National Nikkei Heritage Centre Society - Did not provide the services they were supposed to
Don't bother dealing with Nikkei while planning for your wedding as they will just add unnecessary stress onto your wedding planning which is already stressful enough!!!
We decided on our venue and signed a contract with Nikkei for our wedding venue back in June of 2009; the actual date of our wedding was May 29 2010, and we had liaised with Nikkei's wedding consultant, Harumi beginning March 2009. My fiancÃ© and I had talked to Harumi on several occasions telling her that we really liked the venue but were hesitant with using Nikkei as our venue due to the fact that we were told that we HAD to use Nikkei's in-house decorator, which Harumi INSISTED was the case due to previous weddings which resulted in damages to the property (ie markings on the walls, etc). Which brings us to another topic we were quite upset about as well, as we have told this to several people within the wedding industry and they advised us that this wasn't the case, and the only reason we were told this is because a referral fee was profited by either Harumi/Nikkei; therefore we went over the contract recently and nowhere do we see this requirement printed on it. When we first talked to Harumi, we were told that if we used Nikkei we would have no option but to use Kathleen from Proline Decorating as this was a part of the deal. Due to this particular requirement we told Harumi we did not like the fact that we would be unable to do comparisons, as we had been hoping to look around at other companies/decorators to compare styles and prices. Also, we were very uncomfortable with the fact that we were unable to directly contact the decorator (Kathleen), as Harumi had told us the reason for this was because she did not want us doing business with the decorator on the side. However, Harumi assured us that the process would be seamless, that all we would have to do is email or call her with our question, concerns, requests and she would then directly forward this to the decorator. She had told us that the decorator was very dependable and efficient and that we would definitely be getting a response back within the hour. Which we found out later on that the whole process would be anything BUT seamless.
The first time we were scheduled to meet with Harumi and Kathleen the meeting was cancelled 3 hours prior to the scheduled time and we were not given a SINGLE explanation at all. When we finally got to meet with them, we asked for a quote at the first meeting, along with pictures of the centerpieces and chandeliers. We FINALLY received the quote over 5 months later with Harumi saying that "the dÃ©cor process is usually not this painful", which is another lie as everything we have done with Nikkei since the beginning is very painful and having been given the run-around so many times we are fed up. We did finally receive a picture of a chandelier about 5 months after the first meeting, something which resembled nothing like the pictures which were given to Harumi & Kathleen (which apparently were misplaced as Harumi asked me to re-send the pictures to her). Harumi advised us that she would follow-up with Kathleen but the last time we were in touch with Kathleen she mentioned that Harumi had not spoken to her in regards to this. 8 months later, we had yet to receive pictures of the chandelier that we had originally requested. We were constantly told that emails had been sent to us, which is a lie as we have provided Harumi with 3 different email addresses, and she claims that these emails have been sent to all these addresses yet I find it difficult to believe that only the emails that are sent by her get "lost".
We were supposed to meet with the both of them a second time and of course this meeting was cancelled a couple of days prior, due to a family emergency. We have provided many times and dates for the both of them to meet with us, since Harumi said that we were unable to meet Kathleen without her being present (which is another thing I find truly ridiculous), however this just never seems to work out as either Harumi or Kathleen is either out of town or too busy. Due to all of this we decided that it would be in our best interest to deal with a professional vendor that would be able to fulfill the duties and obligations that are required, in which Harumi and Kathleen had not been able to do for us. Harumi had given us her word on multiple things on which she has not come through on and due to this we decided to use another venue for our wedding which was truly stressful as our wedding was only 4 months away at that point. We felt that we should be entitled to our deposit back since Nikkei did not fulfill the obligations or duties that were supposed to be provided to us.
We emailed the Executive Director, Miko at Nikkei with our complaint and we were not happy with the way she resolved the problem as she basically defended Harumi and tried to convince us to continue using Nikkei for our wedding venue. After emailing her a second time saying that we would not change our minds and that we should receive our deposit back as we had not received the services promised, she offered us only 50% of our initial deposit. We were extremely upset about not receiving our full deposit; as a result of us not using Nikkei as our venue, we had to also cancel our initial agreement with our caterer and they refused to give us our deposit back as well, so we lost another $1500 on top of the $500 which Nikkei refused to return, they claim due to "administrative costs"...which I believe was just a poor excuse. We ended up going with the Italian Centre where they handled everything professionally and seamlessly.