I’ve been drawn into an online drama that’s been ongoing between local formal wear provider, Anthony, owner of Tuxego in Latham, NY and the Albany Times Union. I guess if there’s going to be a controversy, I’m going to be involved somehow.
It all started with a comment that Anthony made with regards to how a groom looked at a wedding; his comment clearly took issue with getting advice from the photographer on formal wear. I don’t know if this really happened or not, and I don’t care.
Anthony has since been in contact with the bride and groom and has made amends with them regarding his comment. I do not disagree that the comment was inappropriate for the forum.
This all spiraled into a discussion on On The Edge, where the topic really focused around whether a photographer (or other wedding vendor) is qualified to give advice on formal wear. Another Times Union blogger decided to offer his own take on why he’s going with tuxes for his wedding.
I’m a firm believer in “do whatever you want to do.” You want the groom in a suit, put him in a suit; you want him in a tux, put him in a tux; you want him in a tuxedo t-shirt, buy him the damn tuxedo t-shirt.
Tip toeing back to Anthony’s original comment (because I know I’m on thin ice), I don’t think it’s wrong for a person who takes pride in providing formal wear for weddings to have an opinion about someone in a different line of work drawing business away from them (I still agree that the original comment was not appropriate for the given forum.).
I’m going to spin the story a different way. Let’s say you’re a bride and groom. You visit a cake shop and see all of the master creations the baker can make for your wedding. 5 tiers; fondant; edible pearls. Then you talk to the photographer, and they tell you, “cake is good, but pie really looks better in pictures; I’ve done a lot of weddings, and you gotta listen to me.” So you arrange to have a delicious pie at your wedding. The guests love it or don’t care. It is a pie, so it’s gonna look a certain way no matter how you cut it. Then a cake baker flips through the pictures, gets to a pie, and the jaw drops in laughter. Then the cake baker comes to find that the advice to go with pie came from the photographer.
If I’m the cake baker, privately, I’m going to rhetorically ask myself, “what f*ckin business does a photographer have recommending pie?” Especially since that reflects in my bottom line; I just lost a potential sale.
A similar analogy can be made for the food. What if the DJ tells you that McDonald’s food is good enough for the banquet? Don’t you think a chef who takes pride in doing banquets isn’t going to take offense to that?
So, at the end of the day, I really don’t know who was telling who what and why that particular bride and groom decided to do the suits instead of tuxes or the fictional pie instead of cake. There’s clearly much more to the story that we will never know about. Of course, none of it is important because the bride and groom are happy with the choice they made.
On the various forums, mostly facebook, Anthony has called me his advocate. In a sense it is true; as usually happens in Times Union blog comments, I saw things turn personal for Anthony, and, understanding his intentions but disagreeing with his tact, I wanted it all to stop. The farthest I will advocate for the situation is the above analogy. I cannot defend his choice to leave that original comment, even though I understand where he was coming from.
Now the real advocating: I worked with Anthony back in 2007 for my first wedding. He treated me and my family professionally and candidly and to this day remains a close family friend (and potentially may really be family through blood). He is one of the only area formal wear shops that has weathered the poor economy, and remains one of the only places in town (and he’s seen them all come and go). He clearly does the right thing for his customers, and wants to continue to do so. The guy made a mistake and has atoned for it.
Let’s all move on.