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They're armed, they're unprofessional and they're going to ruin your wedding day if you aren't careful.  (And stories of victimized vendors.)

Jan-Jun 2000 Archive
Jun-Dec 2000 Archive
2000 Archive
2001 Archive
2002 Archive


As a young woman of 23, I have already experienced many weddings and have been included in the planning and executing of those weddings belonging to my siblings as well as good friends from college. Many of those around me have made the best out of odd situations including difficult MOGs as well as chemically off-balance MOHs. White frightens me is the difficulty in hiring good photographers. When my sister was married, they were working on an incredibly tight budget and found ways to cut many corners with the attempt to not cut on the quality. My soon-to-be brother-in-law "Dan" had a family member who was a professional photographer and worked primarily as a wedding photographer. She offered to work the wedding for the price of film, developing, and copies. A very good deal. My sister and Dan looked at pictures of her work and were pleased with the deal. She was hired.

Less than a month after the wedding the cousin hands over the copies of all the wedding photos. Not a single picture came out. A week before the wedding she had taken her camera in to have it cleaned-annual maintenance. She never took a practice roll to ensure that after the inner-workings were tampered with that all the settings were working properly. Every photo had a shadow to it and was blurry. We had to beg family members to send us copies of photos for the couple to ever get a wedding album. Photos taken with my mother's camera by my 13 year-old cousin were better than those of the professional. She graciously donated her attempt to the couple and did not ask for any payment.

My brother was married a few years later and worked very hard at making sure they would have an album. They worked very hard at researching many vendors for a good price and excellent results. They knew they would pay a bit more as that the reception was located an hour away from the wedding site. The photographer they chose produced albums of his work and all seemed to be in order. I thought his approach the day-of was harsh, with the way he treated the schedule of what photos are to be taken at what time. As a traditional couple, all photos were taken after the ceremony and thus a time-table was born by the photographer to ensure we made it out of the church and to the park on time, so we would make it to the reception in proper fashion. Because of this schedule not a single picture in which the young boys (2 & 3 year old) were both smiling and looking at the camera. Many times the photographer demanded the young children to be removed from the pictures if they were not going to behave as he wanted. The one young man had an allergic reaction to the wool tux and was having an awful time paying attention as that he itched so badly. Neither nephew of the bride and groom will be photographically remembered correctly.

To top off his bad behavior, the couple viewed and ordered what pictures they wanted from the negatives given them less than a month following the wedding. Pictures were to be available to the family before August. Phone calls were made the entirety of fall since Thanksgiving came and went without a picture, an album, or anything to give family members. Many phone calls followed to demand a progress report & their album by Christmas...then New Years. It was getting very close to their First Anniversary and they still didn't have one picture from their photographer.

Finally after the New Year and a note from a lawyer, the photographer phoned the couple back saying that "They have been ordered and are on their way" the pictures were to be in by the end of January. A personal visit by my brother was made to the man's home a month later to personally demand the pictures. "They will be here in a week." March came and went but still no album, no wallet sizes, no happy couple with the now-deceased grandfather, nothing! April finally produced the order with a bent copy of the photo meant for the couple to have over their mantle. Many of the pictures ordered never were delivered, and others came in the wrong number, size, or form. They did not complain though as that a re-order would obviously take another year.

My brother resigned to the fact of getting scammed but made a call to the Better Business Bureau to warn other happy couples about what they should avoid. He found that many other complaints have been made about this photographer in the recent history. The group should have researched with the BBB before hiring him in the first place. The groom shortly receives a disgruntled call from said photographer complaining that he though if the photos came in the last time he promised them my brother would not turn him in to the BBB. As if my brother would have ever made a promise like that--"You give me pictures I paid for a year ago and I promise I won't tell anyone you scammed me." Don't think so.    Vendors0113-03

This site is dangerous! I have spent so much time reading the stories here that not much else is getting done. Keep up the fabulous work! My story is about a wedding vendor who did less than a terrific job. I was married when I was 17 (surprisingly enough, the marriage did not last!) about 14 years ago. We planned a small outdoor wedding and managed to keep expenses to under $2000 for 200 people. The photographer that we hired was also a teacher at the high school. I had seen his work before and he always did a nice job. My MIL paid his fees for us as a wedding gift. He charged $400 for taking the pictures and also a video.

We did not want any pictures of the two of us together before the wedding, so he did some of the men and women in the party separately ahead of time. He did not tell us ahead of time that this is what he was planning on doing, and he took a very long time to do this, so the wedding was late starting. He was also taking the pictures very near the wedding site, so all of our guests were watching us. I was so young that I did not realize that HE was working for US and that we could ask him to take these pictures later so that we could start on time. After the ceremony was over, I really wanted one photo for each of our extended families - all of our aunts, uncles, cousins and so on. This was specified ahead of time. By the time he was finished with the bridal party pictures (again, very long time) most of our family had moved to the reception. Again, I did not feel comfortable telling him how to do "his" job and so I kept my mouth shut instead of asking him to do the family pictures first.


The best part was when we got the pictures back. The photos were very grainy. And by the time we finished the ceremony it was starting to get dark. He did not bring any lights with him, and posed us under a tree so that the background would be interesting. I did speak up about that, and he assured me that his flash would be adequate. Well, he is the professional, right? Not so much, I guess! All of the men in the wedding party wore black tuxedoes. In the pictures, you can see their faces, shirts and hands. The tuxes completely blended in with the background. You also could not see the hair of anyone in the wedding party who had dark hair. I was disappointed, but I thought at least we have the video. Imagine my surprise when I put it in and saw the first few seconds of a newscast that then went to our wedding. He had not even bought a new tape for the wedding - he reused one that he had taped a TV program onto! The sound was very poor and there were several bad parts on the tape. It had obviously been used more than once! He then acted surprised a few weeks later that we declined to buy any reprints from him. I wish I had had the confidence then that I have now to speak up and demand a professional job. Of course, if I had that confidence, there would not have even been a wedding, but that is a whole 'nother story!     Vendors0127-03

Love your site, thanks for working so hard on all the updates!! I was just going through the Vendornistas when something a friend told me came to mind. I had been telling her the tale of the dreadful service we experienced while registering at one of Canada's oldest department stores, which has traditionally been *the* store at which to register. A couple she knew in their late teens/early 20'who were engaged and went to register at this store. The salesperson thought it was a prank (yes, that's what all the wild kids do on their weekends these days!) and simply refused to give them the scanning gun. She said that if they "were serious" they'd go around the store and write down all of the UPC numbers. The poor couple did this for about an hour and finally realized they'd be much better off registering at a store that treated them with the respect they deserved for bringing in potential business.

