Today I would like to talk about Wedding Etiquette from the Vendors point of view. Of course the Customer (Bride and Groom) is the most important thing. It is their day and they pay us, the vendors, they pay to make their wedding day the most special day it can be. It is our job to make that happen for them.
I just shot a wedding this last Saturday night which was coordinated by a wedding coordinator that appeared to be very classy and very confident. But what I actually saw was someone that appeared to have started yesterday.
The first thing I noticed is that no one helped the vendors out in any way shape or form. I work for a couple of wedding planners that are very good at what they do, and their weddings go off without a hitch, they take care of their customer and they take care of their vendors, every time. Now, taking care of the vendors is taking care of the customer. If you have unhappy, hungry or stressed out vendors, the customer suffers in the end.
The wedding planner I am talking about will not be mentioned by name in this article. I am not the type of guy that throws people under the bus. I don’t want repercussions in our industry. Maybe they were having a bad night .But what tipped me off in the first place was, there was no plan. We, and I mean the videographers and photographers where told that anything that was about to happen we would be notified so we could be in place to capture these important moments. What actually happened is we never heard a thing until the event was under way. So, I as the videographer was starting my camera 30 to 60 seconds after the speech had been started. This is unacceptable. This make me look like I don’t know what I am doing. And that really upsets me. We count on a plan in writing. If we know something is supposed to happen, we look for it, ask about it, and we are there when it happens.
Most vendors have a clause in their contracts about the client providing as meal at the time the rest of the wedding guests are getting their meals. When you work 6 to 12 hours straight you need to eat, and you need to eat as the bride and groom are eating. If you are forced to eat after everyone else there is a distinct possibility that an event will start, like a speech or toast, while you are out eating your meal. As you can imagine the event will be partially or fully missed. Again this is where we are made to look like fools.
The photographers and I all asked the wedding coordinator several times when we would be provided a meal. We knew we had a long night ahead of us. The coordinator kept shrugging us off. After a couple hours I took matters into my own hands and went into the kitchen and retrieved meals for all of us. But it was too late. As soon as I brought the food out an unannounced toast from the 98 year old grandmother of the bride started. We missed the first 40 seconds of her toast. Once again, no plan and no one told us this was going to happen.
On another note. While in the kitchen I found out that one of the kitchen staff had been hurt and had to go to the hospital, and another quit. So they were extremely short handed. The thing that really upset me about this discovery is that the wedding coordinator had 5 assistants and at least 3 of them were just standing around watching the guests. If I were the coordinator of this wedding I would have told these paid assistants to go and fill in for the missing kitchen staff. These people are being paid to make sure the wedding is a success, and to do it in a timely manor. There were only 212 guests at the reception and it took of 3 hours for all of them to receive their dinners and the dinners were cold by then. That is just unacceptable.
This is my last rant, sorry for this blog being so long. When it was time to cut the cake. No one was there to direct the bride and groom on where to cut the cake so that the videographer, photographer and guests could all get the best shots of the traditional cake cutting. So, once again I shut off my camera and positioned them for the best shots. Maybe I should have been the wedding coordinator. But I did get great footage since I set them up. But this was the wedding coordinators job.
The last thing I have to say is. If you don’t want this type of thing to happen to your expensive wedding, you really need to know a lot about your wedding coordinator. If it were my wedding I would choose someone like Jeanne Colquette of Events Your Way. This lady will work so hard for you, you will want to mention her in one of your toasts. And I have filmed several people doing just that.
Here’s the video:
Jeanne can be reached from her website at http://eventsyourway.net/