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APW Sanity Pledge & Reverse Sanity Pledge


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

APW Sanity Pledge & Reverse Sanity Pledge | A Practical Wedding

Tomorrow we’re going to talk a bit about the APW Vendor Directory, which has been growing like a (super awesome) weed. In getting that ready, I realized that I’d never taken time out to talk to you guys about the APW Sanity Pledge that all APW advertisers have to take, and why we created it. The APW Sanity pledge is about vendors promising to treat clients like people and not walking dollar signs, and it’s about vendors respecting your wedding for exactly what it is, not what anyone else thinks it should be. But today we decided to kick it up a notch, and I asked Elizabeth of Lowe House Events (along with all of the APW Sponsors) to help us create a Reverse Sanity Pledge, detailing how you guys can continue to change the wedding industry by being awesome clients. And let me be clear, APW-ers are famous for being The Most Awesome Clients, and we want that to continue to flourish.

This week, we’ve talked a fair amount about the way the Wedding Industry is problematic. We’ve talked about the pressure to Buy All The Things, and a call from a well known person in the wedding industry for wedding blogs to stop focusing so damn much on The Stuff and instead focus on the reason you have a wedding in the first place: two amazing people joining their lives.

APW was built on the idea that a wedding is two people committing their lives to each other, and it doesn’t have to cost a cent (or, a cent over the cost of a marriage license, if that’s in the cards for you). But APW was also built on the idea that most of us are spending some money on our wedding, and we should use that money to be  conscious consumers. That how we spend our money is more important than how much. That we should use our dollars to be LGBTQ allies. That one of the simplest and most powerful ways we can change the world is by voting with our money.

So. In an effort to help you be the change, we made an APW sanity pledge that every single person who advertises with us has to sign. That means when you use your dollars to book an APW vendor, you’re voting for a non-manipulative, affirming, LGTBQ friendly version of the industry. And not only do our advertisers have to sign it, but it’s legally binding. So if you flag them as being in violation of the pledge, we can pull their advertising. We’re hoping it changes this corner of the wedding industry bit by bit.

APW Sanity Pledge & Reverse Sanity Pledge | A Practical Wedding

All APW-approved vendors, agree that:

… A wedding is an awesome party, but it’s the marriage that really matters.

… It takes two people to get married. It’s not all about the bride (and sometimes there isn’t a bride to begin with).

… We support LGBTQ couples\’ right to marry, and we are delighted to work with them.

… We don’t charge a premium just because we heard the word “wedding.”

… We will be upfront and fair about our pricing. We won’t surprise you with a secret fee because you want frosting on the cake, not just the cake.

… You don’t have to have cake at your wedding.

… However you decided to tie the knot, we’re on your team.

… Weddings come in all different shapes/sizes/colors/budgets/etc., but as long as you two end up married to each other, it will have been a successful wedding.

****

But I’ve been thinking about it, and I decided that if APW sponsors are committing to being awesome vendors, it’s equally important that APW readers re-commit to continue being the worlds most awesome clients. (Seriously, you guys are absolutely famous for being the best clients in the world of weddings.) So I did some talking with sponsors about the problems they have with (non-APW) clients, as small independent business owners. I was slightly shocked by some of the stories I heard. Because here is the thing: we all know there is a universe of people in the wedding industry that use the word “wedding” as an excuse to behave like total jackasses (that’s a technical term, there). But I was scandalized to learn that there are clients who use the word wedding to behave badly. I heard stories from photographers of people cold calling them and saying, “I know you’re over-priced because it’s a wedding, so I want 75% off.” And the photographers thinking, “Lady, I’ve got to feed my kid this month but thank you.” So, I decided it was time for us to come up with a reader pledge, and with help from Lowe House Events, did just that.

The Reverse Sanity Pledge is about how to support independent businesses that share your values by being a kick-ass client. (And trust me, small business owners always notice when you’re nice to them. I’m speaking in the first person here.) So without further ado, The Reverse Sanity Pledge:

As APW readers, we agree that:

…We will trust the vendors we choose to hire. We understand: they are professionals; the advice they give us is based on their experience and expertise; and they have our best interests at heart.

… We will hire vendors because we love their work and are excited to work with them specifically. We won’t ask or expect a vendor to duplicate the style of work of another vendor.

… We will ask our vendors questions when we don’t understand something fully. Clarity makes the experience better for everyone.