I wish I had heeded this warning - we went on to have more bad experiences with the store mixing up and losing our registry, in addition to our original problems with poor service and the merchandise being badly labeled. I checked the registry online after we'd paid a second visit to the store only to find that I now had a list of 56 items and 43 of them *we had not even looked at*, let alone scanned. I sent an e-mail to the store and they left a phone message saying that she had the list right there of everything I'd scanned and I could come and look at it to see if it was what I thought I had scanned, clearly not believing me. Well, I thought I'd try a different branch of the store, and had a fairly pleasant experience. The salesgirl was shocked at the other store's mix-up and deleted the extra items (I feel for the poor unknown couple that the stuff was meant for, they'd obviously spent ages registering). Well, the next day I get home to a message on my machine informing me that "sometime during the night" their computer system went down and lost everything I'd scanned! The friend who'd been with me kindly went and re-did it, as she lives nearby. Luckily, it worked this time, but I have a feeling I should've stopped at the first sign of their lack of professionalism! I can see one computer error, but that chain of events plus poor service was just too much!     Vendors0204-03

I'm a wedding minister so I come in contact with many different vendors in the course of my work. I'll never forget this one hellish photographer. I arrived early for the ceremony so I had plenty of time to observe the photographer at work. While doing the usual pre-wedding formal shots she used the cake table to store her equipment. She used this odd boom flash arrangement that stuck out quite far from the camera body. I cringed every time I watched the flash almost hit the cake. She spend quite a bit of time (delaying the start of the ceremony) rearranging the decorations in order to frame the entrance of the bridal party as she saw fit. The kicker was the way she actually STOPPED the processional in order to take pictures of each of the bridal party members as they entered. The poor flowergirl ended up getting separated from the adults and had to face the whole scary group of guest alone and ended up hysterical as a result (the poor darling was only 7 at the time). I was horrified by the unprofessional behavior of that woman!     Vendors0209-03

I call dances for historic re-enactments, and last year a couple (I'll call them Abe and Mary) that I've often seen at the musters asked me to do their reception. No problem; my regular musicians were available and we contracted the gig. (I've been doing wedding dances for about ten years, so none of these wedding horror stories surprises me at all!) Their party started at "standard wedding time," i.e. about 30 minutes late. I was a bit surprised when a friend of the family thrust a wedding program at me and asked me to announce the names of each couple in the wedding party as they entered...with the first pair already walking down the middle of the hall. But I complied. The caterers then asked me to release each table in turn, but there wasn't much I could do about the guests ignoring my instructions and swarming into the food line. (This really is above and beyond the duties of the entertainment.)

The bride and groom were wearing attire of a historic style, while their attendants were in modern spaghetti-strap dresses worn with impossible heel shoes, or modern tuxes. They all appeared to be the B&G's teen-to-20's children or their SO's, about six attendant couples in all. And I didn't recognize any of them from the events. I did notice that one bridesmaid seemed to be hanging on a young man who was not in the BP, who had a professional-looking violin case with him. And he seemed to be wearing a sullen expression. (Just for foreshadowing: I was using the bathroom prior to the dinner when someone yanked on the door. I helpfully pointed out, "it's taken," and a youthful voice made several comments about "gee, I didn't mean it," and "it was a mistake!" Upon emerging, one of the young bridesmaids noisily and needlessly continued defending her action.)

For our first dance, we did a grand march, and segued into a dance for four couples facing in a line. For this type of dancing, the caller explains the figures, the dancers do them once for practice, we start the music, and the caller prompts the actions. During the walk-through it became clear that the bridesmaids were not going to be able to do anything in those shoes, and I suggested that they simply take them off. Meanwhile, the guy-who'd-brought-his-instrument was up on stage attempting to play along with my musicians (according to my fiddler, who's fronted this group for some ten years). The first dance went as well as could be expected, since many of the guests had no idea of what they should be doing, but most of them were having fun dancing with Abe and Mary and each other.

For the second dance, while most of the BP sat down, I invited those who wanted to dance to find a partner and make a big circle. The self-invited fiddler suddenly took over a microphone, and announced that "Mary and Abe wanted a [historic era] dance, so here's a [historic era] tune." He proceeded to play a very showy and flashy version of a bluegrass tune, complete with a not-too-gracious bow. Scattered applause followed, and he stormed off the stage. I continued to get dancers rounded up for the next number, and we carried on as planned.

Midway through the reception it became evident that the newlyweds were all that remained of the BP. At one point the rogue fiddler angrily confronted me with, "that was my tribute to Abe and Mary, and you ruined it!" complete with a one-finger salute. My fiddler later mentioned that the GF had loudly stated, "you've only been playing since you were four years old!" As we were packing up our equipment, we encountered the perturbed youngsters in the parking lot. For our benefit, they loudly proclaimed the dancing to be boring, the reception had sucked, and their general displeasure with the day and the event. Later my musicians and I decided that God's Gift to Fiddling was upset that he had not been invited to provide the music, and had convinced his buddies in the BP of this tremendous injustice. Maybe they felt that, with enough demonstrated hostility, we'd recognize our mistake and clear out so he could take over. At least Mary and Abe had a good time.    Vendors0217-03

My husband and I were married in the summer of 2000. We were only engaged for six months, but everything had been meticulously planned. We had about 250 guests, a very formal ceremony, a buffet dinner, and a blast of a reception/dance that lasted six hours. It may sound grand, but between me and my mother, we managed to actually make this a very affordable but fun wedding. We wanted all of our friends and family around, and what was important was while this was our special day, we wanted everyone to enjoy themselves. Future brides, heed this!

Moving on, we hired a photographer who was highly respected by the community for decades. He even performed the job himself, which we THOUGHT was nice. He was even highly recommend by our church. First of all, it was a hot summer day, but beautiful and clear. But the photographer refused to take any shots out in the grassy area. We had to take our photos on the shaded concrete porch of the church. These pictures did NOT look good. Nothing but stucco and concrete in the background. All very shaded with no compensation for the lighting. The beautiful sunny day totally wasted.

After the wedding, we had our post ceremony photos. My husband and I had a couple of excited aunts and friends who were taking pictures (from far off angles, well behind the photographer.) We had already warned them not to use their flashes. This is a combo of faults, I'll admit. They did use their flash a couple of times, and as the photographer was getting obviously agitated, I spoke out and requested "No more flashing!". The flashing stopped, but you could still hear some more clicks and whirrs, nothing that would affect the professional pictures. Nonetheless, the photographer walked up to me and said "If they don't stop taking pictures, I'm leaving." He had not even told us beforehand that no one else could take pictures. As a matter of fact, my best friend had similar trouble at her wedding, so we made sure that this would not be an issue at ours. We were assured it would not be. Turns out it was. Of course then, put on the spot, I panicked and in the pictures you could see me literally glaring at offending non-official photographers off to the side, trying to warn them off. For the rest of the pics, I'm red-eyed, with an obviously forced smile. Definitely did not look like a beaming bride on the most wonderful day of her life!

Later, we were instructed to wait outside of the reception in our limo so the photographer could come out and take pictures of us coming in. He didn't show up for another half our after us. We missed the entire pre-reception as a result, in which we were supposed to mingle with people before dinner. People were wondering where we were. And we had purposely chosen to do a lot of the photos before the ceremony to avoid having our guests wait afterwards. He finally shows up inside, and our chauffeur had to go in and find him to drag him back out. We finally were announced in and went straight into dinner. He then left just before our departure from the wedding, even though we had been assured that he would be there to the end (we did not go past schedule.) So we have no official photos of our departure (thankfully some people took candid photos, but unfortunately not very good). It was very romantic departure, as we were whisked away in a horse drawn carriage and circled around the block. Thankfully, I remember everything vividly and do not need to depend on photos.

