Sunday will be four months since Todd and I got married, I realize this may seem like a strange in between time to be doing a look back, why not wait for the six month mark right? This post has a purpose though.
The days after our wedding and before we left for our honeymoon Todd and I spent reflecting on the day and reliving some of our favorite memories together. One thing that Todd said and I wholly agreed with was that we were very pleased with the decisions we made in hiring the vendors we did. Our DJ let us completely customize our playlist which was a big deal to us. Every detail and aspect of our wedding felt completely personalized and very us, thanks largely in part to our vendors. Todd and I did not want to prepare our own vows because we were concerned it would put to much pressure on us day of when emotions were high so instead our officiant had us write our vows and he read them allowed for us. It was all I could do not to cry as I heard him speak Todd’s words as well as my own, I was glad the ceremony was personalized in this way and that I was not responsible for getting the words out myself because I am not convinced I could have at the time.
We also had a highly recommended videographer who was worth every penny and I can really say that with confidence now that we have gotten the video back. She created a 12 minute movie and then also gave us two other videos that included all the key moments of the day including the entire ceremony, every speech, the first dances etc. The vendor we were most excited about though was our photographer. We put a lot of energy into our research when choosing the photographer. We ultimately made our choice based on the portfolio and reviews. The pictures are stunning and really speak for themselves but the rave reviews helped us make the decision as well.I do not regret our decision on any of the vendors I have mentioned but 4 months later I still have no wedding photos.
I was aware because our photographer is popular in the area and in high demand it would take a little longer to get the photos back but became concerned when we hit the 2.5 month mark and had not heard from them. I have never been married before, I do not know what is normal for this kind of thing. I waited another week and then sent an email to check in and get a status update. I was relieved to hear it was all coming along well and would be receiving the photos in another two weeks. I wasn’t even disappointed about having to wait another two weeks because at least I knew the timeline now and the end was in sight. This worked out perfectly because I knew Todd’s family was coming to visit over spring break and I would be able to sit with his Mom and go through all the photos. Everyone has been asking about the photos so I was glad to finally have an answer about when they would be ready.
That was one month ago. When the deadline was not met I waited another week and a half before emailing again to check in. I kept hoping 1. that it was just taking an extra day or two and I would be getting them soon so the email would not be necessary or 2. that i would receive and email from the photographer explain the delay so I would not have to be the one to initiate the discussion. When I was almost at two weeks past the deadline the photographer set I finally gave in and sent an email asking for another update. I didn’t exactly know how to take the email I got back. The photographer apologized for the delay and told me there were two other weddings that had to go before mine. The email went on to say that something had happened in the photographer’s personal life and that was in part why there was a delay.
The way the photographer approached explaining this to me made me feel uncomfortable. It was started with a ” I wouldn’t normally share this with a client but since we are friends I will tell you” kind of sentence. But we are not friends. What you are telling me is none of my business, I have only ever known you on a professional level and while I sympathize with the situation I felt like the photographer was trying to guilt me into silent submission.
So now not only is my question about when will the photos be ready has not been answered.. To say I have two weddings to get out before yours is a completely ambiguous answer. How do I know what that means? But I have also been made to feel guilt for even asking because the photographer is dealing with something p[personally that is impeding their job apparently. I had no clue how to take this email or how to respond. The professional in me felt that this was completely inappropriate and unacceptable on many levels.
1. We have a contract, services were paid for and the final product has to be delivered as specified in the contract.
2. If something comes up, which is understandable, I expect to hear from you not to have to track you down for answers. There were a few times in my professional life when I realized I was not going to make a deadline and as soon as I realized it I would contact the other party and make them aware. I did not wait for the other party to contact me once the the deadline passed, that is unprofessional.
3. The amount of self-disclosure shared made me uncomfortable, it was not professional. And also to say, I only tell you this because I consider you a friend. No. That is not Okay. I have done nothing to imply this relationship was ever anything but professional. It is not right to put me in this position.
I waited three days before responding, all the while I feel like everyone I know is telling me how to handle the situation. It is difficult to remain professional and level headed when everyone around you is getting heated and telling you to escalate. Well that is not me.
I waited three days, like I said, and then responded honestly with compassion while still being assertive and professional. Since no clear timeline was given in the last email and the last timeline that was given had passed I ended the email by suggesting a new timeline that Todd and I were comfortable with. I did not hear back from the photographer for multiple days after my last email and no recognition was made of my requested timeline, instead another ambiguous timeline was given that would difficult to hold a person to, by design I am sure.
At this point Todd has agreed to take over correspondence. We have a date in our head that we think is reasonable and if it passed Todd will follow up. Honestly I am not upset with the photographer, the company is privately owned, our photographer is a one person show, I understand how life could get in the way. I still believe that our finished product will be wonderful and this person has amazing talent. The situation is frustrating though because I am approaching it as a customer (because I am) and the service we have received on the back end has been sub par.
It is disappointing. We were still on a bit of high for a while after the wedding because there were still wedding related things happening. We sent out thank you cards, got our video back, went shopping with wedding money. At this point we have settled back into our lives, which I am not upset about, but the excitement has settled. I am still looking forward to getting our photos back but the momentum and excitement has died out. It does not feel the same, is that make sense.
This is the only thing I plan to ever write about this experience though and I have been careful not to use names or any other unique identifier in talking about this experience because although I am displeased I have no ill will towards our amazing photographer and would not ever write a negative review or do anything else that would ever harm their business.
I also have had to have a talk with some friends and family to ask them to back off a bit. I know everyone is frustrated but I am comfortable with the way the situation is being handled on our end and it does not benefit me to have multiple people venting to me about my own problem and potentially getting me worked up. I only have so much control here and I am choosing to let go so that needs to be respected.