Post # 1
i am suffering some serious Catholic guilt here and need some guidance/advice. my fiance and i are firing our photographer less than 3 weeks from the wedding, and she is really really upset. i just feel like a terrible person for doing this. we are paying the deposit ($500) and for the plane ticket she bought to come to our wedding ($250) so we’re out $750. but she’s upset because she feels like this came from out of the blue (and in fairness, it did) and she turned down other weddings. i am MUCH more comfortable with the last-minute photographers we booked – they did our e-shoot and we love them – but i still feel really horrible and guilty. is there anyone else out there who has canceled a vendor at the last minute? i would love to hear from you.
here’s the (very long) backstory – from the beginning, my photographer has not been extremely responsive to e-mails. it took her almost a month to get our contract to us after we agreed to use her, and in the past few months she has continued not to be great with responses. for example, i asked her for some advice on what the typical “must-take” pictures are and she just said that I need to send HER my list with no help or guidance. i’ve sent her some pictures that i like for inspiration and she just never responds to my e-mails. the icing on the cake happened last week. our wedding is less than 3 weeks away and i e-mailed her with some inspiration pictures and asked her for some clear guidance on how the pre-ceremony picture taking will work – who will be where, when, etc. after 5 days of no response, i called her cell phone. i asked her again for some help in understanding this part of the day and all she said was that we would take the pictures in front of the altar of the church. people, every single e-mail i sent her said that i do not want a lot of formal, posed pictures. i never once sent her an example picture in-doors, let alone in front of an altar. when i told her that i didn’t want this, all she said was “well, i won’t have transportation so wherever we do it i need to be able to get to.” when she said this i was so shocked at how unhelpful she was that as soon as i got off the phone i started crying and bawled into my fiance’s ear. he actually made the suggestion for us to see if our other folks were available.
so anyway, please let me know if you’ve had a similar experience or your thoughts in general. i just feel like photography is SO important and when i get over the guilt i know that i’m doing the right thing. thanks hive!
Post # 3
Thats what the deposit is for you are allowed to back out and you are being nice by covering her flight! I think that you are handling well – of course she will be upset but a professional would not show you that she was upset!
I am glad you are getting the photographer of your dreams!
Post # 4
I completely agree! I would rather you hurt her feelings now (which is not professional of her to show you) rather than you being on WB in two months upset by bad photos you can’t redo!
I think you made the right choice and she will get over it! You’re being kind by covering her flight. Also, if you are willing to be out $750 you KNOW you made the right choice. That is a large sum of money and if its worth it for you I say GO for it. My Fiance teased me cause I met with 8 photographers and was a giddy girl when I found ours. Its VERY important! Congrats on finding your dreams!
Post # 5
No, no, NO you should not be made to feel guilty about this. She is supposed to work for you, not the other way around. You made a business decision. You hired her to do something, she was unable to do it in a professional manner, so you let her go per the terms of her own contract. She needs to understand that cancellations happen – that is what the contract is for! You might be the first bride to cancel her but surely you will not be the last. Her attitude now should only confirm that you did the right thing.
Post # 6
I agree with everyone else. You MUST be comfortable with the professionals that you hired for your day.
As a wedding professional, I would probably be hurt too (we’re only human), but more importantly I would want you to have the best wedding ever and that is all that I would want, I wouldn’t want you to be unhappy that I was there, if that makes sense. Also, I may ask what made you change your mind just so I could rework my strategy for future bridal appointments, or if it was simply a personality difference.
The reason we have non-refundable deposits is to cover our time and possible arrangements just in case you cancel, etc. and I also feel that you were very kind in reimbursing her ticket.
Post # 7
You’ve definitely done the right thing! In my post-wedding wisdom (hee hee), the biggest piece of advice I’d give to anyone pre-wedding is to trust their gut when it comes to vendors. If someone seems less than enthusiastic about your wedding day, isn’t giving you what you want, or seems unresponsive, odds are you’ll be unhappy with their service on the day of. This was true across the board for me — the vendors who were great to work with before the wedding did a great job at the wedding, and the one who was less than ideal before the wedding also screwed up on the big day.
She keeps the deposit, you paid for her flight — I’d say you’ve abided by the terms of your contract and you have nothing to feel guilty about. I understand why her feelings might be hurt, but this isn’t personal, it’s business. You could offer to explain your decision more fully if she’d like, but really, your conscience should be clear. Have a fantastic wedding (and in Princeton!! I’m in Princeton too! Where is the wedding?).
Post # 8
As long as you paid all fees that you are supposed to pay I certainly wouldn’t feel guilty. Maybe she’ll learn a lesson about being more responsive because of this.
Post # 9
I agree with everyone. Thats exactly what the deposit is for… for reserving her time. Trust your gut! (but not your guilt!)
Post # 10
Honestly, the ONE thing you should be abolutely certain about is your photographer! Those pictures will last a lifetime, and if you’re not completely happy with them, you could regret it forever. Whereas the cake, the flowers, etc. don’t really matter as much.
If you weren’t happy with you, you needed to switch. I’m surprised she gets business as it is with that attitude anyway. We e-mail a LOT with our photographer and she’s always very responsive and helpful.
I think you made the right choice.
Post # 11
Guilt stinks! I agree with everyone else that you’ve done the right thing, and you’re being fair to her by paying her the deposit and the ticket. Since you say this did “come out of nowhere,” though, I would be sure to send her clear reasons why you decided to go with someone else. This doesn’t need to be nasty or emotional, but hopefully some good constructive criticism will help her develop in her career.
Post # 12
She was being unresponsive for quite awhile, so this is not out of left field by any stretch of the imagination. Don’t feel bad for cancelling. She wasn’t listening to what you wanted, and therefore wasn’t going to give you what you wanted on your wedding day. Don’t feel guilty about it!
Post # 13
everyone – thank you SO much for your advice/comments. i feel so much better. i love weddingbee. i honestly don’t know what i would do without it! and did i mention that we found our dream photographers through the bee? i won a free engagement shoot with them and the rest is history!!
Post # 14
She is being unprofessional in every way. She wasn’t responsive to you while she was in your employ, and now that you’re firing her she is acting like a baby instead of a mature adult. You have more than fulfilled your financial obligation to her by having paid the deposit and plane fare. The complaint that she turned down business because she booked you is not a valid one. What was she going to do, double book? If she is so worried about this, she needs to rewrite her contracts so that she requires full payment upfront, no refunds (not that anyone sane would go for that, but still). This is not your fault, you are not breaking any rules or ethical codes. I am glad you’re going with the photog you really want!
Post # 15
Tell her why you don’t want her to be your photographer! Seriously, maybe hearing about her lack of professionalism (omg have you READ my posts about my photog?) will help her figure it out so she doesn’t have this problem anymore. See, you’re bieng helpful =]
Post # 16
If the contract involves anything about a spirit of cooperation, her unresponsiveness violated her own contract (in which case you should even get your deposit back). You shouldn’t feel guilty at all.