Anyhow, the irony of the story was that the early pictures the aunt and friend took were actually BETTER than the professional photos. Every time now that I look at other people's professional album, I feel so cheated. I thought I had picked the best in the town, and all I got was an album full of amateurish looking pictures, a quarter of them looking like I'm about to bust out crying. We were not concerned with a perfect wedding, and we actually rejoiced in goofups from our bridesmaids, groomsmen, saber bearers, DJ, and even our bed and breakfast for the evening. But our photographer should have been more responsible for preserving our memories. Later, when were getting our album, I requested and PAID for four extra pages in the album so I could slip in the pictures from later on in the evening, including the carriage departure. Album shows up months later, not a single extra page. I gave up. Otherwise, my wedding was so precious!      Vendors0222-03

My sister had a beautiful wedding last year. It was a fairly casual, outdoor event. She chose to use a high school classmate as her florist. We shall call her Nastina. Nastina is not a real florist, she is in the advertising business, and provides floral services on the side. Because the flowers my sister and her husband wanted were fairly expensive, they chose to have Nastina provide a limited number of arrangements, and my sister asked my mother to provide some more flowers. My mother has a wonderful garden every year with lots of gorgeous flowers, and she puts together very nice bouquets that are not amateurish in any way. My mother babied her garden along for weeks in advance to make sure that there would be plenty of nice blooms for the wedding weekend. We carefully picked the flowers, packed them in tubs and took them the night before to the wedding venue, which was on an island.

So, the day of the wedding, we unpack the flowers a couple hours before the wedding, and wait for Nastina. My mother does not want to start placing them until she gets there, because she does not want to step on her toes. Because the wedding is on an island, arrival times are governed by the ferry schedule. But Nastina does not arrive at the appointed time, so we have to wait about an hour and a half until the next ferry arrives. So, when she does get there, my mother goes up to her and says nicely, "Oh good, the flower lady is here. Where should we put these?" talking about the flowers she has gone to great effort to bring. Nastina turns up her nose and says, "I have all the flowers I need." My mother does her best to ignore this insult and is showing Nastina what she has, including some baby’s breath she has picked. Nastina says, "Well, that’s nice I guess but Bill (groom) told me not to use any of that." Now, Bill is a very nice man and a wonderful match for my sister and he has never been anything but sweet to my family, and I am entirely certain he never said anything remotely like that. With that, Nastina turned and marched away to begin putting her not-as-pretty arrangements down the aisle. My mother placed her arrangements on the tables and to my knowledge did not speak to Nastina again. I’m pretty sure she won’t make it in the floral business.   vendors0224-03

I have been engaged for about six months and will be married next summer. I have done quite a bit of planning and gathering information over the internet, and have somehow gotten on a few "bridal mailing lists" which provide 2-3 pieces of unsolicited junk mail daily (which is actually useless, since it is based on my address, and not my wedding location--3000 miles away!). However, one piece of mail caught my eye: it was a solicitation from a plastic surgeon. Essentially, it was a reminder to make sure that I got my boob job or facelift in plenty of time to be ready for the big day. . . I wonder if my fiancé would have considered that a "wedding expense"?!?!     vendors0228-03

I lead traditional American country dances (similar to square dances) and I often do this for weddings, as well as other events. A friend of an acquaintance, Amber, called to ask me to do her wedding, wanting live music. I quoted the price of $500, and she said, "but I'm a friend of Joe's, can't you do it for $400?" Not knowing any better, I agreed. This was to be held at an exclusive reception hall some 20 miles away.

Three weeks before the big day, my concertmaster and I drove over to meet with the happy couple and the caterer. Two weeks before the big day, Amber called to say that she would like the band to play "Can I Have This Dance for the Rest of My Life?" I explained that my musicians were adept at traditional melodies (think Irish jigs, reels, Riverdance, Turkey in the Straw) and it would take some doing to learn that piece. She insisted, so I drove to a music store and paid about $10 for the sheet music. It was in an awkward key with its share of accidentals, so we had to schedule a rehearsal and practice it...and practice it.

A week before the wedding Amber called to inform me that a dear friend of hers, Curly, wanted to sing a special song, no it wasn't available at the music store, and she could fax the sheet music to me. Since I lived a mile away from one of the three Kinko's in Dorktown, I told her to fax it to the location on Dunceville Road. You guessed it...Amber faxed it to the Kinko's in Dunceville, on Dorktown Road, on Thursday night. I dutifully drove twenty miles to pick it up. (I could have had them fax it to "my" Kinko's, but sight-reading music is tough enough without trying to read a second-generation fax. By then it was too late to schedule another rehearsal.) She also mentioned that Curly would be bringing a cassette of some special music, so would I please bring a tape player for that. In for a penny, in for a dollar at this point.

We arrived 90 minutes before the scheduled start of the brunch reception, set up, and did last-minute run-throughs of Curly's piece, "Can I Have This Dance," and a few other numbers. The reception started, and the food smelled great while we played. (Memo to self: eat before leaving for a gig, and pack a power bar for mealtime.) After the guests had eaten, Curly got up for his performance. We didn't do too badly on his number, which was a Christian song about love and commitment. Then he handed me his tape, I pressed "play," and out came the lilting strains of "Never Make a Pretty Woman Your Wife." The guests sat there staring with horrified expressions, and the newlyweds just looked at each other. Curly made some lame comments about "this doesn't apply to Amber," and thankfully cut it short. We played "Can I have This Dance," and the guests seemed to recognize it and sang along. Then I began to lead the grand march, but the caterer had neglected to remove the food tables from the middle of the room, making it very small for 50 guests to march around the perimeter. Some of them danced to the rest of the programming. I don't recall much about the rest of the reception except that we were all starved by the time it ended (Amber forgot to invite us to grab a bite) so we went out for lunch afterwards.

When I saw Amber a few weeks later (by herself, at a public dance) she glowed over how well the wedding went, and didn't I think so? Being the forthright honest sort, I pointed out that the last-minute rehearsals and excessive drives to cover for her error really hurt in terms of gas and money. Her reply? "You should have charged more!" Amber is now divorced from that guy, is dating another musician buddy of mine, and is a regular at our monthly sessions. Every time I see her, I think, "the Kinko's in Dunceville, on Dorktown Road."  Vendors0312-03

Thanks so much for maintaining this wonderful site. My brother got married in 1989. The wedding was lovely and a good time was had by all. No one had realized there had been any problem until the video came back from the photographer. The pictures were just fine, but the photographer had hired his 15 year-old son to the video. Most of the video was pretty much ordinary wedding footage, until you got to the reception where there was an unusually high amount of footage of the more attractive female wedding guests dancing. I am certain that these guests were unaware of the unusual amount of attention being paid to them. The bride and groom laughed it off. The important parts of the ceremony and reception were captured, even if the videographer's mind wasn't exactly always on his work.     Vendors0313-03

This is a story about how I unwittingly became a 'vendor from hell.' While I was at university, I was working as a waitress at an newly-opened, up-market restaurant. The owner of the restaurant was not an easy man to get along with, but for some reason, he took a shine to me. After going through quite a few managers in a very short period, I somehow got promoted to manager/head waitress (50-60 hours a week on top of my full-time study commitments). The owner, "T", was not happy with the turn-over he was getting (his first year in business and he was making CLEAN PROFIT - phenomenal for a restaurant), so asked me and the new chef to discuss ways that he could make some more money. We got together, and discussed the possibility of hosting weddings. We had the perfect site: the restaurant sat right on top of the cliffs, overlooking the ocean, across the bay to the city. So we put the idea to "T", and after lots of 'umming' and 'ahhing,' he finally agreed. The first wedding we had planned was for a bride and groom who had already gone through hell - they came to us three weeks before their wedding, as it turned out their original venue had been double booked, and they'd only just found out! Both the chef and I were extremely sympathetic, and worked extra hard to make the final few weeks less stressful, meeting with them a number of times (even in busy periods if that was the only time they could get there - we just put on extra staff), and both working overtime to make it extra special.

