The Pros Wedding Services Not Reliable

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I spent a fun weekend fishing, seeing my parents, and, oh yeah, attended a beautiful wedding. Two of my college friends became one and I can safely say that everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and that it was a great time. The ceremony was beautiful, the reception was a lot of fun, and the cake was delicious. (Actually everything was delicious, I think I gained ten pounds between all the alcohol and the food) The only blemish on the night, not for me personally, was the absence of the videographer, from “The Pros,” who didn’t show up at all. At all.

This led me to wonder… does a large company, with a presence in multiple states, really necessarily mean reliability or good service? In most cases you would say yes because there has to be a reason why they grew to the size they are and that reason has to be a high level of service and reliability such that they get a lot of business. “However, value in product is only true value when it is supported by consistent, excellent service.” states their website but they weren’t consistent and who knows about their service since they never showed up.

In this particular case, no, and in fact I would venture to guess in a scenario such as this one (only one chance at it, you can’t be late or flaky or anything… it’s a wedding!) the best bet would be to go with a small one or two person operation (who does it out of enjoyment or is trying to make a name for themselves) that come with good references. Would I have guessed this before this weekend? Never.

Sadly, the couple were warned that The Pros were not 100% reliable, a product of having such a large operation, but very few videographers will give you 8 hours of raw footage (most cut and splice it down to a 30 minute product) so they reserved them anyway. The Pros can afford to miss a few weddings because they conduct so much business. They can afford to miss a few? Ridiculous! Now, do I know the full story? No I don’t, but I do know there was no videographer at the ceremony and that a very capable DJ, who did happen to have a camera, did catch the reception so all was not lost.

The Pros are not reliable, based only on this one situation, and I recommend that you not take the risk of their services. Dennis J. Tessler, Brian M. Tessler, and C. Keith Tessler should be ashamed of themselves that they permitted this to happen.

This is a courteous response sent recently (November 06, 2007) by President and CEO Dennis Tessler:

For several years now when people “Google” The Pros Weddings within the first page is an extremely uncomplimentary article about our company written by a guests at a wedding at which, according to this guest, The Pros videographer was late and missed the ceremony. Since we have no idea what wedding this relates to, the circumstances, or what restitution was made to the client, it is impossible for me to comment on this specific incident. However, after all these years of having to see this article I decided there is a need to respond.

Accepting the letter at face value, it appears, for whatever reason, the videographer was late. If so, I am confident we did everything reasonable and more to make restitution with the bride. I can speak with confidence that everything is done to ensure such instances are extremely rare.

The Pros is a family owned business. I am the owner and my two sons, Keith and Brian, are working hard to build this business for their family’s future. We, along with a dedicated staff, all work extremely hard, to provide the finest in wedding services. Last year we provided service to 8,000 weddings and in total did 13,000 services. We did not build this business by disappointing brides. In fact, we are the most referred provider of disc jockey, video and photography in the nation. With those referrals comes a trust we take very seriously.

Recently, we were given “The Knots Best of Weddings” award as rated by The Knot brides.

We do everything possible to create reliability and are extremely successful in this pursuit. We spend significant dollars in order to have emergency back up in every area at all times. Should a last minute issue prevent a professional from performing their duties, an 800 line is provided which goes directly to a qualified individual, armed with the information necessary to dispatch a backup on a moment’s notice. Because we have a highly professional, stable workforce of individuals
who have been part of The Pros, most of them for a very long time, our emergency line is not as active as one would think. I am constantly amazed that the quantity of work we do and the very few problems we have. It is a credit to those individuals with whom we have been able to surround ourselves.

The article you present “The Pros Wedding Services Not Reliable” written by a guest at a wedding who provides little detail, perhaps because of a lack of information, about what actually happened at a wedding no one can identify, is highly inaccurate and extremely misleading. It undermines the reputation of not only our family business but the 500 people who work so very hard to create an the organization of which we are so proud.

