Post # 1
My fiance decided to hire his best friends dad as the photographer at our wedding. This was after we had already hired another photographer. He did this because his best friends dad is a professional and said he would do it all for free. Suddenly, a week before the wedding, we get an e-mail stating all his expenses. He’s taking a “scenic tour” to get to our location (about an 8 hour drive) so he has now decided not only to charge us for his gas (he estimates 300-400 dollars), but his accomodations, and all that he requires while here… I had originally planned to pay for his hotel, but never anticipated also paying for gas and all his ammenties. It is upsetting that he decided to throw this on us when the budget is already way over what we had anticipated. Had we known sooner, I would have just stuck with only our original and highly recommended photographer.
What do we do? Is it normal that I’m this angry and feel kind of used? This “gift” is already one third of the price of our other photographer!
Post # 3
I think if he’s offering the photography services and all the photos for free paying his travel and accomodations (I’m assuming he’s from out of town?) is not unusual. I do think he should have mentioned it earlier though because last minute expenses aren’t ideal for any bride.
Good luck! I hope he takes fabulous pictures of your day.
Post # 4
@KAT3: I think it is dirty how he brought this on you a week before your wedding. I would explain to him that you will pay his gas and hotel (since you were going to anyways), but that you want to see gas receipts to reimberse him. If he has to drive 8 hrs that is about 3 tanks of gas roundtrip. My Fiance said he would tell the guy he is no longer needed and try to rehire your first choice. Good luck with your decision.
Post # 5
That is a crazy estimation on gas, in my car (24 mpg) 16 hours of regular highway driving would involve about 2 tanks of gas, probably less.
I think paying for gas and accomodations is perfectly fair. Everything he needs while there is crazy, would he not eat food if he wasn’t at your wedding? No one asks for that, for any reason.
Can your FH talk to his best friend about this, or would he not be helpful?
Post # 6
@Cecilia37: I agree that the gas estimation is nuts. My Jeep gets 18 mpg, less than a tank and a half would get my 8 hrs of driving.
Post # 7
I agree with PP. It’s not unusual to pay for the extra expenses if the services itself are free. Some of the people trying to break into destination weddings, for example, will do all the photos for free but the couple pays for lodging and travel expenses. However, it is NOT okay to spring these costs on you with such little notice. This should have been hashed out at the beginning when he was “hired”. I don’t know about you, but I know the week of my wedding, I would not have had the extra funds to cover all these additional expenses for him.
At this point, since you are a week out from the wedding, I feel terrible for you! I doubt you will be able to get another good photographer at this point (and you are already over budget). I would meet him halfway, if you can, and only pay for hotel accomodations (probably two nights’ worth – so he is ready to go Saturday morning versus “on his way”) and his gas. I would calculate average gas cost based on Google Maps (not his estimate of how long/far it is). For example, when companies reimburse employees for travel, it’s “we will pay you $.xx/mile traveled.” There’s no reason for him to take the scenic route versus the most efficient route.
Considering he is also his BFF’s dad, I would be fairly polite, though professional, about the whole thing, since he’s working for you in a professional capacity (versus “this is my gift to you”).
Post # 8
What a crappy situation.
I would hire my original choice if possible.
Post # 9
Maybe ask for the gas receipts and reimburse the exact amount? Sucks he’s springing it on you last minute.