… We will communicate clearly with our vendors, and provide them with the information that they ask for in a timely fashion, as it’s going to help them do the jobs we’ve hired them to do to the best of their ability.

… Our vendors are (for the most part) small business owners who both need and deserve to make a living wage. Knowing this, we won’t ask for reduced pricing without the expectation of reduced services.

… Our vendors are human, and sometimes will need to take breaks and sit down in the middle of a long and often physically strenuous work day. They also need to be fed meals, consisting of real food in reasonable portions, at reasonable times.

… We will not treat our vendors like “the help,” but will treat them like the professionals, and the people, that they are.

… We will make all payments on time, in the method requested.

… We know that the best “tip” that we can give to vendors we love are testimonials and referrals.

So let’s shake this idea I’ve been hearing all over the wedding blog-o-sphere that things just are what they are, and they can’t change them. If APW stands for one thing, it’s making the change you think needs to happen in the world. Make that change with your dollars. Invest them in people who share your values, and then value the heck out of those people.

Because nothing feels quite as awesome as mutual respect.

Photo from the APW Flickr stream by Emily Takes Photos

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

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  • Bubbles

    I kind of want to cuddle this post.

  • Mary

    I think I’m going to link this on our wedding website somewhere so that our guests know that we are committed to treating our vendors with dignity and respect, not just as “hired help.” And, I’m sending this to all of our vendors to let them know and to encourage them to support APW because they are all fantastic and because PA is sadly lacking in APW awesome vendors.

    • Sierra

      YES! Our engagement is only 12 days old, but I want every vendor we choose to uphold these values! And we can’t wait to be APW clients!! This blog has put words around how I have always believed in weddings, and what our wedding day would look and feel like.

      However, the APW vendor map for Western Colorado is pretty scanty. How should I go about approaching potential vendors who may have never heard of APW? I don’t want to scare great people by shoving a Manifesto and Pledge in their face and hoping they won’t run away from the crazy lady :) Advice on bringing new vendors into the family?

      • http://www.bluscelebrations.com bec

        I think if you are feeling a good APW vibe when you interview vendors for your wedding, just send them this post and ask them if they want to be part of the awesomeness. We need more awesome people on our team!

      • ElfPuddle

        I have a friend (former student) with a small photography business. I sent her a link to the Vendor listing with a note that said I thought she was a good fit for APW and that I thought she could use the publicity.

      • http://www.marjmerges.com/ Marj

        Don’t be afraid to look at the Front Range folks. I know there are three of us that would travel to Western Colorado in a heartbeat. Just saying and not pushing anyone specifically…

      • http://theroadto92912.blogspot.com Molly

        Congrats on the engagement!

      • DanEllie

        Congrats on your engagement! APW is such a wonderful sanity check during the planning process :)

        I saw Marj Merges already responded, but even though she’s a few hours east on the Front Range, she is an AWESOME photographer who loves CO and any excuse to travel…

      • http://rongrandia.com Rnn Grandia

        Sierrra –

        I’d wager that there are a lot of great vendors in your area who, despite having not yet run across APW, are already living these ideals. You’ll be able to pick them out of the crowd.

        When you do, mention APW. They’ll be grateful.

        Have a great wedding!

    • http://www.theparanoidlibra.wordpress.com Paranoid Libra

      Seriously PA needs to get on this….maybe I need to start forwarding APW to every vendor I’ve even spoken too in hopes of spreading sanity….and help Meg make more money if they are kick ass enough to become an APW sponsor.

      • meg

        I love you.

  • http://www.hibouphoto.com kandise

    This is why I’m here. ♥

    • http://www.bluscelebrations.com bec

      Word.

  • ElfPuddle

    Consider me as having taken the pledge! (And not just about the wedding either! How people can be so awful to others I just don’t know.)

  • http://ladybrettashley.wordpress.com lady brett

    this is lovely. but i am having a hard time getting past the part where i giggle about “reverse sanity”.

    • ElfPuddle

      Hee! I hadn’t even noticed that!

    • meg

      I know. I thought it was pretty funny myself. I love when you get my tiny jokes.

    • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

      Exactly. I was wondering if “reverse sanity” was a kind way to refer to the insanity that my life is.

      Every so often it hits me and I have a hard time shaking it that our photographer didn’t let us pay nearly enough. I plan to make that up to her when we use her again.

      • meg

        If you helped her build her portfolio though, that really is something big. And oh my god is she talented!

  • http://upupcreative.com upupcreative

    hooray! love it!

