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.)
Jun-Dec 2000 Archive
Jan-Jul 2003 Archive
Jul-Dec 2003 Archive
Our Caterer was AWFUL! I was APPALLED at the behavior of the staff, and
even the owner, after I called to complain (with every right too). I
called them and received a menu, prices were reasonable, and I had received
much praise on them from my neighbors and others who have used their
services in the past. Based on this we set up a meeting planned the menu,
paid the deposit etc. I should have known when the man began to argue with
us that peaches and whipped cream are not traditional and no one would eat
the cake that things weren't going to turn out right, but I went with the referrals.
Fast Forward week before wedding: My MIL who was in charge of this
aspect called them THREE times to confirm, give a final count and let them
know what the "program" was. Should have been ample right???
Fast Forward Reception: We were to arrive sometime around or after 3.
When we entered the hall they were still setting up, but all that had been
done was the table clothes themselves and the centerpieces. My MIL noticed
one of their staff members pick up and throw one of her own Christmas
decorations she had brought across a room (when I spoke to the owner about
this because it was only 5 or 6 feet it didn't matter). Several staff
members asked why all these people were there (DUH Dinner was at 4 but we weren't
planning on coming in RIGHT AT 4 and they knew this). They finished
setting the table becoming annoyed with the children running around, and
in my opinion that was their problem considering they had not arrived
early enough. When I spoke to the owner about this, he said they usually don't
show up until 2 hours before dinner. (Ok fine but you couldn't have
accomplished more than you had in 2 hours?? You had 15 people the DJ had
himself and was completely set up light show and all even climbing 2
flights of stairs, and didn't show up till about 2).
The food was excellent the service I would have gotten better from the
local Denny's. One staff member was constantly asking my MIL for
cigarettes, the salads had been eaten people were up wandering about and
did so for about 10 minutes before the caterers had the lady who ran the
reception hall ask if we were ready for the main course! The caterers couldn't
take a clue from the guests? Salt and Pepper arrived AFTER everyone was
served so by the time the head table got Salt and pepper we were done
eating (Gee good timing huh?). Imagine my surprise to see 2 of their
servers taking a plate out of the hall to eat BEFORE we had dessert!
After waiting about 15 minutes we decided to go ahead and cut the cake
hoping this would prompt the caterers to cut the cake and serve the
peaches and whipped cream. NEITHER was served. They said they were told
there was a sheet cake that was to be served and that the MOB had stated
such. (Imagine their surprise when I told them that I didn't see anyone
holding a séance, as my mothers been gone for 9 years and I am sure they weren't
talking to her). They then claimed it was the person they thought to be
the MOG. THOUGHT??? She had a glass in front of her like everyone at the
head table had, that said gee, Mother of the Groom, and they
When I tried to get a refund on the desserts, I was then told I was
going to be charged for stairs etc.. They argued that the conditions they
were working in (a closet) weren't the ideal conditions. To that point I
am not arguing HOWEVER I still did NOT get dessert they never served the
cake ALL of which was paid for, and too boot the rudeness of their staff
almost ruined my day. The DJ was awesome and saved the day with the
EXCELLENT job he did.
This one is rather old, but I think I needed the passage of time to
recount it without becoming upset again.
I became engaged in the summer of 1997. I was finishing up graduate
school, and my fiancé was beginning a new tour in the military, so we
opted for a lengthy 2 year engagement. We were holding the wedding in the
town I grew up in, which is 400 miles from where I lived, and about 1500
miles from where he was then stationed, so just about all of the planning
had to be condensed into weekend visits.
I started shopping for my dress the fall of 1997. I found it right
away, at a nation-wide chain, and the price was great. We purchased it
then and there, and were told to make arrangements for an initial fitting
6 months before the wedding. This was done, and I was told to make a
second (and final) fitting appointment for 4-6 weeks prior to the wedding.