The article has been up for a very long time. I ask you to use your good judgment as to whether it indefinitely serves the consumer community. Perhaps the time has come to take it down. Your
consideration of this matter is greatly appreciated.

Dennis J. Tessler
President and Chief Executive Officer

{ 87 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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87 Responses to “The Pros Wedding Services Not Reliable”

  1. Jessica Lark says:

    It’s disappointing that so many have had terrible experiences with the people most essential to your day. Your wedding album is your new family’s first heirloom, and to create it is such an honor.

    Some tips: When picking out your wedding photographer/videographer dont just look at their best of reel, look at a full wedding album start to finish, anyone can get lucky with one or 2 shots, you want to make sure that they will capture your entire day, no just a few nice shots. If you are interested in a studio that employs multiple people make sure you are seeing work from your specific photographer. Check to make sure that you are with a reputable photographer, you can look them up on {professional photographers of america} which is essentially a guild for photographers, the organization also provides indemnification insurance so if you are unhappy you can rest assured that you can seek retribution. Book an engagement session to get comfortable in front of the camera, and with your photographer, if you dont have a good rapport or feel comfortable with your photographer it will show in the photos.

    If you are going to splurge anywhere, make it your photos, at the end of the day the dress goes in a closet, or the attic, the flowers are wilted, the left over food gets tossed, and the photos last forever.

    I recently scanned all my grandmother’s photos and set them to one of our company’s Cinematic Presentations as a birthday gift, she was watching these images from 2yrs-80yrs old and an image of her in her wedding dress came up {my favorite photograph} and my 4 year old daughter looked at her great grandmother and said “GGma! you were a princess!” …My grandmother started crying… That is what I am doing for people as a wedding photographer, that is what every bride deserves, not only impeccable service on the day, and fantastic photos, but someone that cares as much about what the images mean to you now, as what they will mean in 50 years, not only to you but to future generations! It breaks my heart that people thrive in this industry when they lack that kind of passion and conviction, or general respect for your day, it is always an honor to even be considered as a possibility to share such a special occasion. Shame on anyone that treats it like a casual business transaction, it is a sacred responsibility.

  2. CDW says:

    I had my wedding ceremony on 6/26 and 3 days later my photos were available on the Pros website, I was thinking wow,that is really fast I was expecting 2 weeks. Well I can see why! The photos are horrible, nothing special, not even cropped right, half of them are uploaded sideways, they didn’t even take the time to rotate them for me to look at.I should have expected it.. the photographer did not seem to have a plan or agenda or shots he wanted to take…. Most of all he just didnt care, he put no extra effort into the photos. You would think a professional photographer would know good angles, when to reshoot, what was important and not too important. Ex: I suggested we do a veil over both my husband and my faces shot and he didnt even make sure the veil was not all bunched up in the way, so you cant even see us under the veil because it wasn’t straight….OMG, really? I have a message into The Pros and I can tell you that I better get this taken care of. I even questioned their experience based on the horrible reviews and the manager I spoke to had promised me they had really turned things around and the photographer was really good and he knew him personally, blah, blah….my 10 year old took better pictures. I am so dissapointed, look into other photographers….it will be worth it, nothing will bring back that day and what could have been captured.

    On another note our DJ was awesome ….Thank you Sheldon!

    • CDW says:

      OK, so I will say that the Pros handle my complaint very professionally. They did leave me with the impression that quality is very important, the regional manager I worked with was very understanding. So just look into the photographer they assign you and make sure you talk to your photographer Do I recommend the Pros…yes,just really do your homework on the professional they assign you. Their DJ was GREAT! He had a microphone for toast he knew what got everyone in the dancing mood and had lighting perfect…thank you again Sheldon!

