Post # 1
Because of the delicate nature of my situation I decided to make a separate account for this question.
Last night I received an e-mail from our photographer, who is a family friend, works alone, and lives over 6 hours away. She agreed to do our wedding since she is such a good friend. She advised me last night that she learned she is pregnant, that she is due the month after our wedding, but delivered her other children a month early. She then gave me the option to decide if I still wanted her there, or if I wanted to find a new photographer. Obviously I am thinking I want to get someone else because I do not want to stress myself out for months wondering if she will go into labor early and I will be out of a photographer.
If that isn’t stressful enough, her husband had agreed to be our DJ, but if she is not coming to our state to do the photography, I doubt her husband will come out just to DJ a wedding. I am waiting to hear back on her about him DJing our wedding, or getting a deposit back if this all falls through.
I am FREAKING OUT at the possibility of being out TWO vendors just months before the wedding. I fear that everyone will be booked up or out of our price range. I don’t know what to do and I just want to cry!!
I am also worried that we may be out our deposit as it states clearly that it is NONREFUNDABLE. My question is, in this scenario wouldn’t I be entitled to have my deposit back??
Any help or advice would be much appreciated. I am so stressed out I am shaking. 🙁
Post # 3
DId you have a backup plan in case she or her husband got sick? Usually you want to have a backup plan because you are paying for a person rather than a company.
That being said, it is better to have a warning now than later. I think that you have a few options though:
1. See if she has a friend that she might want to shoot with. If she can’t make it to do the photography, at least her friend will be there.
2. Ask what her normal backup plan is in case she is sick.
3. Tell her that you understand there is not a refundable deposit, but you feel that if there is a chance no one is there to shoot your wedding, you feel that you should get that money back to hire a new photographer because she is warning you she might break her contract. As a friend, that should be reasonable.
As for her husband, does he have a back up plan as well? If he doesn’t come out to DJ, perhaps he can help you set up an “i-Pod wedding” and give you suggestions, advice, tips and even lend you the equiptment you need for the day. That would avoid having to hire someone else.
Post # 4
@takemyhand: I asked her about back up and am waiting to hear back. In her contract she states that in the event that she is unable to attend she will contact another photographer to go in her place. Maybe she can find someone for me.
As far as the DJ is concerned, I feel they should replace him as well for the same price if he is unable to make it. I do not want an iPod wedding so that would be out of the question for me.
Post # 5
Technically, non-refundable is non-refundable. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but contracts are always written in favor of the vendor, not of the bride. However, since she’s a family friend and is being up front with you now, she seems like she’s reasonable and may actually refund the money should you choose not to use her.
IMO, I’d get a new photographer and DJ because you don’t need that added stress, especially the month of the wedding. Even if she doesn’t deliver by your wedding, do you really think she’s going to have the energy to run around snapping photos, getting up and down to get angles, and chasing everyone down while she’s bursting and 8 months pregnant?
Post # 6
You say your vendors are friends but did you sign any kind of a contract with them for their services? If so, I would take a closer look at your contract and the wording as it pertains to your deposit. Usually there is some kind of language there that might imply receiving a deposit back due to “unforseen circumstances”- or something that refers to a situation that might not be within anyone’s fault. If you don’t have anything like that in your contract, I would sit down with your friend and have a frank and honest conversation expressing your concerns as it pertains to HER situation and that ideally, rather than stress about the possibility of her being unable to perform her services, you would rather seek out new vendors. OR you can ask her if she might have a referral for a friend or assistant. If she is your friend, I don’t think she would be unreasonable about it. You can always find new photographers or a new DJ- up until the very last minute. I plan events for a living and that my two cents on the situation. Contracts are not always so ironclad, ESPECIALLY if you have a good relationship with your vendor. Good luck & let us know the outcome! Don’t stress!
Post # 7
I would say she probably has a second shooter or a photographer friend she trusts to shoot for her in the event that she is sick. If you think about it, even if she wasn’t pregnant she could get sick, have an accident, or something crazy could come up. Usually photographers have at least a couple people they can contact as backups. I would hope her husband has the same if he is a reputable DJ.
Post # 8
@ddavila2001: Yes we did sign a contract with them. I will have to go back and look at it but I do remember it saying that if she is unable to perform her duties as photog then she will find a replacement. I’m thinking that would be best at this point. I hate to be mean, but as a PP said, I’m not really sure I feel comfortable with someone who is 8 months pregnant running around trying to get shots for 8 hours. It sure as hell wouldn’t be comfortable for her either.
I just hate that I am going through this now. If I could go back in time I would go with a company as opposed to just a family friend. Ugh, coulda woulda shoulda….