First cancellation due to wedding being called off at DVinfo.net

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Old June 10th, 2009, 12:33 PM   #1
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First cancellation due to wedding being called off

I have my first wedding gig being canceled due to the wedding itself being called off. Ouch!

I've been writing drafts of my response email all day and I can't think of a good first line. I mean, obviously something happened and the mother of the bride isn't too interested in saying what.

I have no problem with the "business" end of the letter, but the opening part is what is giving me problems.

Anyone have opening phrases they have used in the past that convey heartfelt concern but don't sound like you are trying to be a close relative (because obviously I'm not . . . I'm just the hired help).
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Old June 10th, 2009, 01:00 PM   #2
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Hey Jason, I dug this up. Hope it will lead you in the right direction.

Cancellation Agreement? - Photo.net Wedding and social event photography Forum
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Old June 10th, 2009, 01:11 PM   #3
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Hey Jason, I dug this up. Hope it will lead you in the right direction.

Cancellation Agreement? - Photo.net Wedding and social event photography Forum
My contract has all the terms for cancellation, so I don't really have any questiosn about the business aspects of it. I'm more fishing for words or phrases to use for the opening line. I want to say something like "Ohhh crap! Sorry to hear that" with out actually saying . .. . that. You know what i mean?

As a side note, it really hurts when 15% of my yearly income just disappears.
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Old June 10th, 2009, 01:11 PM   #4
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Maybe I'm heartless, but I'd just write something like, "Sorry to hear about the cancellation. Thank you for letting me know."

I don't think you need to find the right words to express your heartfelt concern, and as the "hired help" I don't think anyone expects to hear any. You don't know the circumstances. Maybe the mother is thrilled to death that the wedding is canceled.
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Old June 10th, 2009, 01:14 PM   #5
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As a side note, it really hurts when 15% of my yearly income just disappears.
You only shoot 7 weddings a year and have no other income? Or did you manage to negotiate a HUGE fee for this wedding?
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Old June 10th, 2009, 01:21 PM   #6
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You only shoot 7 weddings a year and have no other income?
Yeah. This year has been horrible. I booked as many as last year (considering that I was part time, I am glad I got this many) but I spent 1/3 of this years income on advertising in what I thought was a reasonable expectation that I would get 12 weddings this year. Considering that others in our market have said their bookings are down by 1/2, I guess I'm lucky to get the 6 (now 5) that I did get.

I do have other income (from my website hosting & IT service business, also self employed) but all my income is from self employed activities.

And no, I don't have huge fees. I'm one of the cheaper ones in the state though not the cheapest. My web sites has all the prices listed.
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Old June 10th, 2009, 01:38 PM   #7
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Ouch that sucks. So perhaps the mother of the bride should be sending her heartfelt condolences to you! :)

I'm glad we're very diversified here. This has actually been our busiest year for video, but then we've only been in business 3.5 years...
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Old June 10th, 2009, 03:04 PM   #8
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Sorry to hear that, Jason. It definitely has been a down year here, as I'm one of those at about half of what I was hoping to book. It hurts.

The good news is that at least you were informed. I've had a few cases where the B&G just fell off the face of the planet, and I can only assume that things got called off .. but it's really annoying not to know for sure.

As for your question, I would just start off like this ...

"I'm really sorry to hear that the wedding has been canceled. I was really looking forward to being a part of the big day. Just so you know ..."

And then go into the legal/business stuff. Since they haven't given you any details, just be polite and brief in your opening.


By the way, I just got a call for July 11th and I'm booked so I sent her your way. Hopefully it works out. She thought that $1,100 was expensive (quote she got from someone else), so I tried to educate her a bit before I let her off the phone. Good luck.
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Old June 10th, 2009, 03:47 PM   #9
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As for your question, I would just start off like this ...
Yeah that is kind of where I was heading, but I didn't know if I would sound too trite wording it that way. Thanks for the tip.

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By the way, I just got a call for July 11th
Thanks! I just talked to her. She was pretty new to the whole "modern wedding video" vs "single locked down camera at the back of the aisle" thing so who knows if she will go for a real wedding video or go with one of the other outfits in town.

But the location sure would be sweet & interesting to film. A mountain meadow 20 miles up a dirt road from Ketchum! Might be a logistical nightmare if prep happens back in town, but sure would make for some amazing vistas (I might be able to get a sunset shot I've always wanted to try).
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Old June 12th, 2009, 04:20 AM   #10
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I should follow up that I was a bit distraught at loosing 15% of my (already meager) video biz income for the year as a result of this cancellation. But good things come to those who wait on God.....

If you are uncomfortable about Christianity, than feel free to skip the rest of this post.....








When low and behold . . . God sent me a replacement client via a source that has NEVER EVER yielded a legit client in the 2 years I have been on it. The source was one of those pay per lead services. Honestly I think they are a rip off, and this one lead cost me $20 because they only take my money in increments of $20, despite the lead only technically costing me $1.

I emailed that night (morning) and called after 5pm Thurs. After talking to me for 1/2 hour or so, visiting my web site, and looking at my demos, the client decided to book me AND decided to go with a Wedding Day Highlight (my first that will actually be for-pay and not as a free-be thrown in for the portfolio). And I am the first videography company this client has contacted.

Turns out the bride's extended family is gifting her the videography service since she was going to skip it but they insisted she get it. So I need to track down who ever these extended family members are and give them a big handshake and buy them a drink!

Now another fun fact is that the lead came into my inbox at 7:3pm Wed while I was out at my mid-week bible study meeting, where at the meeting I mentioned my need for a replacement client to help make up the income. So when I got back from the meeting, there was this lead waiting for me!

Just in case you wonder if God takes and gives .... He does, but there might be a few days of sweating, waiting, and worry (though there shouldn't be I suppose) in between. Of course I've had no-bookings before and there wasn't anything to replace it then, but this time seems like God wanted to show a little love to my biz and help build a bit of patience on my part.
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Old June 12th, 2009, 06:52 AM   #11
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Jason that's great that you were able to get another booking for this season! I know what it's like to lose out on expected income on an already tight budget so I know exactly the type of feelings you were having.

Good for you for being faithful.
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Old June 12th, 2009, 12:12 PM   #12
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Congrats, Jason. I can't tell you how many times I've had this type of situation happen my business. Thanks for sharing.
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Old June 12th, 2009, 12:27 PM   #13
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I've been there in your situation as well Jason, losing a client and seeing the date get filled after losing all hope for that date. Your statement definitely speaks truth. Take Care

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Old June 12th, 2009, 01:34 PM   #14
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Maybe I'm heartless, but I'd just write something like, "Sorry to hear about the cancellation. Thank you for letting me know."

I don't think you need to find the right words to express your heartfelt concern, and as the "hired help" I don't think anyone expects to hear any. You don't know the circumstances. Maybe the mother is thrilled to death that the wedding is canceled.
I agree with you Chris, keep it very short and simple. I think it's a bit inappropriate getting into personal matters in a business transaction email. A voice conversation can be more personal.

Keep in mind that perhaps they just eloped and had a civil ceremony. You cant be 100% sure that something awfull happened.
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Old June 13th, 2009, 07:20 PM   #15
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You could mention that maybe it's all for the best, considering the divorce rate in the country. J/K
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