I did this, making the fitting for a Saturday, since I couldn't take off
from work to fly back for a mid-week fitting. When I arrived, the manager
informed me that they didn't do fittings on Saturdays. Imagine my
surprise! I immediately ordered that they get their appointment book, and
lo & behold, written in that Saturday's space, was my name. To the
manager's credit, she immediately called in her seamstress to get the
second fitting underway. However, the seamstress lived an hour away, and
caused me to have to cancel two other appointments for the day.
At this fitting, I noticed a few spots on the gown, but was told not to
worry, as the store would spot clean the dress before final delivery. Fast
forward to the week before the wedding. My mother picked up the dress and
delivered it to an aunt's house (so it wouldn't be in my parents'
cigarette smoke-filled house for a week), only to discover that half of
the beading and lacework that needed to be finished after the alterations
were made weren't done! Additionally, there were threads all along the hem
and the spots remained on the bodice. Thank goodness my grandmother is so
good with a needle and thread -- she, my mother, and my 2 aunts had an
emergency session the night before my fiancé and I arrived in town to
clean and finish the gown.
When they finally told me what had happened, I called to shop to demand
a refund of the money they had charged (and I had paid) for the
alterations. They didn't seem to understand what the problem was, since it
all worked out in the end. However, after informing them of my profession
(law) and my willingness to see them in court before I let them off the
hook, I was able to get 75% of my money back.
Since then, I have sworn off national chain stores when buying anything
requiring personal service.
Hi Jeanne ~
I've spent the last three days glued to your website - it's wonderful.
This story may not be an etiquette hell story, and I'm not sure where
it would fit, but it's one that I now find funny.
My husband and I planned a December 21, 2002 wedding at a resort town
about two hours north from us. We found the perfect location for the
reception - a banquet room at a Best Western hotel. The staff was
wonderful in arranging discounted rooms for our guests who wanted to stay
and enjoy the winter weather. The only catch was we had to use the
caterers with whom they had an exclusive contract.
They were pricier than we would have wanted but after checking
references we decided to go with the package deal. We were planning this
in a short time span and the catering staff let us know we would need to
book ASAP to get our desired date. That wasn't a problem - I understood
that they were very busy around the holidays.
The only catch? They weren't sure if they would have their liquor
license by then or not. They planned to apply for it in November and HOPED
they would have it by the holiday season. So we were left not knowing if
we would be required to have them provide the alcohol or if we could
provide it ourselves. Per the caterer, if they had their license we could
not provide our own. As we were working on a shoe string budget, we were
quite concerned about the difference in their proposed costs opposed to
what it would cost us to supply a bar with wine and beer from Trader Joe's
and a warehouse store.
Everything was booked, the money was sent off and all seemed well -
except they still didn't know about the license. I corresponded frequently
with them, but they just didn't have an answer. Finally, TWO DAYS before
the wedding, they e-mailed me that they didn't think they'd have their
license in time. Frantic scrambling ensued, but we were able to get what
we wanted purchased and our friends and family were kind enough to help
with the transportation.
They did end up providing a beautiful wedding feast for everyone as
well as excellent decorations for our holiday wedding. Still, I had to
wonder, how many other folks besides us went through the same
"hell" trying to organize their holiday gatherings not knowing
about that liquor license?! What was this company thinking applying for
one that may or may not have come through during their self described
"busiest time of year"?!
Thanks for a great site!
Thank you for such a wonderful site! Unfortunately, the only story I
have happened at my own wedding. My husband and I had a 2+ year engagement
and I had begun planning right away. After some trials and tribulations
(the hall closing, and failing to notify me 9 months before the wedding),
the big day finally arrived. We were to be married at 4:30 PM, and luckily
the day had been going somewhat smoothly. I had read horror stories about
limo companies arriving late, so I was proactive and hired the service to
begin an hour before the ceremony.
