Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Videographer FAIL!

When we began discussing the different vendors that we wanted at our wedding video never came up. It just never seemed to be something that we wanted....I knew that we needed to have awesome photos (which we will have!), because those are around forever. What do we need a video for, right? Wrong!

I blame romantic comedies on this one. You always watch the movies where married couples (mostly women) will watch their wedding video when they are down and it lifts them up. I know, cheesy, but it worked on me! That made me think...."I think I need a wedding video!" So the search began.

Since we weren't really interested in one from the get go, I wasn't looking for something with all the bells and whistles. Just something that I could watch to remember the day by and the people that shared it with us. I searched around, but couldn't find anything for less than two grand, kind of more than what I was hoping for. I talked to my cousin, who was married in 2008. She told me about this company she used called WeddingCombo...they supplied her videographer and photographer.

So I started emailing back and forth with this women Oleysa, she couldn't have been nicer or more helpful. Since I was in Ohio at the time, and planning a wedding far from home, it helped that she would get back to me within minutes and answered all my questions. While I was home for break in January of 2010, we made an appointment with a women in their Clifton Park office. We watched videos of weddings that were done...but what was nice was that as soon as we walked in there was a picture of my cousin and husband on the wall. We ended up choosing a videographer (I don't remember his name) and getting a bunch of extra perks, thanks to Oleysa, like free menu on the dvd, upgraded to HD, free short video to share with family and friends, and free copies. And the price was right with us paying a little over a grand for 10 hours of service. We gave them our deposit and everything seemed like it was working out!

Now, fast forward to January 2011. Our second payment was due on the 23, so about 2 weeks prior we sent in a check. In a week I planned on calling and making sure they received our payment and that everything was on track. So about a week later I get to work and check over Facebook quick. I see this message an old friend from high school posted something to the affect of, "I was also a client of Weddingcombo and have lost $1,500, if you were my vendor for X date please contact me."

My brain started spinning and I went into overdrive. Apparently, she had posted on our CBS 6 forum and it showed on her profile. I opened the page and watched this video the news channel had posted about a local couple who were supposed to get married on Saturday and received a letter from Weddingcombo on Wednesday that they would not be able to supply their vendors for the wedding.

This is how Weddingcombo worked, they were the middle man, they would get reduced prices of services because they could offer bundle packs of videographers, photographers, and djs. You could save thousands with them by booking all 3. You never directly communicate with the vendors because Weddingcombo does it for you, and the vendors never know who you are except that they have a wedding scheduled for Amanda & Kevin on July 23, but they have no contact info for you and you no contact info for them. Yes, as I type this I realize this sounds sketchy, but they had an A+ rating with the BBB and I personally knew people that had used them.

This couple apparently booked all 3 through them and now had 3 days to find new vendors....nice right?! Well come to find out later on, Weddingcombo also sent emails to the vendors saying that the wedding was cancelled. You can google, or go on CBS 6's website and find out all the details. In the end the community pulled together and this couple had an amazing wedding.

But back to us, I watched the video and I think I was still in shock and thought it was some gag. I mean, I had talked to them constantly, they were a professional company. So I tried emailing Oleysa, and asking her what was going on. As soon as I sent the email it came right back, saying that the address no longer existed. No problem, I thought, must be a glitch! So I tried logging onto their website.....the website no longer existed. Okayyyy, let me just call their number....."the number you have dialed is no longer in service." And that's what all out panic in sued. I went back on the forum and put my contact info up for people to get ahold of me. I was honestly surprised on how many people responded, who didn't even know me, but wanted to help out all the people that were burned....seriously, I had an inbox full of emails of vendors who wanted to help for either free or reduced prices.

My friend Steve, who works for the news channel YNN got ahold of me and wanted me to do an interview. I hate being on camera.....funny since this is all about a videographer right? I did it and that had even more people contact me. Fast forward a couple of days of craziness, phone calls, and emails. I had to call the bank and cancel our second payment we had just sent. So we lost the $28 to cancel it, and our deposit of around $300....which in the long run isn't a lot or as bad as it could be.

The owner of Weddingcombo, Ian McGaughey, tried covering his butt and saying that they were trying to sell the company and it fell through....well why did you email vendors saying people's wedding were cancelled. He posted it on the website:

Do I believe any of the crap he is feeding us or news channels...no. Do I think we will ever see our money back even though I contacted him and spoke to him personally, and even though he said they are coming up with a "repayment timeline".....no. I just want to show everyone that, even if you do your homework on vendors...and everything is right, things can still go wrong.

We did have a lot of offers, and were about to take one from a very good company in the area who was offering us half price for 2 videographers, 12 hours of shooting, microphones, fancy editing....the whole nine yards. But then my head cleared, we never wanted fancy things in the first place so why do I want it now....is it just because it is a deal being dangled in my face? So I told them thanks, but no thanks.

Our friend Steve, who shot my interview....has been working with YNN for a year, and is part of a local band, and has made countless videos. He told me if I couldn't find anyone that he would do the job if we wanted. He wants to get into the wedding industry but needs someone to give him that first step. I watched some of his videos and thought...let's do this! So for $400 Steve is our videographer....he said he will spend 20 hours with us if he needs to, he can use mics, a camera from work, make as many copies as we want, even make a little trailer of the whole day. So see, things happen for a reason! If you stuck with my story here is a one of the videos Steve made for the local band Tunnel, that he is a part of...enjoy!


  1. Hey! I just found your blog from the April Weddingbee post and am following now. What a nightmare for you! I am so glad that you caught it soon enough and all is working out. We just got our wedding video teaser back and we're SO glad we decided to hire a cinematographer. I posted it on my blog if you're interested in checking it out.

  2. @Sara: I LOVE your wedding video!!! I sat at my desk and cried watching it! Congratulations!!!