Old Vendor, New Vendor

Quite a while ago, I posted about how we fell into a free photography contract with an acquaintance of mine who offered it up. Many of you expressed concerns, and at the time I had faith it would work out; it had to work out because we had no other option. I should have listened to you, hive! About six weeks before our wedding, I opened my Gmail to find an email from said photographer. My heart sunk. He was writing to tell me that his photography was going in a different direction and he “no longer needed wedding photography for his portfolio.” Six weeks before we needed him; six weeks in which everything else was coming together and many months too late to start a new photography budget. I was a mixture of emotions, from being completely pissed off to the feeling of total betrayal. We emailed back and forth, and it came to him agreeing that he would honor his contract and shoot our wedding “if that’s what it came to.” Long story short, I was getting the many hints that our photographer just didn’t want to be there for our wedding.

One night I had one of those wedding nightmares that so many Bees have written about. My nightmare? That this photographer just didn’t show up. I mean why would he? He had no vested interest in our day, no deposit to return, no money to collect. I laid in bed thinking how awful that would be and my mind drifted to a different thought. What if he did show up but was just so-so in his efforts? Which situation would be the worst?

Mr. Honey agreed, and told me to look into other options. That morning I promptly emailed a photographer in town. Being the small town we live in, I have known him for years (he used to ride bikes around our neighborhood with my brother back in grade school days) and he had recently photographed two friend’s weddings. In fact, I had chatted with him back in August, 2010 about being our photographer, but the chance at free photography swayed me from my initial contact. Nonetheless, a mere five weeks before our wedding, we had ourselves a new photographer. We decided that we would pull money from the sky if we had to, to ensure that we had pictures of our day.

Many, actually most of you, probably wouldn’t have even noticed that I was crediting a completely different photographer than the one I introduced to you back in August. However I wanted to write this post for a couple different reasons.

There will be wrenches thrown into your wedding planning, it happens to even the most organized and prepared brides. I did have a minor, okay major, meltdown after reading that email. I’m here to tell you that it worked out. In fact I believe it worked out better this way than if we had stuck with the original guy. Our new photographer rocked it, he swooped in and handled our wedding like he had been on board since day one.

That brings me to my next point; Zak & Karly of Zak Fleming Photography were incredible. They need a proper shout out so that all members of the hive know who the talented photographers behind the lens on our big day were. We are forever grateful that they were able to work with us for our wedding. If we could pay them a million bucks, we would.

Since I didn’t take the advice you all gave me when I revealed our risky decision, I can’t tell you that if you are in a similar boat as the Honeys that your situation will end like ours. I can’t even tell you not to take the risk, but I will say proceed with caution. We always knew photography was of utmost importance but it wasn’t until our wedding day pictures were hanging on a very weak limb that we panicked. What our original photographer did to us, in my opinion was just mean, but in retrospect we truly ended up on the better side of things. We will be getting amazing shots (seriously, I’ve seen two and I about cried they were so beautiful) by two photographers who truly wanted to be a part of our day. The focus of this post is not to blame the old guy but to show appreciation for the two who stepped up.

Did you have any vendor situations in which you ended up appreciative of the change? How ’bout some praise for those that came late to the game but helped make your wedding day perfect!


Mrs. Honey

Durango, CO
Wedding Date:
January 2012
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  1. Member
    pixiepea 35 posts, Newbee @ 7:15 am

    We had a similar experience with our original photographer- he was recommended by the vendor and had an amazing price… but then he completely disappeared and changed his number/moved his office! We wound up finding a new photog with about 5 weeks to go, but it cost us quite a bit more.

    The moral of the story: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is and you’ll get what you pay for!

    I’m glad that it worked out for you!

  2. Member
    mari892 118 posts, Blushing bee @ 7:29 am

    This reminds me of our DJ. It was 2 days before the wedding, and we hadn’t heard from him. I was in total freak out mode, looking for other DJs and frantically calling the company. Turns out they hadn’t even given him my number! We finally got in touch, and he was amazing! But I wish we had hired him freelance, and not through that company.

    Anyway, I’m so glad you found an amazing photographer! I can’t imagine how worried you must have been- these are your wedding pictures after all. But it all worked out :)

  3. sunhat Member
    sunhat 1453 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:30 am

    SO happy it worked out for you! Regardless if he needed wedding photos or not, he should have just kept quiet and shot your wedding. To turn you away 6 weeks out is so unprofessional, self-centered and greedy. No doubt he won’t be receiving any recommendations from you! Zak & Karly were meant to be your photographers and I can’t wait to see all the photos!

  4. mssocks Member
    mssocks 1336 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:41 am

    I’m so glad it worked out for the better! Sometimes, paying more goes so much further not only for the product, but for the peace of mind. Bravo to your photographers for stepping up and making your day wonderful!

  5. Member
    lauraq123 258 posts, Helper bee @ 7:52 am

    How completely unprofessional.

    Glad it worked out for you!

  6. honey Member
    honey 1684 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:35 am

    @pixiepea: Glad it worked out for you too! And, you are probably right, if it seems too good, it probably is!
    @mari892: Eek the DJ is important too!! Glad it was just a misunderstanding and that he delivered tunes!!
    @Mrs. Sunhat: My thoughts exactly…he never should have told us that. Oh well, you said it perfectly: Zak and Karly were meant to be our photographers!
    @Mrs. Socks: So true. It was easy to not put a price on peace of mind in the planning stages but as it came to reality, that all vanished :)
    @lauraq123: Thank you!!

  7. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 10:21 am

    Your original photographer either never planned a wedding or was just being rude; I can’t believe anyone would do that to a couple 6 weeks before their wedding. So happy you were able to work this out with such a fabulous photographer.

  8. bunting Member
    bunting 687 posts, Busy bee @ 10:50 am

    I’m so relieved that everything worked out fine for you, but dayam…. NO bride should have to go through that.

  9. trailmix Member
    trailmix 6663 posts, Bee Keeper @ 11:45 am

    So glad everything worked out for you, how stressful that must’ve been for you to read that email!! (and how crappy of your ‘friend/photographer’ to do that to you!)

  10. msfox Member
    msfox 1635 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:33 pm

    I am *so* happy that everything ultimately worked out for you, but my GOSH, what your old photog did to you guys makes me so, so livid. IMO, it doesn’t matter in the least if he’s not wanting to do wedding photography anymore – he made a deal with you and it was so close to your wedding! Argggg I’ll continue to be mad for you. 😉 ::deep breath:: Anyway, I can’t wait to see all your gorgeous pictures from the new photog!

  11. turkey Member
    turkey 654 posts, Busy bee @ 4:23 pm

    So happy it all worked out for you and you’re loving your pictures so far (most important)! Kudos to your new photogs!! (and your old photog missed out on the opportunity for publicity – his loss)

    When our venue canceled on us we were angry, but, in the end, I really think it’s for the better. As you said, it’s about what makes the day special!!

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