I figured something bad would happen at some point before the wedding involving one of my vendors, with so many moving parts it just seemed bound to happen. And last night it did.
Two weeks ago I got a call from a lady who I thought was the assistant to the owner of the photography company that I hired for our wedding. She said that she wanted us to come in to go over everything for the wedding, I assumed the day of timeline and certain must-take shots. Last night Kristian and I went to the studio to discover that the woman who called that I thought was the owner’s assistant was in fact now our new photographer for the wedding day!
Let me back up a bit… last summer we hired a married couple Rob and Jen, who worked for this particular photography company. We met with them twice, signed the contract with them, they did our engagement pictures and told us they would be shooting our wedding. We liked them and thought they did a great job with our engagement pictures. I have never dealt directly with the owner of the company though she’s gotten great reviews on Wedding Wire.
Cut to last night when we’re told by Amy and her husband Bruce that Rob and Jen quit in November and now Amy and Bruce would be shooting the wedding! Say WHAAA?! Apparently Rob and Jen left the company and supposedly are out of the wedding photography business altogether, this happened in November yet NO ONE called us to let us know! I couldn’t believe it. Amy actually didn’t realize that the owner of the company Annette hadn’t already relayed this information to us so she and Bruce were caught off guard as well by having to be the bearer of bad news. Not only did Annette not inform us of the change but she didn’t even feel the need to be at the meeting last night to explain the situation/changes.
Needless to say we were NOT happy. Bruce and Amy were great though. They completely sympathized and offered to help us anyway they could. They showed us pictures of their work (which is BEAUTIFUL) gave us some of their background and walked us through their process. We explained that while they seemed great we didn’t know them and were nervous since we hadn’t had a chance to work with them at all. They understood and even offered to do another engagement session with us free of charge to not only make us comfortable but also to give them a chance to see how we photograph and interact with each other.
I should mention that Bruce and Amy are freelance photographers with 19 years experience. They come in and help Annette when she is overbooked but they aren’t specifically her employees. They did say that they would do our wedding regardless, meaning even if we decided to get out of our contract with Annette’s company we could hire them separately for the same rate (though they typically charge more). They felt awful about our situation and really wanted to help us out.
When we got home we called Annette who didn’t seem to have a good explanation for why we weren’t told sooner of the change. When we asked if she could offer us a discount or something extra to make up for the last minute change she basically told us that if we wanted to get out of our contract that was fine. She didn’t seem too concerned about keeping our business…so she’s not. We told her we wanted out of our contract and we wanted our deposit back. She said she would have to discuss that with her lawyer and would get back to us today. I doubt we’ll get that money back but Bruce and Amy said they wouldn’t charge us another deposit. We could just proceed from the point we’re at now. We called them after talking to Annette and told them to hold the date for us and we could get together and sign a contract with them.
I just thank God Kristian was with me…I almost just had him stay home since I thought the meeting was just a standard pre-wedding meeting to discuss details. He decided to come anyway and ended up being a life saver. I sat on the couch a bit shell shocked and trying not to break into a full fledged panic attack while he discussed all our options with Bruce and Amy. He was also the one to talk to Annette and try to negotiate a deal. He’s a salesguy so he’s really good at that kind of thing. Meanwhile I was freaking out…I don’t do well with last minute changes.
Ultimately I think this change will be for the best. We were impressed with Bruce and Amy’s work and really liked their personalities so I think they’ll do a great job for us. It sucks having to go through this 2 months out from the wedding but better now than 2 weeks before the wedding.