Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Reggie Gaba: A Review

For the longest time I have been putting off writing this post because everytime I think about it, it just upsets me. But since I feel I owe it to my fellow w@wies, I might as well get it over and done with. You can all qoute me on this and I will forever stand by this statement: Our wedding memories will forever be marred by our not-so-great experience with the gown designer Reggie Gaba.

I heard of Reggie from
w@w. Three or four w@wies recommended him. I did my homework and researched on his work and I liked it. I asked James to come with me when I first met him. The meeting went well. When we left his house James and I decided to get him. We felt he had the skills to execute all the gowns for the wedding. That was December 2008.

2009 was a flurry of me trying to contact him for fittings and appointments. Rarely would he answer calls and texts. He would take his lovely time getting back to me and it seriously stressed me out. He had drawn out this whole schedule for fittings and measurement takings but almost every single time I would call or text him to confirm our set appointments, I would have to call and text a minimum of three times. Being a bride who doesnt want to stress herself even more than normal, I decided to let it go. I told myself to be patient and just pray that everything will turn out fine.

Our fittings and measurement takings got delayed by months. His previous promises of him meeting every deadline went all up into thin air. Everything got delayed. Numerous meetings and appointments have been either cancelled or postponed which cost us a lot of time and energy. It even came to a point where my mom, my then fiance (now my husband) and I had to take turns trying to contact him. Kung sino yung hindi galit, kung sino yung kalma, yun ang tatawag. We didnt want to burn bridges at that time cause we still had pending gowns.

Everything came to a boiling point about 1 month before the wedding. We still had a lot of pending gowns and I was getting really nervous about everything being done on time. You can ask his staff, there was a time I cried my heart out in his shop because my gown looked like garbage to me and this was on a night we had a confirmed appointment with him and he didnt even bother to tell us he would not be around. We all tried calling him for about 30 minutes and surprise, surprise he wasnt answering his phone.

Luckily he had the smarts to finally pick up and told my mom he was in Megamall. We had a 7:30 pm appointment, 8:00 pm and he was in Megamall. And no, we didnt receive a single text from him informing us that he wont be there. In fact before we went there, I even texted him to confirm and he did. My mom told him to come straight to the shop and she will wait for him (I couldnt cause I had to go to work). For our 7:30 pm appointment, he arrived around 10:30 pm. He and my mom had a long serious talk and he again made all sorts of promises and my mom not wanting to aggravate things even further, decided to play nice.

That night I texted him that I was extremely disappointed with him and that starting that day, I don't want him to contact me directly. Should he need something from us, I instructed him to contact my mom. I was too upset to deal with him and I didn't want to say anything I might regret in the future. Did I receive a text or a call in reply of my upset message? Nope. Big surprise. Not even an acknowledgement that he received it.

After that night, we all thought everything was gonna be better. But again we were wrong. More delays, more broken promises.Two weeks before the wedding, I threatened to pull everything out and not pay the remaining balance. I told my mom that I wanted to get all the pending gowns and just have a mananahi finish them. That was how upset I was. My mom convinced me that it was not a rational move and instead devoted every single day, morning and evening, going to his shop just to make sure he get the gowns out in time, which he did.

In all fairness, the first half of the entourage gowns were great. I had no complaints. My fiance had a couple but they were minor. The second half obviously looked minadali. Everybody said so. But I really just wanted to get everything over and done with so I wont have to deal with him anymore, so I just accepted those gowns as is. My now mother-in-law disliked her gown so much that she had another gown made. After more than 5 times of going back and forth his shop, they were finally able to get my gown right. In fact, a number of people complimented me on it, which was actually nice.

Come wedding day, I thought finally I'd be rid of the stress from Reggie. But boy was I wrong. He came to the hotel, yes. He dressed me, ironed my gown, etc. as per our agreement. But also included in that agreement was him showing up at the church and the reception venue to help with my gown. When I didn't see him at the church, I honestly did not mind. Ella from DNDC was there to help me with my train and my veil, so no biggie.

When we got to the venue, I looked for him and he was nowhere in sight. I asked everybody and no one had seen him. I told Dindi (also from DNDC) that I needed him because he was supposed to bustle up my train so I can dance for our rehearsed first dance. Well, he was a no-show. Dindi along with Ella had to safety pin my gown just so I would be able to move freely. Unfortunately it did not hold and I was not able to dance properly.

But what really irked me was the fact that he didn't even bother to call or even text anybody to inform us that he was not coming. He had my number, James' number, my mom's number, our coordinator's number but not even a single message from him. Typical Reggie, he didn't even bother to apologize or acknowledge what he has done. I was all set to go to his shop the next day to confront him but my mom told me to just let it go. She said it wasn't worth it.

Overall, I liked most of our gowns. The output was fine, nothing spectacular, just good enough for me. But would I recommended him to my friends and relatives? No I would not. Not after all the stress we all had to go through because of his unprofessional ways. Just like my mom said: it just ain't worth it.

I honestly dont think I am being unfair with this review. You can check the
w@w archives and my wedding blog (http://simplymaan.blogspot.com), I have waxed poetic about him. I referred a lot of clients to him, even he told me countless times that he was able to book a lot of clients because me, because of my blog. I, along with my family, gave him all the chances in the world and yet up until the very end he disappointed us. And what hurts even more is the fact that not once did even try to apologize for any of his shortcomings.

For those reading this, no I'm telling you not to hire him. I would still leave the decision up to you. Yes, we got good-enough gowns, they pretty much passed my standards. They looked great in pictures. But would I put myself and my family under that kind of stress again? never in a million years.

--
p.s.

apparently I am not alone. two
w@wies previously emailed me asking whether I had the same experience as them (postponed appointments, broken promises, unanswered phone calls and texts). also two of my friends whose relatives also got him (also because of me) had the same thing happen to them.

related posts:

http://simplymaan.blogspot.com/2009/11/sharing-our-adult-entourage-gowns.html#comments

http://simplymaan.blogspot.com/2009/09/fitting-day-repost-from-my-multiply.html

http://simplymaan.blogspot.com/2009/09/pinoy-pride-reggie-gaba.html

http://simplymaan.blogspot.com/2009/06/entourage-gown-sketches.html

post signature

--
I am a witness to the suffering of my people.
I am a chronicler of truth and a catalyst of change.

-The Scholastican-

4 comments:

i.am.a.radiant.bride said...

hi sis maan,

i read your blog line by line and oh boy, i'm stressed. i hope he would learn something from this experience and treat us, brides, with more professionalism. i still believe he should, and rightfully, apologize to you and your family for the stress that you experienced upon dealing with him.

best wishes on your marriage and congratz for having a beautiful wedding. Richard B. gave justice to it. really, really nice pictures. :)

A Match Made in Heaven said...

maan, sad to hear that.. and true he got lots of clients as per you recommendation..sad sad sad..and he didnt ever bother to apologize?!

KC loves JC said...

1st. congratulations sis Maan :)

2nd. WT??!!! RG is such an @$$%@&& ha! (sorry for cursing) but oh my! what a stress talaga diba.

good thing super fab ka pa din after all the stress RG gave you. just like what your mom told you, let it go. he's not worth it.

aimee said...

oh boy! I am just newly engaged and looking for suppliers...I and my fiancé are based abroad and we need someone reliable!

Now after reading your blog...I wouldn't even have second thoughts of ignoring him on my list of possible suppliers even if his designs were nice!

heck its really not worth that much of stress! imagine how bad it could be if you were working out of the country!

thanks for the effort of putting this blog together!