Sunday, 19 April 2015

Wedding disaster - Brides beware!

Im sitting at my desk, its 8.30pm on a Sunday evening, the kids have been bathed and bedded and Im ready to continue with the work for the evening. Im in my 'happy place' editing a recent wedding - I cant help but smile through most of these galleries, when I re-discover so many happy faces and moments....the phone rings and with a complete, underestimation of the conversation that would follow I answered.

Cue a slightly distressed/agitated voice.....after a lengthy conversation, I discovered it was an enquiry for a Session for a newly married couple, although they were reluctant at first to ask - I gleaned that they actually wanted to do this session in their Wedding Attire  has they had recently received their images from another company and she said she 'wept'. The magical moments she had witnessed and hoped had been captured where nowhere to be seen within her Gallery, neither was the artistic vision she had hoped for. All in all, the couple stated they did not want to display these images in their home of a day they remembered so fantastically.

Listening to the distress in this woman's voice as she continued with her story, my heart absolutely went out to her. I knew I couldn't replicate her wedding day and feelings that were felt and expressed that day, but we could certainly get dressed up to the nines, head to her wedding venue and provide her with the Couple images she initially desired. My ability for empathy has always been high, but really I felt sad, knowing all too well the magical moments captured for a couple and their family on their big day. To experience all the excitement waiting for your 'record' of your day to arrive after your honeymoon, to be left sorely dissappointed and in tears. :-(  :-(

This isn't a blog post about 'blame' so I dont want to enter into whether the bride or supplier is at fault, but to use this experience to educate, advise and perhaps warn brides to be. This also isn't a blog post to promote my own services (my photos displayed here are just because I think it always makes an article look prettier!), truthfully one photographer does not fit all - we all have our own style, vision, ethos and budget which means I won't be suitable for everyone. Which Im ok with, although if everyone followed some of the following advice when searching for their suppliers, everyone would be more likely to end up with the right suppliers for them.

Research, research, research - Being able to produce one show stopping image from a wedding day, does not mean you will produce exquisite images from THROUGHOUT the day (Check suppliers blogs for full examples of Wedding Services) Nor does it mean you have the technical knowledge in challenging lighting conditions, the experience of such a fast paced event with no chances to re-run or stop events and to still provide an artistic vision which is an enjoyable experience to clients. Thats just skill, we havent even touched on the 'style' factor yet. Its important for couples to spend some time researching different styles available from suppliers, Google is our friend and you can find a heap of info and keywords that are relevant to your search. Not to worry if this is all a little overwhelming, there are lots of event planners who do one day consultations and could perhaps guide you with these various styles - helping to iron out any disappointments before they happen.

If you can meet your suppliers in person do! While I wholly advocate word of mouth, I believe its been a key factor in growing my business, consider all these 'suggestions' but meet them all too, to see how comfortable or natural you feel around them. If a couple and I, haven't warmed to each other, laughing heartily by the end of a consultation, I tend to think that perhaps we aren't the best match. I invest in my couples day, as much as they invest in me for their images - I have and will continue to refer couples who I believe are searching for something different to my style. Not all suppliers do this, so the responsibility lies solely on the couples shoulders to ensure their EXPECTATION from their day MATCHES (above and beyond) what they will be provided with on the day.

Please dont be heartbroken, from any aspect of your day,  being unfulfilled to your expectation. First prioritise your requirements from supplier (i.e. Style, Budget, quality etc) and research/enquire accordingly. Please check your supplier has all the relevant insurance ( you dont want to be 'that bride'), purchasing Wedding Insurance is always a smart move for couples themselves also in case of any disappointments. And has the relevant experience for what you are expecting. Its reasonable to assume that if you are using a fledgling Wedding Service (whatever category) your expectations may not be as high as from an established supplier, with a proven track record. Although at the same time, dont assume that an established supplier is better because they have been around longer....research! Ask them for portfolio examples and you'll soon see if the overall style and skill, fits your vision for your day.

With this discussed case and the limited information on it I have, honestly, I think there has been miscommunication. I think the brides expectations were much higher than her supplier could provide, although through lack of research etc the bride was unaware of this. Equally disappointing her supplier didn't advise her of this either, or perhaps was unaware, again through miscommunication. So talk, talk and talk some more with your suppliers, I do this and chat regularly with my brides before and after booking - some are from as far away as 2017/2018 Weddings, then you will know if you are 'on the same page' pretty quickly! And I hope to not hear of anymore wedding disasters, my poor little heart and empathy levels cant take it! :-(

Footnote: Because of the public nature of this post, I have decided not to post any images of couple after session (unless specifically requested to by them) so as to spare any feelings for couple or for any other suppliers.

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