  • http://www.jayleephotography.net Josh

    Damn, we love you guys so much. “A Practical Wedding: Putting the industry in check before ‘putting the industry in check’ was cool.”

    • meg

      <3 <3 <3

  • http://www.jehara.blogspot.com jehara

    This.is.awesome. Truly truly. Just another reason to <3 APW.

  • http://www.heybabestudio.com Michelle

    This post is the exact reason why I still read APW everyday after 2 years of marriage. Thank you for being a sane voice in this crazy wedding industry. It’s appreciated more than you could imagine. Yay for all things practical and awesome!

    • meg

      I appreciate you back. So much so that I clicked to see who you are and OH MY GOD, why are you not in the directory???? I want to put your cake toppers in my mouth.

      • http://emilytakesphotos.com Emily

        I concur. Michelle, I’m emailing you RIGHT NOW!!!

        • http://www.heybabestudio.com Michelle

          Eek! Thanks ladies! Made my day!

          Next week I’m launching a big, bad wedding design company full of decorations and flowers and awesomness. At which point, I’ll be ALL OVER that vendor directory.

          (also, venue directory listing from my own wedding coming soon. yea!)

          • meg

            I just figured out that you’re *that* Michelle :)

  • Lauren

    What a great post!

    I fully intend on following Bec’s advice above, and emailing the pledge to potential vendors before we choose our wedding team (bridal/groomal brigade!). Thank you for the post, and thank you for consistently being a site I can visit when I need reassurance that I don’t have to have a long dress, a big cake, a fancy venue, etc… (but can have one if that’s what I want!). This website/community/team keeps me grounded on a daily basis.

    I’d have an all-APW-vendor wedding if I could! (Alas, there are not yet enough vendors in Ontario, Canada – but I hope I can change that for future brides!)

    Thanks again :)

  • http://www.amandasummerlin.com amandasummerlin

    This post makes me want to say “power to the people”.. :) Let’s all be sane. It doesn’t even hurt. It has even been known to make people happy… that sanity stuff. I’m totally linking to this. Spread the sanity!

    • meg

      “Let’s all be sane. It doesn’t even hurt.” <3

  • Krysti

    I love this post! Just fantastic.

  • http://unexpected-moments.blogspot.com/ Sheryl

    I love this manifesto. Beyond words.
    <3<3<3

  • SarahMama Kate

    A HUGE Thank You from a tiny Etsy wedding invitation designer! “Gee, yes, I’d like you to respect the integrity of my work.” This is going up on my Twitter and FB page. And, did I mention, “Thanks”?!

  • http://www.ourladyofcupcakes.com KT Cupcake

    I don’t know how you do it, APW, but you always seem to sum up my thoughts better than I ever could. The Sanity Pledge for vendors is exactly the way I run my business – I just never thought to put it in a list before! I’ll be linking to this on my blog and writing some thoughts about it. I think it’s important, as a business owner, to keep your clients in mind. Even when they could use a pledge of their own, we do what we do to make them (meaning the bride, groom, wedding party, guests, and sometimes even other vendors) happy. I try to keep sight of that every day.

    And thank you so much for including a clause about being open and respectful to the LGBTQ community! The wedding industry, just like marriage, should be open to everyone.

    • Marina

      Totally off topic but holy crap your cupcakes look delicious. And gorgeous. Seriously, wow.

  • ANDREA

    WHAT WHAT WHAT I love this so much. In drafting contracts for my band, I try so hard to get across these “reverse” points, and this pledge does it So. Well. This may have pushed me over the edge to apply for the directory. (Well, that and the joy of playing a totally kickass Halloween Party Wedding on Saturday. Because obviously.)

    • meg

      Dude. A BAND? WE NEED MUSIC PEOPLE WHAT.

      • ANDREA

        I KNOW RIGHT. A Motown band :). I just want to have a really funny and awesome entry for the vendor directory. And our web development is still a wee bit in progress because we currently mostly play bars. I also want better photos so our entry looks good. But maybe this is all just me stalling. And maybe we played a Halloween wedding dressed as Arrested Development characters. So maybe that’s good enough even if the photos aren’t amazing.

        • meg

          STOP STALLING. There is always a reason not to do something. Sometimes you just gotta lady-ball up, no?

          • FawMo

            Especially if its as characters from Arrested Development!

        • http://magpietrousseau.wordpress.com Magpie

          “And maybe we played a Halloween wedding dressed as Arrested Development characters.”