By 4:00 I was starting to worry, but the chapel was only 15 minutes
away. I called the limo company and found that even though the company had
assured me they knew where the house was, the driver was lost. So good of
them to call me. So, the guy shows up ten minutes after four in a 15
passenger BUS (Black with an awful streak of hot pink). This was
definitely not the year old white 8 passenger limo I had signed on. The
driver told me that it was his first day on the job, and my limo had been
in an accident earlier that day and this was my replacement. They did have
a sedan I could rent if I wanted, but he would have to go back to the
agency, and return with it. With twenty minutes left before the ceremony,
I opted not to go for the sedan. Luckily enough, my grandmother had bought
a white Grand Marquis two years prior, so my father drove me in that, and
my younger cousins, grandmother, mother, and various other relatives went
with the bus. The told me that it was dirty inside, and every time they
went through a turn some file drawers would open, so they had to keep
their hands over them to prevent them from coming out. Wonderful. But we
do get to the chapel with seconds to spare.
Ceremony goes wonderfully. The limo driver, in an effort to redeem
himself returns to the chapel with a nice Rolls Royce. Okay, so at least
my guests don't see me start my married life in a bus. So we drive to the
location for pictures. My parents had finished with their pictures, and
were walking back to their car when the chauffeur asks my father,
"Did Tony talk to you about my gratuity?" My dad was
flabbergasted. He simply replied, "My daughter gave me an envelope to
give to you at the reception". So the chauffeur took the envelope
containing the pre-assigned amount of money for a tip ($300).
After the pictures the limo driver picked up me and my husband in the
Rolls to bring us to our reception, starting at 6:30. We would be arriving
at 7:00, during the cocktail hour. We start our way on the highway, then
the limo takes an exit I am unfamiliar with. I mentioned this to him, and
told him that the fastest way is to keep on the highway. He assures me
that he has directions from the reception hall coordinator (a woman), and
that all will be well. In the meantime he receives a cell phone call which
he answers. Apparently, because there is no divider between the front and
back seats and I could hear the whole conversation, it was a wrong number.
But the guy on the phone does not believe him, so the driver becomes
upset, and instead of just hanging up has to argue with the other guy that
it is, indeed, a wrong number. Okay, so onward we go.
After about ten minutes the driver finally realizes that he is LOST.
Instead of just silently looking for the hall, he begins to talk to
himself about how women don't know directions, and they are stupid. Um,
yes, I am still in the car. But I bite my tongue because I didn't want Mr.
Idiot to ruin my day further. After a while I comment to my husband that I
am thirsty. The driver then replies, Oh yeah, I have your champagne in the
trunk if you want it. We declined, seeing as it was already almost 7:30,
and we missed the cocktail hour. Eventually, he found a road that I knew
and could lead him to the hall.
My wedding was last September, and my bridesmaids JUST told me of all
the problems they had finding their dresses. (They very kindly didn’t
want to stress me out before the wedding.) For my dress and for the
men’s suits, we used a very elegant, professionally staffed formal shop
in my parents’ home city in Virginia. The owner is a good friend of my
mother’s, and we knew that she would provide us with excellent, personal
service. We were right: she was great, and we should have used her for the
bridesmaids’ dresses, too.
However, two of my bridesmaids live in Virginia (but 3 hours apart),
one lives in Idaho, and one lives in Oklahoma. Additionally, they all have
very different body types. Ordering dresses long-distance for all of these
girls seemed too complicated, so I selected a color from the swatches at
the national chain “Daniel’s Bridal” and asked each bridesmaid to
order her favorite style. This all happened six months before the wedding,
so they should have had plenty of time. Admittedly, I had some
reservations: I had heard negative things about both the service at
“Daniel’s” and about the quality of their merchandise. However, I
thought that keeping things convenient and inexpensive for my friends
would make having slightly less-than-ideal dresses an acceptable
trade-off. As it happened, these dresses were MUCH less than ideal, and
none of my friends was able to enjoy both convenience *and* low prices.
Brides: when you have a bad feeling about a vendor, pay attention to it!!