  3. Momof3 says:

    As as ex-employee of The Pros who worked in a sales capacity a few years ago, I can tell you that The Pros are a middle man. I have never known them to get a professional off of Craigslist, but I will tell you that their wine and cheese showcases, are a joke. The photographers and videographers that show up to these showcases, in 70 percent of the time, will not be your professional for your wedding day. Some of the more experienced DJ’s, will not take your wedding that evening, when you ask them to because they want to take only the most expensive packages that are booked. The more expensive of a package, the more money they make. Too many times, I was left to apologize to the bride, concerning the SWITCH in their selected photographer or videographer. Remember, you only get whatyou pay for. The Pros are like the Dollar Stores of the wedding industry.

  4. jan says:

    i used to work for a wedding album production company
    and as a freelancing photographer, i thought that i’d have a lot to learn and be inspired by all the photos i had to look over each day, but to my surprise, most of them sucked.
    THE PROS was one of them and their pictures were definitely NOT professional. give a 10 year old kid a point and shoot, and he/she’ll do a better job in capturing some memories for you.

  5. hamelsisback says:

    I started my career w the pros many yrs ago and now run my own biz. The majority of the info here is downright unhelpful. Here’s my take:

    You can get a really top notch dj for less than what the pros charge. Don’t hire any dj without a face to face meeting. References might help. Past event vids might help too, and there are none on the pros website. You can avoid being switched from 1 dj to another by the pros simply by going to the wine and cheese and selecting 3 acceptable performers. I recently talked to the pros again about working for them and know they won’t use a DJ that doesn’t have good availability…so the guys they have do volume for them. I’m guessing if they get complaints about performers they fire them. I’m not sure hiring a smaller company assures a better outcome. I have subcontracted with much smaller dj companies and they have a similar approach but on a smaller scale. Even I have a similar approach in that I have a good reputation and good people skills and overbook then handle down the road. When i outsource my client has no clue but i know the person being sent is cool bc i know their work. I never get complaints, despite the fact that the difference in quality between me and anyone else I send is profound. I won’t do this on an event that requires significant attention to detail, bc I know that even the best performers don’t have the patience and cust serv skills I have. I also know that all the “small guys” I compete with do the same thing. They outsource too so it’s naive to think this can be avoided.

    If the pros have the same emergency backup as when i worked for them yrs ago, it’s really good. I had many situation with them with equipment problems and they got to the event quick and fixed it or swapped equipment. This aspect I thought was top notch, not sure if quality level is the same.

    As far as photo and vid i have a lot of experience bc I’ve done so many events and actually worked for Lindelle studios(presumably out of biz bc the owner died) in sales for a while. I believe getting quality in this category is way different and requires spending a lot of money. Anyone I know that does good work charges many many many thousands for either service. If you aren’t loaded, don’t bother hiring. Let your guests do the job and/or use a family member to help. Anything under $3k for either service puts you at risk. Typically these expensive vendors will be on the smaller side, so be very aggressive about finding out how backup works.

  6. Heather says:

    I am so glad I read all this before committing to work for them! Thank GOD for Google and you guys!

  7. Trac says:

    Man!!!!! I have an upcoming interview scheduled with them… I’m not sure if I want to go. I surely don’t want people to think of me this way.

  8. Alie says:

    I was just about to book them until I decided to read the reviews and am now VERY happy I did read them! This is not the first reviews on the Pros that I have read, I have read several and the only place that has good reviews for them is The Knot. Thanks guy for all your comments!!

  9. greg Kaye says:

    Sorry my review is not as favorable as most of the others.
    I found the thought of not being able to even speak with my photographer unit 2 weeks before the wedding date a little scary. I wish I was able to meet him in person so I have could have judged his professionalism earlier.
    Out of 415 photos only about 60 were what I would consider album quality.
    A lot of my guests made comments about his appearance and creditability.
    He lacked any kind of creativity and I feel we had to lead him to take good photos.
    Am sorry to say amateur at best.
    I will not name the Photographer but be careful who you choose

