Imagine. After weeks of Instagram stalking, web trolling and review reading you’ve done it – you’ve found the perfect vendor for your wedding day. With a shiny rock on your left hand and new wedding planning notebook in your bag, you walk into your initial consultation meeting and surprise! you’re greeted by the vendor of your dreams with a round pregnant belly. Panic sets in – what if your wedding and her apparent due date are too close for comfort. What do you do?
While we’re without a doubt complete wedding-fanatics here at The Celebration Society, we’re also advocates for working women and we celebrate the miracle of motherhood. So to put your concerns at ease, we reached out to two of our favorite wedding vendors for some real-life advice for brides working with expectant vendors. Francesca Cooper, owner of The Eventful Gals and new mom and Alison Neumark owner of Life and Love Studio and mom of two shared their two-sense with today’s bride in mind.
Here’s What You Need to Know About Working with a Mommy-to-Be:
Pregnancy doesn’t impact creative talent.
Photographers don’t lose their creative eye, planners don’t lose their knack for organization, florists don’t suddenly forget how to arrange centerpieces. These women are good at their jobs, don’t undermine their skills! Of course, a bigger belly can require a bit of extra creative planning in later trimesters, but leave that worrying to the pros. “For weddings during the later part of each of my pregnancies I contacted my clients to let them know that I would be showing up with a belly. I discussed with my second shooter about the possibility of he/she taking over in the unlikely event that I spontaneously went into labor or needed to sit down” says Neumark. “Fortunately, both of my pregnancies went smoothly and I was even able to take a couple of last minute portrait sessions in the last week before delivery!”
Business doesn’t halt after a positive pregnancy test result.
“Your vendor doesn’t want her pregnancy to take any attention from your wedding, so she won’t talk about it at all unless asked,” says Cooper. A vendor’s professional entity and personal identity are two different spheres of her life – allow her that separation. Your wedding vendors are all there to help you plan the day of your dreams. The newly-pregnant professional took on this job in the same mindset as a non-pregnant business woman. She views her brides as clients with needs meant to be upheld. “Your vendor isn’t overwhelmed by your wedding. She wants to be a part of the planning – it’s her job!” If she chooses to divulge information about her pregnancy, it’s appropriate to discuss the ‘Plan B.’
There is always a Plan B in the midst of a “worst case scenario.”
Weddings are planned far in advance, often long enough to see the full cycle of a pregnancy! You may have hired a vendor before she knew of her due date, but things have changed, and it’s okay. Planners have teams of trained professionals, photographers have talented fell0w-photographer friends, florists are friendly with other town flower shops – all of whom are perfectly capable of making your dreams a reality. “There is an execution plan from the moment a wedding planner finds out of her new baby to be about her events leading up to delivery and right after,” says Cooper.
If the vendor cancels on you, you’ll probably get your deposit back.
Of course every vendor contract is different and requires thoughtful consideration (more on that here), but it’s pretty standard procedure to return cash when it’s appropriate. “With my first pregnancy we just returned the money and absolved the contracts for couples wedding around our due date. Unfortunately both clients were pretty unhappy since they spent the time researching photographers and had already crossed that item off of their to do list. They had 9 months before their wedding because I let them know right away but I still felt terrible,” says Neumark. A deposit secures a vendor’s time, so if they can’t give you that, it only makes sense that they should return the funds. Read your contracts before signing and stay informed.
Don’t forget, wedding vendors are people like you and me.
There’s a trap brides are falling in today. It’s the phrase your mother has been warning you of since girlhood – the dreaded “world doesn’t revolve around you” statement (or is that just me?). It’s a punch in the gut every time. While teenage years can feel light years behind her, a bride-to-be can fall into the same selfish patterns during her engagement period. Why? Well for starters, she has a sparkling stunner on her hand (plus her dream guy beside her). There’s just something about a diamond and a real-life wedding Pinterest board that can scramble a girl’s sense of reality. It can really feel like the world stopped turning the second she said ‘yes!’ and the planning process began, but we’re here to remind her (and those involved in the planning process!) that it, in fact, didn’t. Though wedding vendors are sourced and hired for their incredible talent, but it’s important they are more than just the work they create. Wedding planners, florists, photographers, videographers (you get the point) – they’re people just like you and me.
More often than not, these professionals are passionate women who care deeply about their clients as well as their business. To a committed business owner, a bride is more than just a paycheck. Wedding business pros often give up their weeknights, weekends and holidays to cater to the needs of their brides – in short, they’re dedicated. Oftentimes, the line between work life and personal life of a wedding pro can blur for brides.
We get it. Really, we do. Planning a wedding is probably the one time in life you will be a spa-pampered and champagne-toasting center of attention – and that’s totally fabulous. But you want to know what’s not so fabulous? Treating the hired wedding professionals like they are merely servants who owe you the world. That’s the thing about fabulous vendors – they’ll give you the world, but only if you treat them with the dignity and respect with which they give you in return.
Brides, we ask that you remember that while you’re caught up in the wedding world, the actual world is still spinning. “Please realize that a baby is just as big of a milestone in someone’s life as their wedding day,” says Cooper. Let’s aim to be a community of supportive brides and weddings professionals, more simply – supportive women.