A week-&-a-half to go, and we have planned a gorgeous reception. Everything is ready to go. So I go into work, and say to the chef that we need to get the menu that the couple have just decided on to them so they can print up the menus (they wanted them to match the orders-of-service). The chef tells me to speak to "T". "T" informs me that he has been on the phone to the couple that day, and has cancelled their booking, as it was just a bit too hard. Everything was planned and ready to go! And as for profits (which was what "T" was worried about), it would have been very .profitable for the restaurant! I don't know what the couple ended up doing. Needless to say, I told "T" that I would not be involved in the planning of such events, and quit soon after. And "T" couldn't work out why I quit...    Vendors0402-03

Hi! I love your site... as an event planner, I often direct clients to you (so they appreciate me even more ;)! This is probably for your "Vendornistas" stories, but is more amusing than disastrous! As a professional, I will always get 3 or more bids before hiring a vendor for a client. In 1999, I was planning a lavish outdoor wedding for a client, where we needed to rent EVERYTHING... tables, chairs, dishes, serving pieces, tents... you name it, everything down to the last dessert fork. Eight months before the wedding, I spent a day at the wedding site and met with many different vendors (musicians, caterers, etc.) including representatives from three different rental companies (let's call them "A", "B", and "X"!). I gave each company a printed, complete list of exactly what rentals were needed, the dates, set-up times, a site plan, etc. Everything goes smoothly, and each rep promises to fax me a quote within 3 days. As promised, I get faxed quotes from rental companies "A and "B", but nothing from "VENDOR X"... I end up hiring "Rental Company A", give them a 50% deposit check, and all proceeds smoothly from then on. Another week passes, and I get a call from Vendor X, asking me to give them the rental list, dates, etc AGAIN, so they can get me a quote. I apologize, tell them I have hired another company, and politely decline to listen to their excuses.

FAST FORWARD... THE BIG DAY I'm at the bride's home making sure the dress/hair/makeup is going as planned, and have an assistant at the wedding site to greet all the vendors, show them where to park, and make sure everything goes smoothly... I call my assistant as I'm on my way to the site, and am told that the rental company is EARLY, and is already setting up... we're ahead of schedule! I pull up to the site at the same time as Rental Company A... the company I hired! It turns out VENDOR X was there, setting up! Remember, they had never given me a quote, I had never hired them, never given them a deposit, anything! All they had was the original sheet I had given their representative listing all the items I needed! My poor assistant about had a heart attack, but who could blame him? He just assumed that the rental company that showed up with FOUR TRUCKS full of wedding rentals was the one I hired! In a nutshell, we sent VENDOR X away, which delayed us an hour while they packed up, but Rental Company A more than made up for lost time because their staff was laughing and smiling the whole day over the mix-up. Of course, I did not tell this to the Bride until after the wedding! Remember Rule #1 of Weddings: Do not tell the Bride ANYTHING she doesn't need to know that might upset her on her big day!     Vendors0403-03


 A dear, dear friend honored me by asking me to be in her wedding. She selected lovely dresses that could easily be worn again. I was measured by a professional seamstress in my town and sent the measurement card back to the dress shop (an 8 hour drive away) so that they could send me a dress. I am a tall girl with an athletic build, broad shoulders and relatively narrow hips, and I am fairly well endowed. So my "bust" measurement is larger by several inches than my "hip" measurement. I would absolutely have to have the dress tailored by taking it in at the hips a couple inches. I listed my size as a 12. Well apparently the dress shop thought I had switched the measurements, that my 5'9" height was in heels (I am actually pushing 5'10" in bare feet, and the card asked for height with no shoes), and that I lied about my dress size. They sent me a size 14W!! For those that don't know, "W" sizes are meant for women under 5'5" who are rather plump through the middle. So it was slightly too big on top and tented out from there. I looked like I was wearing a purple crepe gunny sack! And the dress shop refused to help me, they said "we did not do the measurements, so we are not responsible for the dress not fitting" even though they did not even go by the measurements they were given! None of the local places had the dress in stock in my size, and they could not be sure the dress would come in on time for me to have it altered.

I went back to the seamstress, who said she could make it look good but I might not match exactly. Well, the seamstress performed miracles. After taking 6+ inches off the hips, dropping the waist, etc. the dress looked really nice, and I was so much taller (by 3-4 inches) than anyone else in the wedding party that the fact that the dress was 3 inches too short for tea length was not hugely noticeable. Everyone knows I cannot find anything long enough, so thankfully the wonderful bride never knew I nearly came to her wedding in a dress suitable for 2. . .  Vendors0415-03

"Jake" and "Kate's" wedding was a lavish, well planned affair much anticipated by both families. The happy couple had definite ideas about what they wanted and handled all of the planning and bills on their own. The MOG had one "firm" request. For their photos, they must use a photographer she had used for "all her functions. She's the best." Kate had her heart set on her brother, a news photographer, taking black and white candid shots only but to be gracious she agreed to have MOG's photographer as well.

The first appointment with this woman does not go well. Kate tells the photographer what she wants (8x10s in large albums for the bridal couple and the two sets of parents). The photographer tries to talk Kate out of this apparently because it's too much work. When Kate informs the photographer that her brother will also be taking pictures, the photographer becomes upset and attempts to talk Kate out of this as well. Kate stands firm and the MOG assures her the photographer is a paragon of professionalism.

The evening of the rehearsal dinner arrives. Kate's brother is early and gets shots of as many the relatives and friends from both sides as possible. The other photographer does not show until much later in the evening. After all the toasts, the dinner and almost after the cutting of the groom's cake. Brother gets it all. The photographer says nothing to the brother and even gives him a few dirty looks as if she's afraid he stealing her shots. Brother is in charge of the pre wedding candids and gets these done in plenty of time for the more formal shots scheduled to be taken in the lobby of the hotel. The photographer shows up with an assistant who's primary job seems to be to stand behind the photographer and grin. The photographer hustles groups around poses Kate, Jake and their attendants in several places around the lobby then begins taking "family shots." Relatives from both sides posed then left for the church. Brother takes plenty of shots both inside and outside, making special effort not to interfere with the photographer. Lots of scowls from her though.