          Oh my god, I love you just for this. PLEASE get a listing up so I can see those photos!

          • ANDREA

            thanks guys!!!! day made. draft in prog.

  • Mimi

    Oh, APW, I love you. I don’t even feel bad that I’m not adding anything new to the conversation with this comment. You should know how much you’re appreciated.

    • meg

      Thank you. I needed that :)

      • DanEllie

        I often don’t comment because I feel like I’m saying exactly, exactly, exactly! But Meg, you and the rest of the APW staff need to know how much saner you’re making me feel in the sea of wedding insanity. Keeping me focused on the wonderful end goal of a fair equitable marriage is getting me through the planning stages. So thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • NEWTIE

    I have a question about the not-asking-for-cheaper-prices thing. There are a lot of things I can’t afford (like a photographer) that I would kind of like to have. I’ve been thinking of contacting people whose work I like, and trying to ask them very politely if they would consider working with me for $x, with the understanding that $x is not going to cover their normal full range of services. But since wedding photographers usually can’t book more than one thing on a given day, I fear that even *asking* this is rude and presumptuous. Knowing very little about wedding services in general, is it ok to ask for different fees if I am polite and kind (and understanding if they say no), or is it taboo just to ask? So far I haven’t seen any photographers at all that I would be able to work into my budget — which makes me think then I just can’t have a photographer, which is fine. But at the same time, I have SOME money that could go to photography… and I’d rather it go to someone I like and whose work I admire than just not take pictures at all.

    • meg

      So! You should ask people that are as close to your price range as you can find (AKA, don’t ask a $5K photographer to work for $1K). Then you should specifically say that A) You know they might not be able to do it, B) You’re asking for reduced services as well, C) You promise to be the best client ever.

      I think that’s a pretty decent recipe. It might not work, but you shouldn’t insult anyone!

    • http://www.katiejanephoto.com Katie Jane

      As Meg said, I don’t think any of us are ever insulted if you ask politely and don’t get upset if someone says no. I know I am personally a lot more likely to give someone a discount who is super awesome and sweet as opposed to someone who thinks they’re entitled to one. BUT even if the photographer you approach is unable to work with your budget, they probably know someone else who can. I have a vast network of photographers who are in lots of different price ranges, and I can usually point people who can’t afford me in the right direction to someone awesome who can.

      • jessie

        I contacted lots of photographers to see what would be available and what they would charge. I found that everyone I spoke with was super-pleasant and willing to give me recommendations of names for other people they’d worked with the past who might be more affordable when I said that I wished I could use them, but they were out of my range. In a few cases, people asked me my budget outright, and told me what they could offer me in that range. I found that it was very helpful too because it let me get a sense of what I really wanted (ie: what one person offers for 1k isn’t what another will give you for 1k, so you have know what you care about and what you don’t).

      • http://chilingwang.com Chi-Ling

        I can only speak for myself really. I have no problems moving mountains for people who inspire me to move mountains on their behalf. Sugar before spice, just saying.

    • Carrie

      So I just asked my photographer husband this question.

      He says it’s generally fine if it’s phrased like “I know your regular price is $X. However, my budget can really only accommodate $Y. What kind of services would be possible for $Y, if any?” That way, it’s polite, it’s non-demanding, and you clearly realize the answer might be “Sorry, I can’t do anything for that much.”

      This depends on what $X and $Y are, of course. If $Y is, like, up to 25% less than $X, it’s probably reasonable to ask. If $Y is much less than that, it might come off as rude — implying that their work isn’t worth much. (Obviously, not a hard and fast rule. Just trying to illustrate a general idea.)

      If your budget is that much significantly smaller than the rates of all the photographers you’ve seen — like more than 50% lower — then you might want to start out by specifically asking about a smaller service. For example, what it would cost to have a few formal portraits taken. That way, you show that you understand their work is worth something, and you understand what’s realistic for your budget to buy.

      (My husband notes that he’s much more likely to do someone a favor if they show that they understand his work is worth something. I’m sure he’s not the only one who feels that way.)

    • Emily

      I contacted a number of photographers and asked them what they would charge for a given number of hours (for me, 4). We decided to just get 4 hours of coverage, and the responses to this question really helped us narrow down our choices.

  • Anne

    This is really, really awesome. (Also, I love the idea of reverse sanity.)

  • Sb

    I like the idea of a reverse sanity pledge, and I like everything in it. Except for
    the idea that vendors “have our best interests at heart.”