You’ll save yourself and/or your friends and family a lot of hassle and
Story #1: “Mary,” my younger sister, is in high school. She wanted
to find something that she could wear to her homecoming dance as well, and
so having plenty of time to look around for something she really liked was
important to her. Even though she and my mother made an appointment, there
was no one free to help them and no fitting room available when they
arrived at “Daniel’s.” After half an hour, a room opened up.
"Mary" tried on an assortment of dresses, but she is very tall
(6’) and found that many of the gowns were too short. The saleswoman who
helped her apparently treated her like she was some kind of circus freak.
In what my sister described as a loud "Chandler-from-friends"
voice (with obnoxious inflection at the end of each sentence), she yelled:
"We have nothing that will FIT? someone like YOU?. You will need to
special ORDER?, and you should have been in here MONTHS AGO?!" (OK.
First of all, "Daniel's" advertises their gowns as
"available in six weeks or less." Also, yes, tall girls often
have to special-order, but 6-foot-tall women are hardly rare these
days...could it have really been that much of a hardship? Finally, *most*
bridesmaids’ dresses at “Daniel’s” are not off-the-rack!!
Customers try on a sample, and then order their sizes and colors. How was
this different???) Then the saleswoman refused to show my sister any
further dresses! She decided that a particular gown was the ONLY one that
would suit a tall, thin figure and went off to help another customer. My
sister, self-conscious about her body like most teenaged girls, was
thoroughly humiliated. Fortunately, THE ONLY SUITABLE DRESS IN THE KNOWN
UNIVERSE? arrived on time and looked fine.
#2. My sister-in-law “Jamie” went to a “Daniel’s Bridal” in
Oklahoma City. The staff acted baffled as to why she was there. Two
saleswomen basically interrogated her about why I hadn't ordered my
wedding gown from "Daniel's" as well. They behaved as if
”Jamie” were committing a faux pas or lying about why she needed a
formal dress since she came in without an accompanying bride. The woman
who sold me my wedding dress told me that bridesmaids often tell her that
staff at "Daniel's" have rudely asked them these questions. This
baffles me: can it really be uncommon for brides and bridesmaids to buy
gowns from different retailers? “Jamie” told me that she thinks that
the sales staff were disappointed that they wouldn’t get big commissions
from her order (in comparison with an order than includes several dresses)
and treated her poorly in retaliation.
#3. “Caitlin,” a good childhood friend, lives in Idaho. She’s
5’10 and very busty and curvy but relatively thin (a size 8 - 10). She
received *by far* the rudest treatment of any of my bridesmaids. The staff
were downright insulting about her wish to buy a strapless ball gown,
which turned out to be quite flattering on her because it drew attention
to her small waist. They wanted her to buy a high-necked, long-sleeved
fitted sheath dress, which—-in addition to being decades out of fashion
for someone her age--made her look like, in her words, “a tall, blue
sausage with DD breasts.” (Probably not coincidentally, this dress was
more expensive than the one "Caitlin" preferred.) She went ahead
and bought the strapless gown, and left it with the tailoring department
to have it taken in at the waist. They completely wrecked the dress. Not
only did they take the waist in by a HUGE amount (brought it in to 22”
or something), but they *hemmed the skirt* as well. “Caitlin” is tall,
and didn’t ask for any hemming. When she pointed out the problem with
the waist, the seamstress implied that she must have gained weight (she
hadn’t). “Caitlin” really had to fight to get them to order a new
dress, and she just barely received it in time to fly out for the wedding.
#4. “Jen” went through the most hassle. She found a dress she
liked, and ordered it in the color specified. When it arrived, it was cut
completely differently from the sample she had tried on in the store. The
label read “4” (the size she needed and had tried on and ordered), but
it fit more like a 2; she couldn’t sit down in it, let alone eat or
dance. So she sent it back and ordered a new one, which was supposed to
arrive in a month. Six weeks passed, and no dress arrived. She then
decided to order another style. When it came in, it was a *very* light
blue—almost a silvery white. The color that I chose and that she ordered
was more of a periwinkle. Apparently, the sales staff had filled in the
wrong color code. By now, the wedding was 6 weeks away. She finally bought
a sample dress from another “Daniel’s” location and had another shop
tailor it to her measurements (she also had to have a lipstick stain taken
out)—this all cost almost $300, which is quite a bit for the average law
student not to mention waaay too much to spend on a dress from a discount
store. To “Jen’s” credit, she never told me about any of this until,
after hearing about the other girls’ problems, I called to ask her if
she had experienced any of her own.
