Sometimes the unthinkable happens and all of your wedding plans are tossed out the window and then dragged through the mud. It has nothing to do with you, and there’s just no way you could have seen it coming; it just happens. A couple years ago, one of our brides contacted us a couple months before her wedding. She wanted to thank us for our help in everything but they had decided to cancel their wedding date because her father had unexpectedly passed away and they just couldn’t imagine going through with their current plans when they were in so much grief. The same thing happened last year with another of our brides who has become a dear friend of ours; her dad passed away mere weeks before their wedding date. It was heartbreaking because she was so close to her dad. They still decided to go through with their wedding plans and we had a fantastic time, but we know it must have been so tough because deep down the grief was so real. Sometimes, at no fault on your part, tragedy hits and you are left standing there wondering what you are going to do now.
This past weekend was one of those times. We received an email from one of our brides who was getting married at Inspirador, which was hands down one of our favorite places to shoot weddings at. In the email, she said that Inspirador had closed down and she was now scrambling to try and figure out what the heck she was going to do now! We were reading this on Sunday morning. At first we thought there must be some sort of misunderstanding; Inspirador was the premier wedding venue in Chandler and they were ALWAYS booked! That just didn’t make any sense. So we did a little digging and came to find out that, in fact, the property was being foreclosed on. And it gets so much worse. There were 60 brides that were all of a sudden left without 1) Their wedding venue 2) ALL their planning and hard work and 3) their MONEY because they weren’t going to get any of their deposits back (Half of the 60 couples who booked there had already paid in full). We have SIX brides that were getting married there, one of which was supposed to get married there 2 weeks from tomorrow! She is out $8,000 with little to no chance of seeing any of that back. The owner and her husband were the only ones who knew that the property was about to be foreclosed on, so the 2 event planners there (who are GOOD friends of ours and we trust completely!) just kept booking brides and taking deposits and final payments like it was any other day at Inspirador. They had NO idea what was about to take place.
So what does this have to do with being a happy bride? Yesterday Emily met with our “Happy Bride” Whitney, who was the one who lost $8,000 in the Inspirador fiasco. I was SO encouraged by Emily’s recounting of her meeting; she was SO surprised at how well Whitney was reacting to this whole thing. She said she was heartbroken… but she was also calm, collected, and ready to move on and figure out what to do now. We don’t know how she is so at peace, other than that she truly is a Happy Bride. One thing we do know to be true about Whitney was that she really took the time to hire the perfect vendors (aside from Inspirador of course… but how could she have known?) who would insure her day was stress-free and easy. We cannot stress it enough, hiring amazing vendors who you build a connection with and trust completely absolutely allows you to be a HAPPY BRIDE even through the complete chaos of losing your venue. Her florist came alongside her offering help, her cake vendors, her amazing DJ, and us… we genuinely want to see her happy and having the best day of her life!
So here is our advice to you in this situation: Mourn. Be angry. Feel betrayed. You deserve to feel all of these things. When you are ready to start the planning over again, seek out the vendors you ALREADY hired first. Call or email your photographer. I cannot speak for all photographers but we and a lot of our friends who are photographers love not only the photography aspect of the day but also love helping you stick to your timeline, hearing all about your wedding details, helping plan some wedding details, and LOVE getting excited with you! Aside from a wedding planner, your photographer is (or is supposed to be) the vendor that you have the MOST connection with and are around the most before and on your wedding day. The vendor that knows the most about you and has become someone you truly love. I know most people would jump at the opportunity to help you and Emily and I are even excited about touring new venues with our clients even if it is not in our “job description”. Don’t stress too much about needing a new planner or feeling completely alone in this. Seek first the team that you have ALREADY built as your “wedding day family” to help you… and if you didn’t yet have the time to build your wedding day family of vendors, make sure you build your team with people you trust, respect, and people you know that would drop everything to help you even if it is not in their job description. This is what truly makes a HAPPY Bride. :)
P.S. If anyone reading this has not yet built a “wedding family of vendors” or has vendors that you do not feel you can fully trust, please reach out to us or anyone else who is GENUINELY offering help to you. Just because we are photographers does not mean that we wouldn’t LOVE to help to find you the new wedding venue of your dreams or connect you with other awesome vendors whom you can trust. :)