    They don’t. They are human. They have THEIR interests at heart. They might like me and want to work with me, but ultimately they do what they’re likely to do well and make money doing. It might not be exactly what I want. They might not know exactly what I want. And that’s not their fault! It would be wrong for me to expect them to read my mind and wrong for me to expect them to do something they can’t (as you mention).

    But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with realizing that vendors and soon-to-be-marrieds both have their own, seperate, interests and areas of expertise and that we have to communicate, not just expect them to do what’s best.

  • occhiblu

    I love it. When I asked a former boss of mine, who was a dream to work for, for advice on hiring employees, he said, “Hire people you trust, and then let them do their job.” I definitely took that attitude into hiring wedding vendors, and it really paid off, I think. Vendors would email me asking about tiny details about which I knew nothing, and seemed pleasantly surprised when I would respond, “Well, what’s your preference?” I see no point in hiring talented people who have done this many many many times and then deciding, with zero experience of my own, to micromanage them.

    • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

      I taught for a principal who had that philosophy, and I considered myself extremely lucky. It’s a great philosophy when working with people. Micro-managing is rarely the same as sanity.

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  • http://dylanandsarah.som Sarah T

    I very much like the idea of both these pledges and agree almost entirely with them. Actually, I am completely on board with the vendor pledge, which is almost all about mindset. I find the reader pledge has is less about mindset and more about responsibility to do certain things or behave in certain ways (or to not). And while I don’t actually disagree with *any* of the sentiments, I think it’s difficult to live up to that ideal. The phrasing of some of the points makes me feel a lot of pressure… and I’m done with the wedding! If I could make a few suggestions [with my explanation of what I'm trying to get at in brackets]:

    … Clearly communicating with our vendors and providing them with the information that they ask for in a timely fashion is key. It helps them do the jobs we’ve hired them to do to the best of their ability. [not setting it up in a way where if it doesn't happen, the client has failed]

    … Our vendors are professionals, and the people, and should be treated appropriately. [getting away from the implication that there is a particular way to treat "the help" that is negative]

    … …(2nd sentence) If we choose to ask for reduced pricing, it should be with the expectation of reduced services.

    … The best “tip” that we can give to vendors we love are testimonials and referrals. [just grammar! "we agree that we know that..."]

    Does that make sense? To convey the importance of the points, but in more of a mindset way than a top-down doctrine way. Just my two cents!

    Last thing. I know the reverse sanity pledge is already longer, but I think it would be cool to have some of the same points in both. Particularly #1, #2, and #8 from the sanity pledge are applicable to both, because they’re mindsets!

    • http://www.katiejanephoto.com Katie Jane

      Just a little note in regards to this: … Clearly communicating with our vendors and providing them with the information that they ask for in a timely fashion is key. It helps them do the jobs we’ve hired them to do to the best of their ability. [not setting it up in a way where if it doesn't happen, the client has failed]

      I just wanted to share my point of view as a vendor. That that particular section of the reverse sanity pledge is the *most* important to me. Because not having all the information I need in a timely fashion makes my job about 1000 times harder. I recently shot a wedding (non-APWer) where I had to chase down the client for a month before her wedding, trying to get her to fill out my pre-wedding questionnaire and schedule her final meeting with me. And even then I didn’t get all the information I needed – I couldn’t get her to take a few minutes to sit down and write out a list of the family members who were supposed to be in group portraits. It was so exhausting and frustrating, and when it came time for group portraits, it was incredibly chaotic. As someone who is hyper organized, I just hate chaos.

      I just don’t have *time* to chase down my clients for information, which is why I start asking for it well in advance. As adults, I think we should all be expected to communicate and get information to one another in a timely fashion. And failure to communicate properly and share information greatly impedes my ability to do my job in the way my clients have come to expect. I completely understand my clients have a lot going on – I got married last year, and I totally understand how insane wedding planning is. But I just think everyone should understand that communicating and getting your vendors what they need IS a part of wedding planning, and shouldn’t be brushed off.

      So I understand what you’re saying, but I know my clients have huge expectations for me and my work. And when it comes down to it – I really only have one expectation for them (in my mind everything else is incidental): communicate and get me what I need in a timely fashion, without me having to pester you about it. And I think ultimately it’s more for their benefit than mine. So while I hate the word “failure” it is a little bit of a failure on their part, of the one expectation I have for them.

      I just wanted to share why – as a vendor – I think that’s the most important part of the pledge and would not want it changed. Just my two cents.

