- 5 years ago
- Wedding: July 2012
So now that my wedding is behind me (and the day was perfect!) I thought I’d post about the photographer nightmare I went through two nights before my big day…
Background info: My photographer/videographer team were FRIENDS from New Jersey who were doing me a big favour by “gifting” me coverage that day (I was covering all travel expenses but that was it!) They are an amazing team and I was so excited about having them there. I’d had them booked since April 2011!
Anyways, now onto the story…I spent the weekend before my Monday wedding in Vancouver with my mom and bridesmaids. We were all out for a very fancy/gourmet dinner on the Saturday night, drinking wine, laughing, having fun when I get a call from Customs asking me all these questions about my photographer (she’d texted me earlier and said she was being held up by customs but I thought nothing of it as I figured it was a routine search). Anyways, I answered all questions truthfully saying that they were coming as friends to our wedding to photograph it and we’d covered travel costs and blah blah. I also mentioned I was expecting the videographer a few hours later (big mistake).
Next thing I know I get a phone call from her crying saying she’s been deported and is being escorted to get on a flight back to the States. WHAT? Me and my mom rushed to the airport to try and at least see her or figure out what happened but they wouldn’t budge on their decision or let us see her. Then of course when the videographer arrived a few hours later they drilled him too and then deported him (probably mostly because I had mentioned his name to them earlier). They took his phone and laptop and went through it. The two of them were in interrogation with customs for about 7 hours total.
Apparently all of this was because as SOON as you exchange funds (even if it’s in terms of travel costs) it’s considered “work” and neither of them had the proper work permit.
I actually feel worse for both of them than myself as they went through an exhausting and traumatic ordeal and have both been banned from Canada for a year now. Despite all of that she hooked me up with an amazing local photographer who gave me a great last minute deal and took some epic shots. We didn’t track down a new videographer but the one that got deported said he’d still edit together ANY footage anyone could get from the wedding.
Anyways, it all turned out fine for me but I thought this would be a good warning/story to post for any other Canadian brides considering bringing in an American photographer. She had shot weddings in Jamaica and Mexico before and neither of us had ANY idea that anything like this would happen. We were both just so shocked and floored!