On the wedding day, two of the dresses turned out to have structural
problems. One had a zipper that didn’t want to stay zipped (we ended up
securing it with a hidden safety pin) and another had a seam that started
to unravel (thankfully, the MOH had thought to bring a sewing kit with
clear thread). Basically, “Daniel’s” sold my friends nothing but
overpriced crap—-with rude sales staff and incompetent tailors to boot.
My story is about my cousin's wedding a few years ago. My mother was
asked by the bride and the groom's mother if she would order and cook all
the food for the wedding (my mother is the manager of a kitchen at a
resort and therefore has the ability to order food at bulk costs). My
mother was glad to do this. She got a menu prepared with the bride and
then looked up the costs, etc. This price was for the food only. The deal
was that my mother and myself would prepare the food and transport it to
the reception site the night before the wedding. For the reception a
member of their church (who had previously owned a restaurant) would heat
up and set up the food. Seems like everything is going according to
After the beautiful outdoor wedding and the receiving line my mother,
my brothers and myself left to go to the reception site as my youngest
brother gets antsy sitting around in large groups. When we got to the
reception site my other brother and myself noticed that we had the only
car in the lot. We thought that was strange because the reception would be
starting in less than an hour. We went inside just in case the person in
charge of food had parked elsewhere. We got inside and everything was
still in the refrigerator, not preheating like it should be. We ran back
outside and told my mother what was happening. We all went back inside and
in out wedding attire (long dresses, dress slacks) started getting food in
ovens and putting appetizers on the trays. We are working our butts off,
but seem to be on time. 15 minutes before the reception starts, guess who
shows up. That's right the person who was supposed to be taking care of
the food. He expected to get the food set up and warmed in 15 minutes! I'm
talking huge lasagnas and other pasta dishes that everybody (especially
people who have restaurant experience) knows take a quite while to heat
these things up.
We think that now that this guy is here we will be able to relax and
enjoy the ceremony. No such luck. This guy decides that the counter needs
to be held down and spends most of the time leaning against it. My mother
and I spend most of the reception carrying around food, directing the
helpers, and watching my younger brother. After most of the people have
eaten we get our chance. As the bride and groom go up for their first
dance we are eating and I notice that she is about to drag her train
through some nice red punch. I ask one of the helpers to clean it up
before that happens. Finally the guy in charge of food is able to handle
it by directing the helpers through cleanup (of course my mother is still
helping out because he isn't sure what to do next.
Finally we get to enjoy the reception at about halfway through it.
Luckily the bride, groom and MOG (who is completely stressed out from
helping plan this) don't know what happen until later. The only part that
really irritates me was that the bride doesn't even offer us anything to
say thank you. My cousin (the groom) ends up giving us a check a few weeks
later. It wasn't that we expected it, it was just that the gesture would
have been nice for all our hard work since we went above and beyond what
we agreed to. We were glad to do it so the reception would go off without
a hitch. I'm just glad that the reception wasn't ruined by the
laziness and ineptitude of the guy they trusted to set up the food.
After reading this website, I was surprised to see nobody had a vendor
story like ours, so here goes.
We were planning an early June wedding, so we decided to shop for
invitations mid-February. We went to a vendor we'd found at a Wedding
Expo, and whom we'd heard good things about. Sure enough, we found the
perfect invitations, not too fancy, and the wording was formal but light
hearted, perfect for the small low-key wedding we were planning. We
ordered 125 invitations, with RSVP cards. This is important because there
was a "Reply By" date printed on them of April 10th -- slightly
less than two months away. We figured that would be plenty of time to get
the invitations mailed and give our intended guests at least 2 weeks to
reply (we were shooting for 3 weeks).