At the reception the assistant is having a little trouble with her balance. The MOB has to rescue the champagne flutes from her. Brother takes the last of his shots still getting the cold shoulder from the photographer. The wedding took place during early summer. By Christmas brother has a beautiful album of 8 x 10s for the couple. They are very pleased but brother is taken aback when Jake asks "How did you get everything in focus?" Turns out they have seen some of the proofs and everyone in the backgrounds is out of focus. Months pass, the couple receives nothing from the photographer. After repeated calls, begging and tears the albums arrive nearly for their first anniversary. There are no 8 x 10 shots. The photographer used the same lens for every shot even though the couple told her they wanted close ups. The bride was posed with her train swirled around her feet right next to a table littered with hamburger wrappers and empty soda cups. The attendants were posed in such a way on the staircase that the emergency exit sign was right above one girl's head and the groom's sister was jammed into the shot next to a easel. One roll of film with shots of the brides relatives was missing completely. The photographer said it was impossible to take the shots Kate wanted because the bridal party was too large. When asked why there were no pictures of Kate's sister-in-law Kate was told "well she isn't really family so it doesn't matter." Needless to say the MOG has yet to live this incident down and no longer uses this "professional" for her events.    Vendors0417-03

We needed to hire an officiant, so a mutual friend advised us to contact "Bill," a retired clergyman who does weddings on the side. When Bill came over, he was so cute and charming that we canceled our appointments with two other potential officiants and put down our $25 deposit. After Bill left (with a bagful of my homemade cookies), my more level-headed fiancé asked, "Did you notice how he kept hinting about his tip?" I answered yes but justified it because with his limited income, he was obviously on a budget. I suggested that we should to tip him nicely after the ceremony and also give him and his wife a $50 gift certificate to the grocery store because I knew they could use it.

A few weeks later, we invited Bill, his wife, and our parents to a Sunday brunch at a nice restaurant so that we could introduce everybody. At the brunch, we anxiously waited for Bill to show up, but he never came. He later called to apologize, explaining that his car had broken down. His "beautiful Korean wife" had even decked herself out in her finest Sunday dress, but unfortunately they ended up going home and eating rice for lunch. I felt bad, so I told him I'd bring him and his wife a gift certificate for brunch at this restaurant when he came to the wedding, which was two months away. (The restaurant certificate would be in addition to his tip and the grocery store certificate.) Imagine my shock when he called me several days later and asked if he could have "his" gift certificate so that he could take his wife out to celebrate their anniversary! I was mortified. He wasn't even shy or embarrassed -- he came right out, as if he were asking me to return a borrowed lawn mower. I had no choice but to mail the certificate to him. Then I did some research and found out that you're not even supposed to tip an officiant! (Now do you know why I call him "Bill"?) Regrettably, we are stuck with this con artist, but I assure you that after the ceremony this shyster will get the remainder of his $100 fee in $1 bills and not a penny more.    Vendors0423-03

A while back my college roommate was getting married and asked me to be a bridesmaid. I was really excited, even though I had heard all these awful stories about dresses, escorts, etc. So anyway the day came we had to try on dresses. (We went to David's, a chain wedding store in the area) The maid of honor had picked them out, she was a size 4 and I was a 10. Which wouldn't have been so bad, but the bride's sister was about a 16 or so and had had 2 children! So here we are, trying to not feel like idiots in these spaghetti-strapped, flimsy slipdress numbers when a salesperson about halfway across the store stops, comes running over and says to me "Oh, we absolutely have to do something about your stomach!" Then she points out that my belly fat is so absolutely obscene that it will ruin the wedding pictures and the only solution is to wear a "foundation garment" which she can provide at the low low price of 50 dollars. She gives me this tight spandex skirt affair that stretches from waist to knee and will prevent my body from "interfering with the line of the dress". I really wished that I could have taken her up for her rudeness and explained that I would not be buying anything but hey, you don't get those options always so I just sucked it in during the wedding pictures and saved the 50 bucks. And when I got married I told the bridesmaids they could get their dresses from anywhere except David's! Lisa     Vendors0501-03

I'll start out at the church: Our photographer showed up about an hour before the ceremony looking like he had just rolled out of bed. He would not start taking pictures until I handed him his check, he hovered over me while I wrote it out. He then proceeded to take a few pictures. One of the first is myself with my MIL and others in my husbands family. Here we are all dressed-up and he proceeds to take a picture of us against a background of these 1970's orange curtains. Pictures in the church, were all off center. As we are getting into our ride to the reception he asks us for directions to the reception, he had no clue where we were going! Next stop, the reception. There were about 30 guests there ahead of us. NO ONE could enter the hall because they were still cleaning up after the last reception, still vacuuming and clearing off tables. DJ, late. Not our promised DJ, no explanation as to why just, So-and-so couldn't make it. On top of that he didn't have our song list with him. Later on after the meal, our photographer was photographed SLEEPING at a table! The reception hall then had the nerve to send us a bill for "extra services incurred". Needless to say, after a quick phone call rehashing our late start, they did not charge us extra.  Vendors0522-03

Here is my wedding dress story. I went to a large chain bridal boutique to look for wedding dresses. I found the dress I wanted, but it was white and I wanted ivory. So, they ordered it in ivory and said it'd be in 8 weeks. A few weeks later they called and said the dress was in. So, I went in, and there was no dress. They said they called to say there was a sale, not that my dress was in. I thought, OK, my mistake. Two weeks after that they called again and said the dress was in. So, I went in, and they said we have your veil, not your dress. A week before my fitting, 8 weeks after my order, I called to see if my dress was in. They said, it was recorded as being in, but they couldn't find it now. I was livid! I talked to the manager. Then, they said they found it, it was misfiled in the back room. So, I felt reassured that they had my dress. I showed up for my fitting, and they brought out the WRONG dress! It was strapless with flowers sewed on it. ICK! My dress was long-sleeved and beaded. I said that's not my dress. They said, maybe I'd forgotten what it looked like. It had the right order number on it. I said it's not even close to my dress. Go get MY dress. I was there alone. My step-mom couldn't make it that day. I was hysterical. They went back to the back room and somehow found the right dress. I was never so happy to see something in all my life.     Vendors0527-03

Thankfully, my wedding two years ago was a lovely, relatively stress free event, and my husband and I are still grateful for friend's, family's and most vendor's caring participation. The one glitch was with the bakery which was contracted to bake the cake. Our site for the wedding was part of a "package" which included the cake, among other services, and also included wedding coordinator "Sherry". Sherry had been hard to reach on several occasions, but had followed through eventually. Three days before the wedding, I received a phone call from the bakery stating that since Sherry was behind on payments the bakery would not make my cake. I asked to be allowed to guarantee payment with a credit card just in case, but the bakery wouldn't take my card, instead expecting that I would now put pressure on Sherry to make good on her financial obligations. As an added bonus, after assuring me this was just a communication error, Sherry stopped responding to my calls (I found out later she was taken ill). I had a few stressed days wondering if we would have the cake for which we had already paid (or any cake for that matter). Apparently, Sherry did take care of the details because we did get a cake, but it unfortunately bore no resemblance to the cake I had chosen several months earlier. Too bad the vendor decided to bully Sherry by putting the nervous bride in the middle. However, since that was about the worst that happened, we count ourselves very lucky!     Vendors0531-03

