- 4 years ago
- Wedding: September 2013
I just have to write this. So many photographers my fiance and I have gone too never tell us a “real” price, only estimates, and three of my bridemaids who are already married have told me HORROR stories of the add-on’s that photographers charge, or do not follow through with what they promise etc etc etc. Very frustrating. I like transperancy. I like to know what I am purchasing and/or paying for and knowing that I am getting the best for my hard earned money. I will NOT mention names of companies that I have heard these horros stories as they know who they are and enough people have written about them online already. I like to highlight the positive and give recommendations as well as praise to those that follow through with their promises as well as provide exactly what they say they will. Of the three bridemaids of mine that are married, I attended all three of their weddings. I have been engaged for close to three years now and we are finally getting married next year. I have had a lot of exposure to different wedding professionals by going to bridal shows, my own research as well as the actual three weddings I have attended in the last year and a half. All three weddings had a different photographer/company. They all had approximately 150 guests and for the most part I would have assumed the prices would all be more or less the same. Oh how I was wrong.
I am omitting names of my friends and of the companies that I speak negatively about. So, when you see a name you know, I would recommend these!
Wedding 1. This wedding was at Hotel Albuquerque. There were 165 guests. This was on a Saturday. There were 5 Bridemaids, 5 Groomsmen, one flower girl and one young boy ring bearer. EVERYTHING was AMAZING!!!!! From the food to the cake (I dont remember her cake, could of been the hotels?) What was NOT amazing was the photographer. (Initial charge of $1650–read at the end of Wedding 1 for FINAL price) He was an older male who claims to have shot over 500 weddings. My friend booked him right after a big bridal show in January of 2012. This photographer and his business promised SO much that NEVER happened. There was supposed to be a FREE Engagment Session. That never happened. He was supposed to be there for 6 Hours. He was NOT. My friend said that the food was right at $45/person. We/my friend and some of the other girls watched in SHOCK (Horror????? at this photographer sitting down in a spot RESERVED for a guest that did not come and ATE A MEAL!!!!!!!!!! OMFG!!!!) After he crammed his food, or should I say crammed a $45 steak down they were supposed to do the cake cutting, garter toss etc. I kid you not, as soon as he ate, he had been there for maybe 4 hours including the ceremony, he said “lets cut the cake, and get the show on the road”… it was ONLY 6:30pm. After about an hour the cake was cut, garter was tossed etc. Then he was nowhere to be found! My friend called him as they wanted to do some photos of them leaving with sparklers and because he still had another HOUR in which my friend was promised! NO ANSWER. No Text back! My friend didnt hear from him again for almost 10 days, and that was in the form of an INVOICE!!! He had ADDED on another HOUR of photography! WTF! So, now my freind either had to PAY for AN hour that was already included as well as this a*$hole leaving AN HOUR early and not getting photos they wanted at the end, HE CHARGED HER MORE!!! All I can say is there was nothing “NATURAL” about that or his photography, or his presence, or honestly ANYTHING ABOUT HIM! He ruined their wedding! The initial Price of $1650, which my friend PAID in FULL 2 weeks BEFORE the wedding, that was supposed to include the engagement session, NO MEAL, and 6 hours, which really should have been 7 because he did not do the engagement session, as this was promised over the phone but unfortunetely NOT in writting, so the FINAL price was an ADDITIONAL $275, bringing the total close to $2,000!!!!! The photography was mediocre at best, she still had to pay for ANY prints, and his logo was on every proof and she doesnt own any rights to these photos and still has yet to recieve her photo album that was part of the initial package… this was over a year ago!!!!
Wedding 2. 150 guests. Sandia Resort. Everything was amazing! Food was a bit mediocre and a lot of the guest complained that it was a bit cold. The flowers were beautiful, my friends gown was beautiful (Nicole’s Boutique) and they even had a “studio style” photo booth there. He was awesome-with Affordable Photo Booth of New Mexico.($695) The photographer was Craig, from Craig Bennett Photography! ($1195) He was amazing! Very nice and his photos turned out incredible! They did hire a wedding cooridinator that wasnt all that great but I wont name names. She was NOT part of Sandia.
Wedding 3. Hyatt Tamaya. 180 people. Mr. Tux did the guys and I Nicole’s Boutique did our dresses and my friends Gown. BEAUTIFUL! WOW. Again, they had Andrew, from Affordable Photo Booth and again he was awesome! He is so nice and even got the grandparents putting on props and having a ball. Shayla, with Affordable Wedding Photography was the Photographer and all I have to say is WOW! She knows how to mix “Affordable” with “Professional”. She was great with the kids and families as well as all of the guests and just knew what she was doing. Much more so than the others I have mentioned. My friend got her Wedding Photography and Photo Booth for under $1200! Very impressive. So impressive in fact that I hired Shayla and Andrew to do our wedding next year!
So the whole reason for me writing this is that I hear and have witnessed the horror stories as well as the “price gouging”. I have already referred Hotel Albuquerque to another friend of mine getting married as well as Affordable Wedding Photography and Affordable Photo Booth. I am getting my gown from Nicole’s Boutique and using Mike from Enchanted Flowers. So, you see there are Professional and Affordable Photographers, bridal gown shops AND flowers in Albuquerque, you just have to do a little research and read what OTHERS (like myself) have observed and gone through!