  10. Shantel says:

    I was very diappointed with the wedding PROS service. I only booked them because I went to a Bridal Expo at the Marriot Hotel and they had a great prsentation set up. They was very professional, reasonable rates and seemed very organnized. The day of my wedding, the videogapher that I picked was not the one they sent. They didn’t even notify me of the change. I thought every thing went great until I received my wedding video. There was 10 minutes of coverage with just the back of our heads, our cocktail hour was not even in the video,and he didn’t even walk around and let the guest give their wedding wishes. I called them several times and left them voice messages but one ever got back to me. With services like that, I do not reccommed them to anyone. I should of just used Pinillo Photo studio for everything but hey that’s what happens when you try a new vendor

  11. minmin says:

    I am so so glad I found this page. Thank you for all the information and I am sorry for those people who had have them without knowing their poor service.
    Now, I do not hesitate to hire a videographer who charges me $1500 to $2000. It must worth it.

  12. Tim says:

    Brian/Ted/Anthony – If you wish for people to take you seriously, please act like an adult. It’s obvious that you are a ThePros employee and no one here believes a word you’re saying anyway. Accusing one of the complaintants here of theft? Really? lol

    My buddy’s experience with ThePros was just as nightmarish as everyone else’s. They pulled a bait-and-switch not only for the photographer, but for the DJ as well.
    The photographer admitted to one of the guests that this was her first wedding job and that she was nervous. The DJ was okay, but just okay. He played music and announced names, but did not do much else to keep the party going.
    I saw the final wedding photographs, which were horrid. There is no difference between those photographs, and the others taken by the guests from their chairs with their little point and shoot cameras.

    Avoid these Bozos like the plague and spend your money hiring local, quality professionals who can show you their work and who are willing to stand behind their work because their own reputation depends upon it. Craigslist Independent Contractors don’t care because there are no consequences as long as they show up and snap pictures of at least something before leaving.

  13. DJH14 says:

    Im glad that I came accross this page. I was a little skeptical when I saw their website so I decided to do my research (just like any bride should!) It seemed way too cheap! And I guess their prices reflect their services. I definitely will NOT be booking The Pros for my wedding services!

  14. Anonymous says:

    The pros do not pay any of there employees well. So when they do a wedding they don’t care. The owner and his sons do not care about the people who work for them. All they care about is how much money they can make. DO NOT USE THE PROS FOR YOUR WEDDING. TERRIBLE COMPANY.

  15. Jackie V. says:

    I made the mistake of contracting The Pros for 2 services before having fully vetted other vendors. I selected the company because they were rated highly on the which, before my horrible experience with ThePros, was my wedding planning bible. My first bad experience started with the photographer that we chose for our engagement photos. He cut what was supposed to be a 2 hour session to 1 hour, claiming that he had such excellent photos already and he was certain that we would be happy with the shots he had. That was a lie! My (now) husband was squinting in more than half of the photos and they just looked unprofessional overall. We went complaining to one of the owners and he tried to appease us by showing us a different pool of photographers. When I asked why these choices weren’t available to us in the beginning, he evaded the question. I guess they save the best photographers for their VIP. (SUCH BS!) In keeping with the old saying “once bitten, twice shy” my husband and I decided not to select another photographer from their company but they refused to refund us any money and wouldn’t let us cancel the contract that we had for the video service. I was nervous up until the day of our wedding when we met GiGi , the videographer. She was great. We were reassured that she had a wealth of experience and were comfortable with the sampling of work that we’d seen. Gigi was great, however, the independent contractors they hire have no involvement with the processing and handling of the footage once it’s done. Here we are 6 months after my wedding and I still don’t have my video. They have been unresponsive and I’ve had to drag the videographer back in to the mix to help me get an answer. I would not recommend this company to my worst enemy!!

  16. Cindy says:

    Anybody who would book this company, or one like this, is an idiot. Those idiots is how this company is staying in business. If you want good service, and good quality, then don’t use a company like this, period. Why in the world would you hire a DJ or photographer without meeting them, and without their name on your contract? Then you are surprised when they won’t refund your deposit because they changed your DJ at the last minute?? Give me a break.

