- 10 years ago
- Wedding: June 2008
I was married yesterday!! Hurray! I wish I could share pro pics of my ceremony but my photographer did not show up until it was over.
Our ceremony and reception were held at a historic home. Our photography contract was for 7 hours of coverage (3-10pm). The ceremony started at 5pm. My girls and I arrived at the mansion at 3:00 to get ready. The groom’s entire family also showed up at 3:00, specifically to take formal portraits of the groom’s side before the ceremony. Our photographer didn’t show up.
From 3-5pm, EVERYONE frantically tried to contact the photographer and come up with Plan B. I didn’t even bring her phone number… for the price I paid, I assumed I was working with a professional. My officiant had an iPhone and found her number on her website. He called and the number was disconneted. Our DJ called his contacts and again came up with the same disconnected phone number. He also tried to find another photographer who could fill in last minute — no luck. Our caterer ran to the store to buy 10 disposable cameras so guests could at least capture some moments. Someone emailed the photographer and she finally called back… she said she got food poisoning from the wedding the night before but she was feeling better and could come now.
I understand that bad things happen, however, there was absolutely no communication on her part. She never called — instead, we had to hunt her down. Her absence threw off the entire flow of the event. Instead of relaxing and enjoying the day, we were forced to run around in a frenzy looking for a backup plan and wondering what went wrong. Not knowing why she wasn’t there was the worst torture. I don’t even know the full extent of what everyone else was doing to help — they didn’t want to worry me more than I already was.
I will never have pro pics of my dress on the hanger, my shoes, or more importantly, happy bridesmaid helping me get ready. I will never have a professional picture of my father walking me down the aisle on Father’s Day. I won’t have pictures of my wedding party processional or the look on my husband’s face when he saw me for the first time in my dress.
Our photographer miraculously appeared 5 minutes before our ceremony ended. She started snapping away but it was too late — the marriage ceremony was the most important part to me. What was lost I can never get back.
The rest of the night we were trying to cram everything in that we missed in the 2.5 hours that she was MIA. We had to do all of the family photos during cocktail hour — it was so hard to coordinate because this wasn’t the original plan.
The total cost for 7 hours of photography was $3,600. Her rate includes the service and digital negatives, no albums. I paid half in advance and was supposed to pay the balance on the wedding day. I told her I could not pay the balance and would settle this later — it was just too heart-breaking to deal with on my wedding day.
I am deeply saddened by the situation. I had a happy wedding surrounded by my family and friends — that part was wonderful! I’m just sick over not having photographs to remember it by. I couldn’t sleep because after it was all over, I couldn’t stop thinking about how devastating this was.
I don’t know what to do now. It’s a 1 in a million chance and I still can’t believe it happened to me. I want my money back — in my opinion, I didn’t get what I paid for. I still "owe" money — she has some photos of the reception. What’s fair in this situation?