Dear Jeanne Thank you so much for all your hard work on your Etiquette Hell site - you and your contributors have given me many chuckles, as well as pricking my conscience to think "Have I done anything that could offend?" I have also recommended it to many people. Here, Bridezilla has certainly entered the language. It seems pretty appropriate. I work as a wedding singer, and as a teenager, I was an organist. I also worked part-time for a catering company. Weddings seem to be a battleground for good manners in any country, I suspect. I used to be paid $15 to play for weddings - including bridal march, wedding march, hymn and voluntaries and often accompanying singers who were sisters of the groom/elderly tone-deaf aunt/lisping child who would demand at least 2 rehearsals at times convenient to them. After the services when I received my envelope, I found it pretty insulting to discover that several of the couples tried to bargain down my price with the minister, and sometimes he gave in. (This would be a wedding party wearing several thousands of dollars worth of clothes). I might add that I'm a good musician and after my stint as organist I completed a undergraduate, then a postgraduate degree in music - no mean feat for someone who was obviously only worth $10 as an organist. So, I would put in a plea to those who request live music for their wedding: please respect and acknowledge the musical talent that is brought to enhance your special day. On the other hand, if you're going to underpay the organist, you're better off paying them *after* the service ... one fellow-organist told me that cranky organists can play a pretty fast march for the newly-married couple to march out to.     Vendors0513-03

I wanted to share my vendor from hell story with your readers. It isn't as horrible as some, but still had me in tears. When my boyfriend proposed at Christmas I was completely thrilled. We immediately set a date for early July of the next year. For many years I have know without a doubt which florist in my small southern town that I wanted to hire for my someday wedding. It's a small shop owned and run by a very talented gentleman, "Jack", whom I have know all my life. Two days after the proposal I went to Jack's shop to book him for my wedding. I didn't want to waste any time because he is very popular for weddings and usually very busy. He took my reservation and we briefly talked about some ideas. Jack ask me to come back in mid-March and we would finalize all the details. I went away convinced I was going to have the wedding of my dreams.

All plans seem to be rolling along smoothly until late February or early March. My mother received a call from Jack's mother (they have known each other for many years although they are not extremely close), Jack is seriously ill. We soon learn that Jack has multiple brain tumors and the doctors don't know if there is anything they can do for him. Over the next two-and-a-half months the news regarding Jack's health only seems to get worse. I bounce between concern for Jack, worry about my flowers, and guilt because a wedding, even mine, is so insignificant when compared to Jack's potentially life threatening illness. Jack's family tells me I should contact his assistant, she is running the shop in his absence has learned his technique and will be able to help me even if Jack is not able to be there. This is when the vendor from hell appears.

I made the call to Wanda the Wicked Witch, WWW, from my office on a Thursday afternoon. From the beginning of the conversation WWW has a "why are you bothering me" tone to her voice. I explained that I had booked Jack to do my wedding back in December, knew him personally and was aware of him medical condition, and that I had been told I should speak to her about the arrangements. WWW tells me that due to Jack's illness they are not booking any new events. So, I again explain to her that I'm not a new event and would like to talk to her about doing the flowers for my wedding. Once again WWW's only response is that they aren't booking anything new. After going through my explanation and her same response twice more I become very frustrated. I tell that I know where the phone is located in the shop and that if she will turn to her right and look at the calendar handing on the wall, turn the appropriate date in July she will find my name, in Jack's handwriting, on that date. Well apparently she finally believes me because now she tells me that if Jack's health doesn't improve soon his family is going to close the shop. I ask her if she has been advised whether to try to meet the commitments Jack has already made or refer them to another florist. WWW says that she thinks they are just going to close. I ask WWW if she has any idea when the family will make this decision, she says that she really doesn't know but thinks some time in June. It is mid-May at this time and my wedding is planned for early July. I understand the family's position of wanting to hold on to Jack's business if at all possible and their reluctance to make a decision. WWW's attitude was as if she didn't care about Jack's health or my wedding. By this point in the conversation I was very upset tearfully ask her how was I supposed to find another florist if I waited until June which would be only three weeks before my wedding. WWW's very professional response was, "Not my problem."

After spending the weekend in tears and talking with all my friends and family. I realized that everyone was saying the same thing. Quickly find a new florist. All seemed to agree that Jack would understand and would not want any of his customers to be treated in this way. The following week I booked with a new, recently opened florist who did a wonderful job. After hearing my story of woe the new florist work very hard to help me have the wedding of my dreams. When I called to cancel my booking with Jack WWW had another very profession response, " Oh, good." She then hung up on me. Addition note, Jack's tumor were treatable and after many months he was able to return to his shop only to find that he no long had a business. WWW had treated all of his customers in the same manner she treated me. Jack was forced to close the shop partly due to continuing health problems and partly due to WWW's mismanagement.    Vendors0604-03 goes. I was married in May of 2001, in California. First, I ordered cookie cutters as favors from a place in Massachusetts. My Mom paid extra for "special shipping to arrive in 3 business days." The cookie cutters never arrived. When I contacted the company, they refused to return my calls for 3 days. I finally had to have my Mom call them. The owner said he was afraid to call me back because he thought I was "high strung" and was upset that my wedding favors were not in my hands approximately a week before the wedding. He then told me he would be shipping out another order, to arrive at my house tomorrow. He told me that I would have to probably pick it up at the post office. The package never arrived. I called, and he again, refused to take my call. I E-mailed him and he then refused to provide me with any sort of tracking number for the package. The package never arrived. I then called back and basically gave him a reaming out for not having the items that he promised when he promised them. He then sent out a "3rd shipment" that I "would have to return if I got the other one. If you don't, it's theft." I finally got the shipment, and then referred him to the BBB, alerting him. He sent me a scathing email saying I was one of the "worst, high strung brides he's ever dealt with."    Vendors0609-03

Like most brides one of the parts of the wedding I was most excited about was my dress. My roommate and bridesmaid Sarah took me on the weekends to various bridal boutiques and we had fun but no success finding the perfect dress. We were both students in a town noted for the laid back attitude of its inhabitants, and I admit that we dressed accordingly, nothing revealing but no pants-suits either. Regardless, we were treated kindly and respectfully wherever we went, until...the boutique from hell.

We made the necessary appointment and arrived on time, then we waited for fifteen minutes while the sales girl made her lunch plans on the phone, occasionally looking us over derisively. When she finished she stood and looked at us from top to bottom and sneeringly said to Sarah, "nice sweater." We correctly interpreted her to mean, "you can't afford anything in here," but I had been looking forward to trying on dresses to we persevered and asked her to show us around. Whenever I commented on a dress she would tell me how much it cost and say, "we have some dresses you might like more over here, for less." I particularly liked one designer gown and asked to try it on, along with a few others, and she very reluctantly agreed to bring them to the room. I'm a pretty shy and modest person, the number of people who've seen me naked, counting my parents and sister, are less then five, and so I usually asked the sales girls if I could get into the dress myself, of if Sarah could help me. Not only did this girl refuse my request, she also informed me that she would have to see me NAKED to fit me with petticoats and a corset, "store policy" (It's absolutely not store policy- according to other friends who've been there). She repeatedly told us we could not take pictures of the dresses, and my best guess is she wanted to make sure I was clean and that I didn't have a camera. umm... Sarah and I were so floored, and I was so intimidated, that I just complied. She of course brought me undergarments three sized too small, and refused to get me a larger cup size, although she could see (because she had demanded to) that it fit like a Dixie cup on a watermelon. I was so embarrassed and uncomfortable by the time I actually got the dress on that it didn't matter how beautiful it was. And there was the girl, talking over Sarah's compliments, telling me that she hated to see a bride fall in love with a dress she couldn't afford. What a jerk. As money was unexpectedly not an issue in choosing my dress, I bought from their competitors, and tell every bride I know about their terrible store.      Vendors0623-03

We were on a limited budget for our small town wedding and the Best Man's Father said that he had this super high quality video camera and had video taped a few weddings for friends, and offered to do ours. So any chance to save the $$ was welcomed.