      • http://dylanandsarah.com Sarah T

        I definitely see that. I think because communication was one of my big struggles (I only got my questionnaire back to my photographer the week before), that one struck me because *I* failed (myself) and am still kind of feeling bad about that. Even though it all worked out and I think once that was in, my photographer did have everything she needed, she did have to chase me for it.

        So yes, clear and timely communication is definitely best. If it doesn’t happen, the client should realize it’s a failing on her part and hampering/stressing out her vendor. What I’m ambivalent about is the tone for if that doesn’t happen. I recognize now that maybe I’m reading it to be a little stronger precisely because of above experience, where I’m already feeling bad and then feeling more sensitive.

        Thank you for discussing!

    • http://elissarphotography.com Elissa

      I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with you on that first point, Sarah. Communication is *extremely* important to me as a vendor and if a client fails to communicate with me then it drastically hinders me from doing the job that I am paid to do. I need to know where and when I am expected to show up (first and foremost), and I also need to know what the clients’ expectations are so that everything can run smoothly and so that I can meet those expectations (or exceed them). I’m not saying this to pressure anyone, it’s just a part of wedding planning that should be taken seriously. Vendors need to be kept in the loop on your plans, especially if they are involved in those preparations! We vendors don’t send out questionnaires asking for the details of wedding day plans just for fun… that information is extremely important. Sometimes the only information I receive are the initial plans (date and venue) when people book me half a year away, so the updated, “final” chunk of information is what I rely on to get there on time, do my job well, and not waste precious time on “figuring things out” or “hammering out details” when I should be doing what I am paid to do. I know that wedding plans change rapidly during the final countdown, and that is why that info is so critical to receive before we even show up. Especially if their expectations include that they can fit in 20 family formals in 10 minutes after sundown… I have to instruct them that we need to budget more time for things like this. And I’d preferably not have to have that conversation at 11 pm the night before their wedding.

      All vendors have come to expect that a wedding won’t go exactly as planned, but going into a wedding blindly is so nerve-wracking when the expectations are so high and it’s such an important day.

  • jessie

    I <3 this site so much! I'm a vegan, so the concept of voting with my dollar is one I'm strongly tied to: I truly and completely believe that one of the most effective ways to make a change is to buy services from those who actions match your values, and to not from those who don't. Demand brings change. My wedding hasn't happened yet, and I'm only a few vendors into things (we have a photog who blogs all her weddings of couples of every description, and an officiant who does the same, and our venue is family- run). However, as a Canadian, I would LOVE if there had been more Canadian vendors to choose from on APW, so I think I'll pass this pledge on to my vendors also in case they're interested. Lets get some Canada in here!

    • http://www.hibouphoto.com kandise

      As the only Canadian vendor currently on here, I would love it if Canadian APWers actually hired me!

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  • DL

    I love this post! I am so happy to have discovered APW a few days ago (got engaged this summer and having a looooong engagement due to work timeline stuff but it gives me more time to plan something thoughtful/meaningful – and more time to save!). This site has kept me centered and sane in the sea of crazy wedding (albeit very pretty) wedding blogs.

    For all the vendors out there (and any APW reader too of course) – curious about your perspective on this issue: what happens when a potential vendor is not that great at communicating in a timely manner but you’re still really interested in them?

    My fiance and I are currently searching for photographers and all of them except one studio have been very pleasant and prompt (by this i mean a 48-72 hour turn-around reply). Unfortunately, I really like this one studio but at this time I feel like they’re giving us the cold shoulder. They sent us one email back (after I sent an email seeing if the “web contact form” came through) and it was nicely and enthusiastically worded and they said they were busy, and I replied acknowledging that they were busy and asked follow up questions and this email has been unanswered for almost a week. I don’t want to pester/harrass a vendor with multiple emails and seem bridezilla-ish when I know photographers really do need a lot of time to edit, but it does make me anxious that they aren’t as prompt in their communication with us.

    What makes me most worried is if other photographers start expecting us to give them an answer when we haven’t really met with this specific studio I really want to explore. We are splurging on photography so it’s not as if I asked them an awkward or demanding budget question or anything – they were just random general questions and it’s been almost a week. Should I give this more time? Am I being neurotic? Any advice on how to approach this? Like I said, I don’t want to be annoying/pushy/demanding since I feel bad imposing/bugging vendors but it just confuses me since we’ve been expressing genuine interest and would love to see if we could work with them!

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