Big City Bride is a scam.
Susan Cordogan of Big City Bride is a scam artist, a thief, and a fraud
I’m looking for a bit of advice about a sticky situation with our ex-wedding planner Susan Cordogan of Big City Bride, 954 West Webster Chicago IL 60614. I think we have been scammed by Susan Cordogan and I’m not sure what to do next. I want to make sure other brides aren’t duped by her as we were. Our planner asked for half her fees upfront as a non-refundable deposit, so it appears we are out the money. Susan Cordogan has a great looking website and claims to be a celebrity wedding planner, president of local wedding planning association, and affiliated with several reputable local institutions (we found out her involvement was over embellished) and more than a few fake reviews on yelp.
Here is why we think Susan Cordogan is a scammer (which we discovered after booking, most of this info was not on the net until after we booked):
She sent us personal facebook pages of people she claimed were vendors. There is no mention of the fact they run a business, and I’m pretty sure none of these people run an actual business.
She sent us a budget that did not include things like a wedding license.
She would take WEEKS to respond to emails (up to a month once) and would always reply at 2 am.
My fiancé and I repeatedly stated we wanted a vintage and elegant themed wedding. Her design ideas were all long the lines of super rustic, burlap, and ranch style when we wanted something art deco themed and elegant. Susan Cordogan never did update her design ideas for us after we repeatedly clarified the theme was different.
The first draft budget Susan Cordogan sent me had another bride’s info in the “actual” column. Our “estimated” column was ours, but the money spent was someone else’s.
Susan Cordogan did not help us find a venue. Originally Susan Cordogan sent us some leads that she got off google but didn’t check out. When we found one we liked about an hour away and drove out there, we found that it did not come with transportation (we would need to rent golf carts) and was without any sort of shade or cover meaning we would also need to rent a tent. Our so-called in budget venue was about $10k over budget, for the venue alone.
Susan Cordogan writes on her linked in page that she works at a bar and specializes in “upselling”. (appeared after we booked)
After we cancelled the agreement, Susan Cordogan accused us of scamming her! (She has our money and refuses to give it back, we do not have anything of hers.) She did send us exactly one usable vendor: a DJ that is priced out of the budget she made for us.
Most of the things above (design ideas, budget and vendor help) were included in our contract. We feel that our contract was breached, so we did fire her.
I’m really angry we got scammed and I’m not sure what to do next. I really want to make sure another bride is not victimized. I’m afraid if I write a bad review Susan Cordogan will sue us for defamation. I’m in grad school, so we really do not want to find ourselves defendants in a lawsuit with a scammer.