Fast forward to after the honeymoon. The tape we had been dying to see was delivered. We put it on in great anticipation. The first thing I noticed was when he was videotaping me getting into the car to go to the church, he kept turning the video off of me and onto his wife. He would make comments "Look at the beautiful bride getting into the car. Now look at my beautiful wife of 20 yrs, look how marvelous she looks.Oh and look at my son and his girlfriend all dressed up for the wedding...." He completely forgot to tape me!!!

Then it comes to the church part. Nice video of me walking up the aisle, the ceremony, and all of a sudden its cut half way through. Whenever people prayed, he turned the camera off, as he felt that was anti-religious to videotape people praying. We had one beautiful part of the ceremony where Ave Maria (a song that means a LOT to my mother/grandmother) played and we kneeled by the front of the church and prayed for part of it, then went and signed our license,etc... So it was completely cut out! I was livid! If he felt this way, why not tell me this before!!!??!!!

On to the reception and tons and tons of footage of his sons, his wife, the son's girlfriends. Where was the bride and groom??? Got me!? The speeches came up, and he taped about the first 3-5 seconds of a speech and shut off the tape, so we didn't have to relive the 'boring speeches' again! Then his son, the Best Man, went up to do his speech. Well this speech could go down in history as the longest speech at a wedding. He said nothing about me, only recounting fishing expeditions with my new husband and stories from the past. It had nothing to do with us as a couple at all! He droned on for 22 minutes! I was going to fall asleep. But guess what!? The whole 22 minute speech was videotaped so we could relive that over and over (I have never watched it again, but hit ffwd through it). The tape tails off with the dancing and stuff. He 'forgot' to tape our first dance, and grabbed some of the 2nd one. Then the end of the night, we are heading out to the limo and all you can see is a black screen and hear our voices and everyone sending us off! He did not have a light for videotaping in the dark!!! This tape was a disaster!! The best part is it really doesn't matter, because we are divorced!    Vendors0615-03

I don't think you ever forget your first love and I always had a place in my heart for "Suzy" even though after a brief teenage relationship she dumped me and made my life hell. But hey, life goes on and after a few years it was all an increasingly faint memory, not least because we saw less and less of each other socially and when we did occasionally meet it was in a group, with friends. With this in mind I was a bit surprised when sometime later she and her boyfriend invited me out for the evening. They were determined to go out for a pizza and drinks and it became apparent that none of it was going to be paid for by me - great! They then announced that Suzy was pregnant (not planned). Ah! I thought, I see, this is a celebration of the good news about the baby. They then announce that they are to be married, Ah! I think again, so we're celebrating your engagement (albeit shotgun) - surely it should be me that pays, but they would have none of it.

Then halfway through the meal in a voice that made it so obvious this line had been practiced a thousand times before Suzy says "Wait, I've just thought, wouldn't it be great if you could drive us on our Wedding Day?" I should just interject that at the time I owned a white, near top-of-the-range Mercedes. Well, what can I do? I'm eating free pizza and drink and I'm going to refuse? I don't think so. I knew I'd been maneuvered into a carefully planned situation but I accepted the role. Not surprisingly having "booked" the transport I wasn't contacted again until some six months later just before the Wedding to arrange a pick-up time.

The day of the Wedding dawns and I go to pick up Suzy who, despite living with her boyfriend for some time and being pregnant, has chosen a white dress and we drive with Bridesmaids to the registry office for a civil ceremony. The registry office is an awful flat-roofed building in the middle of the city with apparently no parking and so we have to leave the car some distance away and walk down the street. As we approach the office a man comes out and advises that we could have parked right in front of it as we were a wedding party although there was no indication that this was the case. The Groom is late, really late. We have to hang around for ages outside with the FOB getting more and more angry. The Groom eventually turns up advising that he had agreed to pick up four other guests each of whom was later than the next one. At least they hadn't bothered to hire a photographer, instead relying on everyone's snaps, so that was one less hassle to worry about.

The wedding goes well after the first two hiccups and we return to the reception by 2:00pm which turns out to be a very small buffet in a pub. There are no speeches, toasts or anything and after a few drinks people are drifting away but there's still hours to go before the disco in the evening. A disco that the pub was meant to organize but screwed up so is now a portable CD player in a hall so everyone goes home for a few hours (courtesy of my car, or should I say taxi). The disco was as lame as it sounds with everyone sitting around, by now in jeans and T-shirts - even the Bride and Groom, wondering when it would be OK to leave. I say everyone, of course everyone over about 35 decided a disco wasn't for them and so didn't turn up so I really mean about a third of the original guests and there weren't many to begin with. The only high point for me was that I met the girl, a work colleague of Suzy, who would turn out to be my wife.

Not surprisingly despite the use of my car and another not inexpensive present no Thank You notes were sent although I was criticized because the photographs weren't the high standard they had expected - big surprise, they were amateur snaps. Afterwards pretty much the first chance I had I sold my car and bought a little black one, there were at least three other couples who heard what I had done and began saying how it would be great if I could do the same for them. I never heard from Suzy again (not a big surprise) until the night before my Wedding three years later when I received an angry phone call from her demanding to know why she, her husband and child hadn't been invited.

Here is a story that would fit in with the Vendornistas. When I was a little girl I asked my mother if I could see her wedding pictures. She told me the following story. My mother's MOH recommended to her the photographer she hired for her wedding several years prior. The MOH's pictures were beautiful and my mother hired the same photographer for her wedding in 1978. None of my mom's pictures turned out. The photographer told my mom that it was because of the lighting in the church that the photos didn't develop. Nice try. But none of the pictures of the reception, which was held at a totally different location, turned out either. To top it all off, the photographer refused to refund my mother's money. While my mother did not have any professional photos of her wedding day, we did get to look at an album of photos she was given by friends and relatives who thoughtfully gave my mom some of the pictures they took themselves.    Vendors0630-03

When I was married in June of 2003, my fiancé and I were able to find a very charming German restaurant where we could host the reception that was less than a mile away from the ceremony location. Since the wedding was being planned on a very tight budget, one of the biggest selling points of the restaurant was that the owners did not charge a site fee. The only charge would be per person for food and beverages. So, we booked it. We were made a little uneasy because the owner was hesitant to set any details in stone and didn't need to know our final menu selections until a few days before the wedding. He did, however, tell us that there would be twelve tables total. Not very forthcoming, but, oh well, it was cheap.

