Thursday, October 8, 2009

Internet Dating during Wedding Planning

After finding the venue, choosing a photographer was the biggest item on the to-do list.  Finding a photographer was akin to finding a date on an internet site. And trust me, I have had experience with internet dating sites.  I tried nerve, match, you name it.

I meticulously combed Here Comes the Guide (vendor guide for California weddings), the Wedding Photographer Photojournalist Association, and the Weddingbee boards for any ideas about photographers in Northern California. It felt like perusing hundreds of potential dates' profiles.  I came along 39 East Photography.  It caught my interest.

I looked at their website and their blog (like any good obsessive internet dater). With a deep breath, I finally sent an email (much like a "wink" or "hello"--you know, if you haven't internet-dated this whole analogy will be lost on you).

CK, the photographer, and I exchanged a few introductory messages. I told him a little about myself. He told me a little about 39 East. The company is based in Singapore and is breaking into the US wedding market, and CK was willing to work with our budget.

After a few rounds of emails, we set up a time to talk on the phone. This was the first extended conversation I had with any vendor (besides for venues) and I was super nervous. However, CK was really sweet and nice. He was unassuming, articulate and friendly.

I was like, wow, that was great! Like love at first talk! I had such this great feeling about it that when I talked to my sister about the phone call, I was practically giddy. It was instant vendor chemistry, I couldn't resist!

However, after talking to and meeting a few more photographers, I began to waver. While CK offered the best price and I loved his photos, he was, after all, the first photographer to whom I had spoken. He was the one photographer that I did not get to meet in person. 

I mean, wasn't that other photographer I eventually met really super sweet? Didn't I think she was really pretty?  And how about the one with a nice studio? My mom and sister really liked him! Doesn't family opinion matter a lot?

Oh I was so confused! Who to choose, who to choose? Could I trust my heart? Was I being flighty? Overly romantic? Argh!

Source (this is what worrying does to me) 

To help resolve my concerns, I demanded that CK and I speak again. He obliged--but did he seem less eager this time? Was he wary? Did he sense that I had ventured elsewhere? Egads, the pressure.

On our second phone call, CK was the same CK--professional, articulate and easygoing. His photos are lovely. Really lovely. I trusted myself and signed a contract. A few months later, he and his wife came to NYC and we had dinner. I'm happy to report that he was who I thought he was, and all was well. CK, I never should have doubted what we had (I only publish this because CK has a sense of humor and will laugh instead of calling the police).

Anyone else need to "sow your wild oats" before settling on a vendor that you found early on?  On another note, how about experiences "breaking up" with a vendor that you didn't choose?

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