- 8 years ago
- Wedding: May 2010
I’m really sorry for the length here.
My wedding is in less than 4 weeks, and I found my photographer last May. I loved the photos on her site, and initially she was very helpful; she asked a lot of questions about what we wanted, responded to my questions in a timely manner, etc. The contract was signed and mailed back, along with the deposit, in mid-June; when I still hadn’t received my copy in August, I emailed her and she promptly apologized and sent it out. So far so good, and plenty of time to go. (She’s based in another city, so we’ve communicated solely through email.)
Flash forward to January, when I was trying to figure some things out regarding locations and timing. I emailed her, and received a reply a week later. (She seemed kind of irritated that we’re using a laptop instead of a DJ for some reason, but other than that, no problem.) I responded with several additional questions based on the suggestions she’d made, and I also asked if it would be possible to meet or flesh out details prior to the wedding.
I haven’t heard from her since. I realize she travels, so I gave her the benefit of the doubt as long as I could (and I’ve really tried to avoid bothering my vendors more than necessary) – but being unable to answer an email in over three months is a little absurd. I emailed her again a few days ago, and so far, nothing. Her website (including travel itinerary) and professional blog/Facebook page haven’t been updated or received any new comments from clients or friends since December 2009 – which makes me wonder if something happened. Even if that’s the case, though (and I certainly hope everything’s okay), I still have a wedding that needs a photographer – and if she can’t respond for months when she still has money coming, I’m feeling uneasy about possibly having to track her down to get my photos. (If she shows up at all.)
So I’m really not sure what to do. I put out feelers to a couple of other photographers, who are located closer to me and luckily happen to be available on my wedding day. If I end up going with one of them, I’d obviously be breaking the contract with photog #1, and I’m willing to eat the cost of the deposit (it’s worth it for the feeling of security alone). My concern is this (from the contract):
“There is a $500 deposit, which guarantees the photographer’s availability on the wedding date, due upon the parties’ signing of this agreement. An additional $400 is due one month before the wedding date. The remaining balance of $400 is due 5 days before the wedding date. A 10% interest fee will be added each day a payment is late.”
Now, it’s less than a month to go, so I’m technically late on that second payment – but I’m not writing a check to someone who can’t answer an email within three months. I’m afraid if I cancel, she’ll try to nail me for that payment, or for the whole thing. The contract simply states that “all deposits are nonrefundable”, so I shouldn’t owe her anything else, right? Nor does it have a cancellation date or anything along those lines… the point is, I shouldn’t have to pay anything beyond the deposit to somebody who has (for whatever reason) exhibited a lack of professionalism and poor customer service.
So is it a good plan to just ditch her? I don’t have that much time to spare here. Any suggestions on what to do (particularly what to do about the contract if I do let her go) would be vastly appreciated. Thanks very much!