So, I'll fast-forward to the Thursday before the Saturday of the wedding. My mother and I arrived in St. Louis to settle last minute details. We visited the ceremony location, my hairstylist and the florist. Then I took my mother to see the reception location for the first time. The restaurant owner showed us the room, explaining that people would have to be seated in two different rooms, 60 in one, 20 in the other. Okay, different than our original plan, but...oh, wait, our final count was 98 guests! Actually, our original count was 120 guests. When we first looked at the restaurant, the owner told us that was fine. Now that we had twenty less guests, he was telling us they could not seat us all! He then started pushing us to move the wedding to the outside garden area. My fiancé and I, under no circumstances, wanted an outdoor wedding as several of our dear guests were elderly, pregnant or just hated the heat. It turns out that, despite our repeated insistence on an indoor wedding, they had planned on springing the seating situation on us last minute and FORCING us to have it outside, which they considered to be a much more appropriate location for the reception! While this presented myriad problems, one being we had planned on centerpieces for twelve large tables, and now there were 20 small tables, so we didn't have nearly enough, we realized we had no choice but to relocate to the outdoor garden. They did console us by informing us that they would set up the cake inside as well as the food to prevent it from getting too warm. Okay, so it wasn't my first choice, but I was determined to not let anything ruffle me on my big day.

Fortunately, the weather cooperated that Saturday, and it was a beautiful day. However, the food was set up outside, not in the shade, of course, but in the only spot in the garden that was not shaded. As a special bonus, we learned that when the menu had listed "assorted breads" what they meant was a choice between white bread and wheat bread, from a loaf. And by loaf, I mean the kind of bread you buy at the grocery store that comes pre-sliced. Yes, it was quite elegant. The food lasted about half an hour; no one went back for seconds (the cheese cubes were bubbling for Pete's sake)!

Then a friend came up to me and told me that one of the waiters was sitting at the same table as my cake smoking a cigarette! Hello! I did not invite my dear friends and family to my wedding to give them asbestos poisoning. Not to worry, they soon moved the cake outside, yes, in the same spot where the food had been. We knew we had a matter of minutes before the cake met with certain demise. We wanted to do the toasts before the cake cutting, but we had to wait for fifteen minutes for the waiter to bring us the champagne (we even provided our own glasses)! All in all, I stuck to my rule. I had fun despite the infuriating service. However, I learned just how infuriating the service was when I returned from my honeymoon and spoke to my mother for the first time since the wedding. When she and my father went to settle the bill, the owner pressured them to add more than the basic gratuity, explaining that several people had to split what my parents were paying. I had to get my own drinks the whole afternoon!!! People!!!     Vendors0630-03

I have got nothing done since I discovered this web site! Sorry this is so long. My oldest sister got engaged at Christmas time 1999. Being the first of my 5 siblings to marry, my mother was extremely excited and began planning immediately. My other two sisters and I were to be bridesmaids at the wedding and my sister chose a beautiful forest green for our dresses in a style that suited us all. My mother chose a reputable dress maker and brought the fabric and patterns to her home 6 months before the wedding which would be taking place December 2nd, 2000. They kept in contact about the progress of the dresses and two months before the wedding they began making plans to have us try them on so they could be fitted properly. We set dates to meet and she proceeded to brake them every time, giving different excuses as to why she could not meet with us that day.

Finally 2 weeks before the wedding and about 10 excuses later my sister went to the dressmakers home demanding the dresses. Needless to say she would not bring them out. My sister told her that the dresses needed to be delivered to my mothers house that afternoon or she would call the police. She shows up on our door step with the fabric on the bolts and the patterns un-cut still in the package as well as with my moms unaltered dress that she had also agreed to fix. She handed my mom her money back and left. Fortunately we found another dressmaker through a friend who offered to make the dresses. She did a beautiful job. Jump ahead four months.

My second oldest sister is planning her wedding. She had found a dress in a magazine and by sheer luck found the same dress at a local store ( we live in a small city). She purchased the dress in April and left on a month long trip to Europe. She returned home in June and went to have her first fitting. The wedding was set for August 10th. They did the alterations and called my sister back in to try it on. The dress was still too big, and one of the straps had been sewn unevenly. No big deal they said. Come back in a week. Back she went, with me, and as she's trying on the dress the sales girl drops a blue pen on the dress leaving a mark. No problem, they said, they clean dresses all the time. By now it is the beginning of August. My sister goes in to try it on again only to find that the entire style of the dress has been altered. She leaves crying and my mom calls the store furious. They went back to the store to get the dress and the people at the store would not bring it out. My mom went into the back room to get the dress herself only to find that they had spilled coffee all over it. Now they are both livid. The owner would not replace the dress, they just handed my mom her money back and asked if they would still be keeping the veil and the shoes. My sister threw the shoes at them and they left the store, exactly one week before the wedding, with no dress. They went down the street to another store where they purchased a dress (off the rack, no time to order) for more than double what her first dress cost. The woman at this store was so kind to my crying sister. She altered the dress on extremely short notice in time for her wedding. My sister was gorgeous (although it was not the dress she had hoped for.) I have decided to try avoid any dress drama for my wedding next summer. I went straight to the good store and bought my dress there . . and I'm steering clear of seamstresses! I have also told anyone who will listen not to shop at the wedding dress shop from hell!     Vendors0706-03

A couple of good friends of mine were married this past weekend. Everything was beautiful. I had purchased a gift for them online through a registry at a major department store a couple of days before the wedding. I just found that they received the gift a couple of days ago (I was impressed on how quickly they received it), but it did not come with any information as to who had purchased it for them. If they had not known any better, it would have looked like they had purchased it themselves! I found this out when we (the newlyweds and I) were at the home of another friend who was hosting a small party of friends (who were all at the wedding, many in the wedding party). The recent bride was asking around if any of us there had sent them this gift so she could thank them properly! I let them know that I (and my boyfriend) had sent them the gift. I just wrote a letter to the store to let them know this happened. Whether it was a glitch or something else, I do not know, but the new wife was rather embarrassed that she had to ask around to find out who had sent them this gift! Imagine if she had not been so forward in asking her friends, or if she wasn’t going to see the person who purchased it for them for a while! She’s the type that pays attention to etiquette and is very prompt in her responses to gifts and invitations, and not being able to find out who had given her this gift would have upset her a great deal.    Vendors0724-03

My husband and myself attended the wedding of our very good friends 5 years ago. Although both of them are not religious, they were married in the United Church to please "Mary's" parent. Both Mary and Ken went to great length talking to the minister about the ceremony, and that they preferred that it was not overly religious. Come wedding day, and everything is going just as planned, until the minister opened his mouth that is. He proceeded to basically damn both of my friends to Hell because they had "lost God", and then started telling a very long story about chasing his son around a tree, I can't really remember it all because I started to tune him out, as had almost all of the guests. Also, because they were trying to save a bit of money, they had the groom's cousin taking pictures of the ceremony. He was not being intrusive, and to be honest, I barely noticed him, that is until in the middle of his " I chased my son around the tree" story, the minister told him to sit down because all the clicking of the camera was driving him nuts! I had to bite the inside of my mouth to keep from laughing out loud.     Vendors0723-03