5 days before the wedding!!!
Ok so we meet with this guy and I am on the fence from the moment I see him! Sometimes you just know! And I knew this would not work out, despite Mr. Milk's frequent attempts to assure me that things would be ok!
To begin with, we meet with this guy at his video store / ice cream parlor / semi convenience store! Professional huh? Then he goes on to tell us that during the day he works for the power company and spends saturdays doing video. Since we are meeting at his multi-functional store, you can imagine that he is getting up every 10mins or so to help a customer. It is in those times that Mr. Milk is trying to put me at ease with what we are getting ourselves into.
My first real strike was when he wanted to place a 2000watt flood light in our tiny, pretty church, staring at us! In Cyprus! With 95 degree weather! All I could picture was me in my heavy wedding dress melting away! So then he says he can reduce this to half, but can't do it without lights. That's still ridiculously hot in my book!
Then there was an issue with the time we were going to start. To cut a long story short, he wanted us to start 2 hours later than what our schedule was, and when we said that this couldn't happen, he said we would have to talk to the photographer he is contracted through to re-discuss the price. Keep in mind that we had already been upfront with both of them about the time we needed to start (because the distances between Mr. Milk's house, my house, and the venue is significant). So at this point we pause, saying that we'll need to talk to the photog in the morning, and go on to discuss what Mr. Milk and I want.
Strike three came when we were discussing our first dance. We have been to a couple of weddings recently, where the videographer was literally circling the couple with his camera as they were doing their first dance. So in essence it was the newlywed couple and the camera dude sharing this special moment! No thank you. So we go on to tell him that we don't want him on the dance floor during our first dance. He appears a little shocked but willing to comply and says he'll just focus in using the camera zoom, although this will not be equal to the effect he would get if he were closer... Oooookkkaaayyyyy. At some point later in the conversation, he comes back to this topic on his own and states that, since we want the first dance to be "private" he'll even turn off his halogen lamps. Halogen lamps??? What do you mean??? He was planning of placing those things on either side of our dance floor! So much for ambient lighting!
Well at this point he was out. Needless to say that this 20min meeting turned into an hour affair because he kept getting up to help customers. We left it saying that we would talk to the photog in the morning to figure out the time thing.
As soon as we got in the car, Mr. Milk started frantically calling a guy he had just met the previous week who have done a video thing for his work. He has never done a wedding before but Mr. Milk had liked his work, and since we weren't all that invested in having video at the wedding, we were more than willing to give him a shot. So after a few calls back and forth, everyone was in agreement AND we got a better price than what we would have been paying!
Needless to say, the next day when we called the photographer about the time situation he asked for more money. We basically said thanks but no thanks and were out of there. He didn't appear too fussed to have lost a client (i.e. he did not try to negotiate or talk it out) and we weren't bothered either because he had not asked for a downpayment!
So now we are working with two young guys who get us and what we want from our wedding day. They may be inexperienced but at least they won't make our ballroom look like an operating room and won't hold a vigil around us when we are dancing our first dance!