  17. Cindy says:

    to Jackie (above).. not sure where you saw them highly rated on The Knot, but if you had asked around on there, you would’ve heard plenty of horror stories about them.
    My rule is, if I hear more than 1 bad story about a vendor, I don’t use them.

  18. B says:

    Wow..I really am just shocked! I am currently employed by this company (kind of) and I am so glad I found this site. I had received a phone call from Hugh Riley who is the CEO (I think nobody will really tell me who he is)that he wanted me to interview after I sent in my application. On the application it was stated that payment was 800 dollars for 8 hours of work. I thought great! that’s what I charge as a private photographer but now I do not have to do the task of bookings. WRONG! I get another call from the DM of my area and he doesn’t tell me anything but that he’ll look at my photographs and let me know when to interview.
    I get an email stating that I’m hired…wait what? no interview…just hired like that. I know if I was a bride I would be a bit horrified to know that bit of information. I have been trying to get in touch with this guy for a week now to ask him about this contract they have. Apparently you only get 300 dollars for eight hours of work. Excuse me, I bust my tail all day long and don’t even get half of the money charged….and if the client doesn’t like the crappy editing done by ThePros then they only take MY portion of the money!
    There is no training period they just send the new photographers out there to take charge of your day. They will not pay gas and millage so that has to be done at tax time and the editing is done by someone you will never meet and the photographer will never know. They send you raw photographs out. I know that some photographers are comfortable with that but I am not. I want my clients dazzled when they see those shots. When asked about editing my own I was told no they handle all of that.
    After further investigation, I will not subject myself to this type of company. Treat employees well and they will do right by your clients. Do right by your clients and they will keep you afloat.
    I am in independent photographer, a Masters Degree in Business Administration and Customer relation and Marketing, a Bachelors in Photography along with an Associates from the New York Institute of Photography. I’ll take my chances with the masses and treat my clients fairly and with respect.

  19. Ron says:

    Could never get the web page to work correctly to buy photos and finally thought I would call. No one ever answered. Gave up on buying any photos

  20. Harley says:

    I am a professional freelance photographer who specializes in weddings. I was on a recent flight to shoot a destination wedding in Cancun and met a couple going on their honeymoon. I asked them how their wedding went and they said (un-prompted, mind you) “everything was great except for the photographer.” My next logical question was whom they chose and they replied “Some guy from”

    They said that everything seemed fine until they started taking their family and formal shots after the sun went down and this photog suddenly lost confidence in what he was doing. They said he didn’t seem to know how to use his flash and made a comment like “I THINK these will come out ok….” That is NOT a statement that inspires confidence in your clients, is it? They told me that caused them to worry about all the rest of the images that he had been taking as they hadn’t had a chance to see anything yet.

    I asked why they chose them in the first place and they said “because they were cheap.” It sounds like they may have gotten what they paid for. Can you imagine spending your honeymoon wondering if your photographer failed? If, in fact, he did a hack job, can you imagine wanting to look at those crappy images the rest of your life?

    I find it ironic when I see couples spend many thousands on parts of their wedding that last less than one day, then want to skimp on the ONE part that they have to look at for a lifetime.

    It leads me to believe that, in my humble opinion, these mutli-state companies like ThePros and Bella Pictures mass-market, bring in clients, then farm out the work to cheap, mediocre local shooters. In many cases the couple meets the photographer for the first time AT THE WEDDING! I’m sure they’ll say that they screen carefully but think about what they might pay that photog out of a package that only costs 1200.00……maybe 300.00! Not many true professionals would work for such a low amount.

    Fortunately I meet a lot of brides that are very smart and aware that there is a huge difference between the hobby photographer willing to shoot a wedding for 1000.00 and the full-time professional who charges 3, 4, 5 times more for their services.

    The cost of entry to become a “professional photographer” has come down to the point the it seems ANYONE can call themselves a professional just because they own a decent camera. They market themselves as “natural light photographers” because it sounds sexy but in many cases that is just a statement to cover up that they don’t know how to use light. You know, a lot of wedding receptions continue after dark!

