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RANT! I regret booking my best friend's mother as a vendor!!

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32 replies to this topic

#1 islandbride317

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    Posted 16 July 2010 - 12:26 PM

    So....we've all heard the saying a million times, "don't mix business and pleasure" but I didn't think that extended to booking my long-time best friend's mom as one of my at-home reception vendors! It seemed perfect at first....now all I can say is WHAT WAS I THINKING?!!! Here's my RANT

    The issue is that my best friend of 19 years (since we were 11) has a mother who is a local photographer. She's always been very pleasant to me and my family, so when we were looking for an affordable photographer for our AHR, (and she said she'd offer us a discount for her services if we decided to go with her) it seemed like a no-brainer. And, so even though I'm not terribly impressed with her work (it's not bad, it's just really, really "basic" and "posed" whereas I prefer more of a photojournalism/candid style), it seemed like a good deal since it's just our AHR, but BOY, was I wrong!

    After we gave her the deposit and signed the contract month and months ago, she's been trying to pressure us to spend a fortune with her (as my friend informed me that she hasn't had that many clients recently), and is giving me attitude about how we'd like her to shoot our event that day!! WHAT THE !!!

    We had our final consulation with her earlier this week, and she was getting really rude when I said, as our wedding will have been 3 months earlier at the time the AHR takes place, we didn't want to do the following:

    - no "getting ready" shots are needed (already did that in Jamaica)
    - no bouquet toss
    - no garter toss
    - no receiving line when we arrive
    - no speeches other than my husband and I thanking our guests before dinner
    - no rice or bubbles or whatever when we leave

    Basically, she was REALLY challenging me on the fact that I'd like my AHR to be a fun party where family and friends happen to be a little more dressed up and there is wedding cake and dancing -- that's it! She's like, "Well, what do you even need me there for then, Christie?" with an attitude and I was simply blown away!!

    I wanted to tell her, "Can't you just be respectful of how I want to do things, particularly since you are my best friend's mother" or do you think that is WHY she thinks it's acceptable to try to speak to me like a child?! Maybe because I grew up with her daughter, she doesn't see me as a "regular" paying client?! I've already (cautiously) discussed this with my BF, so I know it won't effect our friendship, but I don't really need this irritation from someone who's supposed to be a "friend of the family", either!

    THANKS for hearing me out, ladies...otherwise, I was probably going to go off the deep end!

    #2 msjulie5475

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    • 528 posts

      Posted 16 July 2010 - 01:09 PM

      Tough situation, but I would suggest kindly letting her know how you feel. Maybe try to get her in your shoes. Who wouldn't want a fun AHR.

      #3 Cindy*

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      • 2,655 posts

        Posted 16 July 2010 - 01:17 PM

        Wow, that is really crazy. I mean your wedding has already happened. Its an AHR (at home RECEPTION) not a second wedding. She may need business but the way to generate business is certainly not by upsetting her clients. I would tell her how you feel and that she needs to back off. This is a reception, you are looking forward to working with her, but she needs to understand what the event is and what you want her to do. It is your day and you are a paying customer. I hope things work out.

        #4 jk1101

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          Posted 16 July 2010 - 01:25 PM

          WOW!!!! I'd be mad too!!! She'd NEVER say that to a client that she didn't know (or would she?)!
          What a terrible situation to be in - hopefully you can have a quick conversation with her - maybe she's never photographed an AHR before
          You can say something like:

          "Hey, I think there may have been some confusion...we're not having a second wedding, this is a party celebrating our marriage, so it's a little different, which is why I don't want all of those wedding-type pictures taken. I'm really excited to have you be a part of this, and I know you're going to do a great job - these are the pictures I would like you to take."

          Kill 'em with kindness...usually makes them back down!

          Good luck!

          #5 jajajaja

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            Posted 16 July 2010 - 01:32 PM

            hmmm... it sounds like she's confused on her role and maybe she didn't express it well since she feels she is close to you. We hired a photog for my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary... it's no different than that really. Just someone to capture the evenings events and probably do some nice family photos with those that are present. Maybe explaining it to her like that will make more sense. Some people even hire for engagement parties... she must not do a lot of various events so it sounds like she just doesn't get it.
            Happily married since 2008

            #6 clgriffi7

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              Posted 16 July 2010 - 01:33 PM

              I think I am a little confused. If you have already signed a contract to pay her a certain amount of money, then why in the world should she care what kind of pictures you want?!

              I agree with jerseykitten that you should try and kill her with kindness. If she is upset the day of the event, then the pictures will show it.

              #7 islandbride317

              • Sr. Member
              • 1,866 posts

                Posted 16 July 2010 - 09:21 PM

                Thank you girls, for understanding WHY this is so upsetting, and for your excellent insight!

                @ Michelle -- I just may kill her....I just don't know if it will be with "kindness" yet or not! No seriously, I appreciate the suggestion on the approach and it just may do the trick after all so I'll give it a shot!

                @ Rachel -- I think you're 100% right that she is confused as to her role, but what I find frustrating is that I tried to explain to her in numerous meetings we've had about this AHR (and also when she also did a 'free' engagement shoot for us, but that is a whole other story....) and she's just not getting it!
                When I spoke to my Mom about it tonight, she pretty much said the same thing you did: she thinks that she's not sure "how" to shoot an event like ours, and has no idea what I mean by a more photojournalism/candid style. I agree that it is because she is somewhat inexperienced, and doesn't know how to operate without her set checklist of "must-do" wedding day shots to work from!

                Again, I appreciate all of your support and I'll let you know how it all pans out for sure!


                #8 Mallory57

                • Jr. Member
                • 454 posts

                  Posted 17 July 2010 - 12:50 PM

                  Wow, I think the fact that this isn't your true wedding is completely irrelevant...as a vendor she is hired to do exactly as you wish. Whether you hire her for a birthday party, wedding, small photo shoot, or AHR, she should just do her job and take your pictures!! Good luck, hope it all sorts itself out!!
                  35 (and counting) booked plus Bride & Groom!!

                  #9 JanineA

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                    Posted 17 July 2010 - 01:24 PM

                    I think Mallory hit the nail on the head, its irrelevant whether this is an AHR, birthday party, shower, or simply-I-just-want-to-take-pics-for-the-hell-of-it. You are a paying client and her services need to be fulfilled in accordance to your specifications.
                    I think she is confusing her role, maybe she still sees you as a kid or maybe this is how she is with all her clients. Sit down and make it very clear to her that she needs to do her job! And if she doesn't its breach of contract and she won't get paid. Man the nerve of this woman...she really has me boiling. But its true sometimes what they say don't mix business with pleasure, sometimes it turns out fine in this instance its not. I'm sorry you have to deal with this! Hope it works out!

                    #10 bigboponthebeach

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                      Posted 17 July 2010 - 02:04 PM

                      What a sensitive situation. I think jerseykitten's suggestion was great. Hopefully everything smoothes over prior to your AHR big day. I'm sorry.....:-(

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