A photographer revealed in a now-viral TikTok video the reason for canceling her services the night before a wedding.
Shayla Herrington posted the video to her account @shaylamherrington where it amassed nearly two million views and support from viewers.
Herrington explained that after she did not receive an answered questionnaire that she routinely sends to couples to get information about the wedding, she told the bride the contract was void.
When A Vendor Cancels
According to an article published by WeddingWire, on the rare occasion that a vendor has to cancel their services, it may be for a number of reasons, but there are steps couples can take to remedy the situation.
If a couple is using a wedding planner, they should let them know of the cancellation to allow them to handle the issue.
Couples are also encouraged to see if the vendor has any recommendations for an alternative vendor that offers services at a similar price point and style.
The article noted that couples can reach out to their other vendors if the vendor that canceled on them did not have any recommendations.
Jesse Reing, the founder of Events by Jesse, said other vendors may have an idea of who to recommend for specific services.
Why She Canceled
In her video, Herrington said a bride requested her to work for the ceremony and reception. Although she said the bride did not have a venue lined up, she paid the non-refundable deposit and signed the contract to book Herrington’s service.
In an email sent to Newsweek, Herrington noted that the bride reached out to book her about two to three weeks before her wedding day.
“I booked her and sent her the questionnaire right after our first—and only—phone conversation,” she said in her email. “She understood I needed it within that week so I could properly do my job and know where I needed to be and what time I needed to be there.”
After a questionnaire is filled out and sent back to Herrington, they typically iron out a timeline for the wedding day.
A week had passed since she sent the questionnaire but heard nothing. Herrington reached out to the bride with a $5 gift card to Starbucks and a reminder to send a completed questionnaire to no avail.
“It had been another three or four days, and I was getting a little concerned,” Herrington said in her video. “At this point, I had no address, I had no idea where I was going.”
She said she tried calling, texting and emailing the bride but was unsuccessful in reaching her.
The night before the wedding rolled around and Herrington said she still did not know where she needed to be and at what time.
“It felt like the bride was standing me up, but she paid her deposit,” she said.
Herrington made the decision to reach out one last time to the bride to inform her that the contract was void and she couldn’t perform her services with no information.
“She responded the day of her wedding,” Herrington said. “She told me that was the most unprofessional thing she’s ever witnessed. She proceeded to write a bad review on Facebook, and I went ahead and gave her deposit back.”
In Herrington’s email, she said the bride admitted in her review that she did not respond to the texts, emails and calls because of the stress she experienced while wedding planning.
And, in addition to reaching out to the bride, Herrington said a wedding planner was meant to be in contact with her, but she did not receive any response from the planner.
She said the night before the wedding, she decided the best thing to do was to void the contract and cancel the services, but it was not an easy decision to come to.
“I waited until 8 or 9 pm at night for a response from either the planner or the bride,” Herrington said. “I actually had multiple clauses in my contract that protected me in this situation. It was clearly defined that my questionnaire needed to be completed before the wedding so I can do my best work.”
She reached out to the bride and wedding planner via email, text and a phone call when she canceled but did not receive a response.
Viewers rushed to the comments section to express their support for Herrington.
“100% on the bride,” a viewer wrote. “She had multiple opportunities to communicate with you.”
“That sounds like you did everything right, but she neglected to do her part,” another comment read.
“This is why I absolutely can’t get on board with anyone saying ‘Go leave this place a bad review,'” one commenter wrote. “I need full details and receipts first.”
A viewer wrote they might have reached out to the bride sooner to warn her that they would void the contract if they did not get the details by a certain date.
Another TikTok user wrote that they would not have given the couple their deposit back, but would have voided the contract earlier.
However, a viewer wrote that the money would not have been worth keeping when dealing with “a client like this.”
Some viewers made some suggestions on how Herrington approaches her clients and contracts in the future, one writing that she should rename the deposit a “retainer,” and she should require payment in full before the wedding.
Herrington replied to that commenter, noting that she’s made many changes since the experience.
Other Wedding Stories
Other people who work behind the scenes of weddings have shared their experiences and stories on TikTok.
A photographer posted a video showing how a bride and groom can make their wedding exit special, while a series of videos shared by wedding planners provide some insight into their experiences and some tips for couples.
Another wedding planner shared a tip for couples to consider when they want to save money on their seating chart.