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Inappropriate Groomsmen Behavior

October 11, 2013 - Photography

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Dear Jasmine,
After an extraordinarily long wedding day with a bride who proved to be a very poor match for me, I was ready to take a breather by the time the reception started. The bridal party was a little rough around the edges, and about 15 minutes before my coverage time ended, one of the groomsmen grabbed my butt – and not just in a casual way, it was a full on hand-grab. I told him to never touch me again and by this time, the bride came over and asked what was going on. I told her what happened and that it was unacceptable behavior and I shouldn't have to take it. She told the groomsman, “Well, if you were gonna grab her a**, you should've asked first.” I was stunned.
I am so disgusted with the entire situation and the bride's reaction to it. On one hand, I didn't want to cause a scene. On the other, that sort of thing is not okay and I didn't want the groomsman to think it was. What should my response be to something like that?
Sincerely,
No More Groomsman Grabs

Dear No More Groomsman Grabs,
I'm so sorry this happened to you. I can completely understand your frustration and feeling violated at a workplace. Due to the nature of what we do as photographers, we don't have traditional recourse through Human Resources, so where does that leave us?
I need to clarify, first, that I've never been hit on at a wedding. No one has made a pass at me, but I can understand where you're coming from. Either way, my response is coming from a perspective as a woman. This will keep us on the same page far beyond our profession.
If this were to happen to me, I would tell the groomsmen that what happened was inappropriate and I disapprove of his action. If the bride was aware of the situation, I would ask that the groomsmen was kept far away from me for the remainder of the day. I would also tell the client that if it were to happen again, one of two things would happen: 1. He would leave the wedding; or 2. I would leave the wedding.
Under no circumstances would I continue to put myself in a compromising situation. It's important to outline the terms of your remainder services (the groomsmen must be kept at bay) to ensure the client understands the gravity of the situation. The bride might think the groomsmen was simply joking, but it's important to convey how it made you feel.
If the quality of your work will suffer as a result of feeling compromised, the client must be made aware. I hope this never happens to you again, but if it does, don't ever hesitate to inform the client if you're feeling vulnerable. I understand the consumption of alcohol can cause guys to be overly flirtatious, but once a line is crossed, it's important to stand up for how you feel and voice your concerns.
I wish you the best and I hope you never find yourself in this situation again.
Stay Fabulous,
j*

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