At first I struggled with whether or not to review my vendors because the information is only relevant to those people getting married in Minnesota. But being that there are not very many Weddingbee blogger bees from MN, I decided to go ahead and write the post.
The reason this is cathartic for me is because I had a bit of an issue with one of my main vendors. I’m not sure how to handle my frustration while still being the bigger person and avoiding pointless catty comments, other than to be as vague as possible while still letting it all out.
I am disappointed in how things went down with my photographer. Sister Big Eyes’ and I shrendored her, which makes my frustrations doubly upsetting.
Our photographer is a talented artist—no doubt—but she was not easy to work with. For example, my photos were late, multiple other promised deadlines were missed, and there was an overall lack of business savvy. Days before Sister Big Eyes’ wedding, there was an issue via email that could have been easily avoided with better communication. There were misunderstandings about expectations, excuses instead of apologies, and both of us are still waiting on a part of our package—an album we were promised.
While I do love my pictures and am incredibly thankful for them, it’s hard for me to encourage others to hire her when she caused us both so much unnecessary stress, which is why I’m not linking to her website or recommending her. (Although her information is not difficult to find if you go to any of my recaps.)
To turn this into something positive, here are a few things to remember that I wish I had known when interviewing photographers besides the usual—look at all the photos from one wedding, not just the favorites, and make sure they match your aesthetic/vision.
Picking the Right Photographer:
- Get a timeline in the contract so that you have something to refer back to if they are late getting you your photos.
- Ask them how many weddings they shoot per year—the lower the number, the more time they will have to devote to the ones they have booked.
- Trust your instincts. To quote Oprah quoting Maya Angelou, “When people show you who they are, believe them.”
- Respect them as an artist, but remember you have a right to hold them accountable as a paying client. Be kind but firm with expectations.
- Finally, do NOT pass their name along to someone else until AFTER you’ve had the full experience of working them. Unless of course you’re sisters getting married within three months of each other and it makes sense for you both.
Now that the icky stuff is out of the way, let me tell you about a shrendoring experience that was the complete opposite of the last one.
Laura Westrem: A+
Sister Big Eyes’ and I shared our hair/makeup artist and I would recommend her a million times over! She was so easy to be around and really focused on making the bride feel special and happy. She also got to know our family pretty well from doing both weddings and she offered Sister and I discounts at both weddings. She works really hard, but still makes time to respond to emails, and was extremely accommodating of my out-of-town schedule. If I need a hair/makeup artist in the future, I’m calling Laura.
The music selection at the reception was fantastic, but they caused us some unnecessary stress by phoning the week of the wedding saying they couldn’t get the legal copies of TWO songs for our ceremony. I was pretty annoyed because I had sent them our packet of song choices back in February. The issue was resolved in time, but it was still frustrating.
What can I say? This hotel knows weddings. The two ladies in charge are both very nice and great with responding quickly over email. They worked with me when I had to set up meetings pretty far in advance and they answered all my questions without making me feel stupid. A few hiccups—one, they asked for a payment after I’d already given it (I almost paid them twice for the same thing, but luckily we caught it), and they switched my coordinator at the last minute, and AGAIN I found out the week of the wedding. It wasn’t a huge issue, but being that I’d only met one of the two woman, I felt very much like the rug was pulled out from under me. Their expertise in the wedding biz came through in the end and it didn’t matter who my coordinator was—it all got done.
Also, one last thing that doesn’t really have to do with Embassy Suites, or so we think—our bathroom baskets were stolen! I was pretty pissed at the time, not only because those baskets were from my own house, but mostly because we were going to reuse them for Sister Big Eyes’ wedding and instead we had to purchase new baskets and new items and make them all over again! Dear people who steal bathroom baskets: you make me sad. Drag your ass to Target and buy a Tide-to-go pen on your own dime!
The Gunn Slingers: A+++
Our Ceilidh band was the highlight of the night. Hire them. They rule. Since they don’t have a website, Google them to find their Facebook page or private message me for an email address.
Evan the Bagpiper: A+
He was young, sweet, talented, and on time. He even came to our rehearsal. Everyone loved his music. Private message me for his email address if you want pipes for your Minnesota wedding!
My bouquets were stunning and she worked within our meager budget. The first and last place we went to, win win.
I can’t review or link to our videographers because they are done filming weddings and do not want inquires about them, but they rocked. And if I ever need to film a commercial, I’m calling them.
Did you have a frustrating experience with a vendor that you need some closure on? Is anyone else shrendoring?!?!
- Wedding Date:
- March 2013
- Embassy Suites Bloomington West in Bloomington, MN