I always say your why is important so this week I wanted to share mine. I hope that it will help you with your own why and perhaps initiate some thoughts.
The fact is couples don’t know what they don’t know. I always saw it as part of my role as a wedding photographer to educate couples who came to see me. It was never my intention to book every couple who booked a meeting with me. Instead, my goal was always to give them the tools and knowledge they needed to book the right photographer for them.
One of the big things I would talk about is making sure your personalities match. Couples spend more time with the photographer on the day than any other vendor or guest in some cases. If the personalities don’t match it leads to uncomfortable looking images.
Victoria ~ My Why
Victoria’s experience was not only an example of you don’t know what you don’t know but also a personality miss match and a vendor who was not providing a high level of customer service. Take a listen to the podcast to hear Victoria’s story and how rude her photographer was.
My Second Wedding
For me it was my second wedding that I shot alone that made me stop and think 'does this really happen?' REALLY?
This was the wedding were the videographer (as they were known then) choose to turn up to the wedding in a full on track suit. I swear I thought he was a guest that couldn't be bothered to dress of the occasion and then the bride introduced him as the videographer. I was shocked. Who turns up to their professional job in a tracksuit? Unless of course your in PT or Sport.
It certainly set the standard of what to expect from him and he didn't disappoint. Smoking in front of guests as they arrived at the church and drinking during the reception. This culminated in the couples wedding video being a shaky, poor quality, home movie they were devastated, I was devastated for them. They should me and told me they were upset with it and I asked if they had a contract with him the answer was 'no'.
What I didn't say in the podcast was these guys were friends of mine, not close friends but I'd know the bride since she was a young teen and we'd been friends on Facebook for years. Yet despite knowing them I still had a contract, I always had a contract for my wedding clients. Couples don't know what they don't know and thinking about the reasons why you would need a contract aren't high on the list when you're wrapped up in the excitement of a wedding day.
Helen ~ My Why
Helen's brother got married in Yorkshire but his family were from London. On the day the church wedding was due to start at 11am and the groom's family were on a coach from London heading North.
The coach broke down on the M1 and the getting a replacement out wasn't a quick process, the grooms family didn't make the ceremony. Listen to Helen's full story on the podcast
Imagine a whole family missing from the wedding ceremony how utterly devastating for the couple. There isn't much they could do to rectify the issue either and that's the problem. Unlike a bad experience at a restaurant where you can get up and go somewhere else, or get various compensation for your bad experience and usually an invite to come back and try again. You can't try again on a wedding day. It's a onetime thing, it needs to be right. Couples need to be able to rely on their vendors.
Of course, accidents do happen there are things that are out of our control. Adverse weather conditions making out door images impossible for example. Still a good photographer should be able to take the images inside and still create beautiful images for the couple without issue. A tree blowing down in the path of the wedding vehicle this is no one's fault. Someone knocking into the cake after it's been placed. Someone spilling red wine on the brides dress.
These things are not the fault of the vendors and there isn't anything we can do about them but we do have a lot of control in the run up and during the wedding. Control to ensure bags are packed with the right equipment. To ensure batteries are fully charged. That cars are regularly serviced and driven. That files are saved and backed up. They delivery times allow for possible delays. We understand what can go wrong, so we can put systems in place to prevent as much of that as humanly possible. We owe it to our couples because as you can see from the stories included here even when it happened years ago the things that go wrong stick in the minds of those affected by them.
Kate ~ My Why
Kate booked her photographer on a budget they didn't shop around but instead went with the photographer their parents had used. What Kate didn't realise at the time because, you don't know what you don't know, was what a lack of communication there was.
The photographer didn't discuss timings with her at all. She turned up on the day and didn't tell her when she would need to leave to get to the groom so Kate ended up rushing part of her day that should have been about preparation. I always picture a Bride on her wedding day serene and calm while everyone else rushes around so she doesn't have to. But Kate ended up unhappy with her hair not because of her hairdresser but because of her photographer.
She was then made to feel like a nuisance for asking for a group shot which the photographer refused to do because 'it would be too much hassle to coordinate.' With Vendors like these! Hear the story in Kate's words on the podcast.
SPWV ~ My Why
The Society is here to help reduce the risk for couples and elevate and highlight vendors who turn up on time, who dress appropriately for the job at hand. For vendors who have crossed their T's and dotted their I's. For wedding industry professionals who put their clients first and don't see pound signs but see the opportunity to support two people at the beginning of their lives together and who give that support to the best of their ability. Whether you are right at the beginning of that adventure delivering save the dates or at the end of the adventure helping them book their honeymoon you are an integral part of creating the most special day of a couples lives together. It's a responsibility that none of us should take lightly and something we should all be proud to be part of.
So join us, join the Society put your stake in the ground and be recognised for the professional service you provide.
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