Wedding vendors- you know, those people who run around tirelessly all day to make sure you are happy, smiling, and relaxed. Some are great, others not so much. On your wedding day, your vendors make the day what it is. They truly are everything.
Being a wedding vendor isn't about showing off creativity, craft, & skill. It's all about creating human relationships among people, and serving them to the fullest potential.
Let's face it, its easy to create unrealistic expectations for ourselves as brides (I was recently one myself). This is THE DAY that brides have poured countless hours into over the past year and is over in a split second.
Before we had time to realize what happened, it was over. And for wedding photographers, they are vendors who you really rely on to make this day last forever. The images they capture are all that remain when the last dance has been played. If these photos can't evoke the honest emotions of joy from your wedding day, its hard to justify spending so much of your time and money into a photographer with such little return.
Take it from me, I was the bride who chose my vendors based on my budget. After years of being a photographer for other brides, I trusted that with my own personal direction, I could make a photographer take my ideas and just make them happen. What I didn't realize is that posing & snapping was a far cry to what the overall experience should be. And what qualities the vendor should uphold. Lesson learned: PRICE SHOULD NOT be the reason that you choose to work with someone. There is far more than that in what you get for your money, or at least you should.
Long story short, the collaborative planning was non-existent between the two of us, communication was scarce, and my overall confidence in the photographer just dropped after our the first interaction with each other (including my observations on how they talked to me as if I was a complete stranger.).
I couldn't believe that a wedding vendor could show up without knowing what they were in for. That includes, visiting the location, meeting me in person, and understanding that I am a person with emotions who is expecting 'feeling' from this interaction. To put it quite frankly, I felt like a dressed-up statue in an exhibit getting photographed by spectators.
Don't get me wrong, the images turned out really beautiful. You couldn't go wrong with the church, the dress, and the mushy emotions between my husband and I. But I did not feel like I enjoyed myself as much as I could have, if I was working with someone who I connected with. The experience just was not there, and that killed the mood for me on my day, no matter how perfect everything else was.
From this experience, I quickly reassured myself that the value of connecting with my brides can directly correlate to the success of the wedding day. Not just to get great images, but to create an experience that makes their smiles truly genuine.
More than that, I realize that the 'WHY' in what I do shines through my work from day-1 all the way up until the Wedding Day. I care way too much about my brides to not get to know them, spend extra time with them, visit venue spaces together, take them out to lunch, call them often, and allow them to feel like I will be the LAST person they worry about during their day.
Trusting the people you work with helps to alleviate any of these feelings of disappointment, frustration, and anxiety.
Get to know your vendors before selecting to work with them! Meet with them and work with them on an engagement shoot before paying the wedding deposit and signing any binding contracts.
If you aren't working with someone who truly understands 'you', you might just miss out on feeling an emotional connection with your photographs after they have been captured. They will feel as distant and cold as the relationship you had with those vendors.
When you can create a relationship not only just of trust, but clear communication, comfort, and reliability, you will immediately notice a change in your experience and the value of what you are investing in.
Are you putting all of your time, money, and planning in the right hands?