors signed and just needed her help to complete the planning and primarily with the logistics / execution of the wedding weekend.
During the planning process, we had issues with responsiveness (there were many instances where emails / texts were never addressed and we had to follow up on items numerous times). Less than a month prior to our event, we didn't receive responses for an entire week and was later told that the team's emails were hacked. We would've appreciated a text or call to let us know about this.
We also did not have success getting recommendations for vendors. For example, we originally needed an outdoor dance floor and Hala provided one vendor and quote (which was twice what we ended up paying by just doing the research ourselves). We ended up just searching for all outstanding vendors on our own as we wanted to ensure we were getting the best ones for our value.
Hala put together an agenda for the wedding, however we would find many mistakes on each iteration of the agenda. She sent out a final version to all vendors without running it past us first and we found out it had incorrectly listed many important details. We asked her to fix the updates, but she was unwilling to send out an updated final version to all our vendors.
We were pushing Hala for weeks to discuss a rain plan which she ignored. We did not want to deal with the contingency plan week of the wedding, but unfortunately Hala was unwilling until the last minute. We ended up losing a significant amount of money because we had to move the event indoors and Hala had not discussed with the venue if we could use their dance floor inside until 2 days before the event, when the venue was unable to arrange for labor last minute. We had to pay for another dance floor costing us extra.
We ended up having to talk directly with multiple vendors during the week of our wedding for various reasons that we would've expected to have been worked out in advance by the planner. It was extremely stressful to deal with while we were trying to enjoy what should be the best week of our lives.
During the wedding itself, the biggest issue was that Hala understaffed her team. Prior to signing the contract, she had told us numerous times that there would be 4 people on her team at ALL times during the weekend. Most of the times, there were 2 or 3. We had asked MANY times for a schedule of when her team members would arrive / leave and she refused to share this with us. This was extremely unprofessional. Her lead team members, Jennifer and Mo, were incredibly kind and tried their best to help. However, Hala had not put them in a position to succeed by 1) understaffing her team, 2) refusing to let us meet with the team beforehand to run through all the details, and 3) having a non-detailed final agenda sheet / floor plans with incorrect / missing information. There were many instances where it was VERY apparent we needed more people helping out, especially during the baraat (when groom side and bride side need separate coordination) and during the ceremony. Our guests would be texting us when / where they needed to go and it was very chaotic. We heard from many guests of certain things going wrong that should have been addressed by the planners and it was very disappointing to hear.
We were lucky and grateful that our other vendors were absolutely incredible. However, the planner is one of the most important ones and can make or break the experience. We are disappointed Hala did not stick to her word and did not put in enough time / effort into planning. We reached out after the wedding and she did not accept responsibility for a single thing that was an issue during the wedding.
June 20 , 2022 5.0
My team and I had the opportunity to photograph and film over 500 weddings all over the U.S., Canada and Mexico in the past 15 years and have worked alongside with many great vendors in our industry. Hala was simply one of the best vendor we've worked with so far. Hala is incredible in event design and have a great team for execution. Hala also pays close attention to details and keep us in the loop. We highly recommend Hala to design, manage and execute your events. We're looking forward to working with Hala in the near future.