    Owning a nice camera doesn’t make anyone a photographer any more than owning a nice skillet makes someone a chef.

    I’m NOT claiming I know everything, by the way, just that people “don’t know what they don’t know” when it comes to really being a professional photographer. I learn something new from every wedding and every session; learning never stops.

  21. EasyChoice says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Reviews are needed and neccesary! I was torn, but I simply can’t take a chance on my WEDDING memories. Now I know why the rep you HOUNDS me via phone and e-mail pounded particular info into my head….things that contradict experiences listed here…most likely knowing I would EASILY find them! In regards to the accusations that the owners are posting some of these comments, I truly hope not. A business who would participate in something so un-dignified and un-ethical will see the consequences catch up to them! Thanks again all!

  22. New Bride says:

    How can a company like The Pros Entertainment services do business WITHOUT a true customer service department. First I call to complain about my pictures and get Customer service, all they are is a message taking service that probably gets paid minimum wage. They tell me that a manager named Bill Mazarra will call me which he did not. Second I call to complain to that manager Bill who is rude and knows totally nothing and all he can offer me is a gift certificate because that is company policy and his bosses tell him that. Then I ask for his Boss Mr Hugh Riley who is another arrogant employee that thinks he knows everything and wants to educate me on what he knows. Frankly I think a company that is large as this should have some kind of real customer service like most MAJOR companies do. Not to be passed on Three times to someone that will not listen to what I have to say. SHAME on all of you.

  23. Person says:

    I used The Pros for my wedding and loved them.
    They gave me a lot of ways to voice my opinion.
    After reading the comments I’m curious why the other couples didn’t voice their selections.

    I’m not trying to be mean, but I think it’s kind of funny for ex-employees to even comment. If I was fired from a place I don’t think I would be too happy. It all seems kind of one sided.

    Brides be smart. Read reviews off a 3rd party site without an agenda. Reading reviews of an Anti Pros website is just as hazardous as reading reviews an a Pro Pros website. Obviously you are going to find nothing, but negativity in a negative situation.

    The Pros is one of the many companies that I looked at for my wedding. When you look around just be sure you KNOW what you want. I was beyond happy with my pictures, but it appears a lot of you were not.

    When researching any company 3rd party reviews are always best. This dude obviously doesn’t like the company.

  24. Anderson says:

    Only a matter of time..

  25. Truthteller says:

    Just the facts….

    The Pros broker services to independent contractors.
    The BEST of the IC’s use the broker to fill empty dates or supplement their booking calendar. Therefore, the IC who has done the most jobs is NOT necessarily the best, as the best don’t have enough open dates to do a lot of wholesale work.
    The BEST IC’s perform their best show (DJ), and shoot their best shots, because they have a professional standard in their own business that thy are unable to turn off and on like a light. They do not, however, offer all of the same services or options as in their retail business. They offer basic wholesale service, designed to be more than satisfactory for the money the client spent.
    You can hire all of the BEST directly, if you do your homework. Google providers in your area. Talk to friends etc., and get recommendations.

    The pros has many consumate professionals who they contract to do weddings. For the basics, given a good choice in contractor and a tight budget, a national company like this will do just fine….. At the same time, you can get more tailored, and inclusive services when you shop with smaller companies in your geographical area. Will they be as inexpensive? Probably not, but you will get more. After all, it IS your wedding day…..
    Consider this when seeking these services…. I spent $3,000 on the gown, 2,000 on the hall, 1,500 on the limo, 800 on tuxedos, 400 on the cake, 1,000 on maids dresses, 3,000 on the caterer, 500 on flowers, 300 on invitations, 400 on decorations, but I want PROFESSIONAL DJ, emcee, great sound, song selection, Photog, Videographer, photoshop prints, and chaptered/edited cd (about 80 hours labor minimum) plus equipment maintenance, plus travel costs, plus consultation with my professionals, a product involving the work of a
    minimum of 4 people for $1495. Seek value, but don’t be cheap when it comes to these critical services.

    This is one of the most impor

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