Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wedding Planner / Vendor / Client Issues
Here's the deal - we've never worked with this photographer previously and honestly, was not a big fan of said photographer's work. Furthermore, we've had some not-so-good feedback from photographer's ex-clients. But hey - professionally, if the client insists on using a certain vendor, we oblige and we still strive to deliver the best that we can.
So, we started negotiations and we finally got the contract and invoice signed between the photographer and the client - after numerous email threads that went back and forth. However, always careful and anal, no matter how long email threads are - we archive each and everyone of them. We learnt that this is one of the best ways to safeguard ourselves.
Anyway, this bride thought she was a bit of a smart-alec. Even after the contract was signed, she still insisted on discussing other terms with the photographer - ON HER OWN without the planners being notified NOR KEPT IN THE LOOP. Despite us telling the photographer - both verbally and via emails - to notify us should there be any direct discussions with the clients, the said photographer happily - either forgot or thought us planners to be unimportant.
Now, the wedding will be taking place this weekend. The bride called us crying to say that the photographer had gone back on his words and will not be photographing certain segments of the wedding this weekend. Of course, the call caught all of us off-guard as we had NO CLUE as to what happened and what was agreed and what was discussed and etc, etc, etc. You get my drift? She then went on accusing us of being careless with our arrangements and she was not happy and she went further still saying that she was very unhappy with her pre-wedding photos that were taken by the said photographer. That just cheesed me off!
Look, I usually dislike doing this especially so close to the wedding day. But sometimes, I think one has to do what is necessary to put everything into perspective in the right order! So we pulled out our neatly-archived emails and reminded the client that the photographer was someone she insisted upon, who wasn't on our recommendations list. More emails pulled out to show her the entire negotiation and discussion that we had carried out on her behalf with the photographer to safeguard her interests as a client.
To the photographer - we did the same. But we could only ensure that what was in his signed contract and invoice were delivered to the 't'. The verbal promises / empty promises he made privately with the client is honestly - something beyond our control! It will only turn into a battle of 'he said, she said' and God knows what else anyone said!
Moral of the story : Whether you are planning your own wedding or using a wedding planner, do insist on having everything that is agreed re-produced in black & white. This really does eliminate all the 'he said, she said, everyone said' problems. AND if you do hire a wedding planner - please, either let the planner do his/her job or make sure you keep the wedding planner in the loop for any additional discussion you may have with other vendors! BECAUSE - even if you may have forgotten to get the black & white - the wedding planner, will undoubtedly do so - to safeguard BOTH you and themselves.
** graphic at the top by GraphicLeftovers.com