Then the saleslady asked if we wanted to have the invitations addressed
professionally, the cost would be a bit more but since my husband has a
neuromuscular disease which makes writing difficult, and since I was
putting the wedding together with no help, we decided that might be a good
way to go. We were told to bring in a computer disc with all the addresses
and they'd have the envelopes in two weeks. So the following week, we took
in the disc. (And noticed the name of the business on the door had changed
in the meantime.) Oh, and did they mention the reason this was taking two
weeks was because they were sending the envelopes and disc to California
to be done down there? (We lived two states away).
At this point I had an icky feeling, but we decided to go ahead. Well,
two weeks goes by, and I'm told "They're running behind, it'll be
Another week goes by, same excuse. A third week goes by, and I hear
By now it's getting very close to the wire, especially with our
preprinted dates on our RSVP cards. I told them to just send us the undone
envelopes, we'd go ahead and address them ourselves, and I needed them
within a week.
Another week goes by. No envelopes. They're still in California. It's
the 1st of April. There is NO WAY I will be getting our envelopes back
from California in time to mail out our invitations. I flat out told the
store to keep their envelopes and invitations, that their delay had
greatly inconvenienced us and, as a result, we would not pay the remainder
of our bill nor would we use their invitations.
As it turned out, a friend from work said she could run up some
invitations and reply cards on her computer. She provided a sample, on
cards and paper with pink roses on it -- and they were prettier than what
we'd originally ordered. And even with a double run of invitations (My
fault, I'd forgotten to put the city address on the first batch) it was a
heckuva lot cheaper. If nothing else, I learned to be VERY wary of any
business that changes names in the middle of a transaction, especially if
they don't tell you first!
My fiancé "Ben" and I asked my youth pastor (a lady
I'd previously been very close to) to perform the ceremony at our wedding.
I'd worked for her for two summers and she knew a lot of personal
information about Ben and I. However, she humiliated my fiancé's twin
brother "Gary" (who had flown across the country to be the best
man) by telling, during the ceremony, the story of how Ben and I had
met. How could that possibly be bad, you ask? I'll tell you.
I was friends with Gary first, who had a really big crush on
me in college. Although a totally nice guy, he was a bit pudgy and
more like a brother to me than a guy I could envision having sex with.
There was no chemistry there. I met Ben one weekend when I was over at
Gary's house watching movies. The chemistry was instant, he was very good
looking and intriguing and I fell for him right away.
This is the story my pastor told to the whole congregation at our
wedding, emphasizing the part about how I found Ben so much more
attractive than Gary. I kid you not, she said this, with Gary standing not
five feet away and Ben and I wishing the floor would open up and
swallow us, or better yet, our pastor. If you know any twins, you probably
realize how sensitive they can be about which one is better looking. I
know she probably meant well and just wanted to tell a cute story, but one
that didn't insult our best man would have been lovely. Thank
My husband and I got married in September 2003. Though our wedding was
wonderful, a few things happened to dampen the mood.
First, we had major problems with our wedding coordinator. In May of
2003, we hired Holly to plan the wedding--she did a fabulous job.
Unfortunately, a member of her family died a few days before our event,
and she had to leave town for the funeral. She hired a replacement,
“Kathy,” and left her detailed instructions. Our problems began at the
rehearsal. The ceremony took place on the front lawn of a beautiful,
historic inn—though we (thankfully) had relatively clear skies on the
wedding day, it poured while we were rehearsing. “Kathy” dropped in to
introduce herself just before we began, and she asked whether I wanted her
to stay and help us rehearse. Yes, I absolutely did. I suppose she somehow
misheard (or didn’t care), because she left within 10 minutes. The
rehearsal was an unqualified disaster: even with umbrellas, we all got
soaked, and arranging the order of the processional was pure chaos. My
husband and I were seriously regretting our decision not to elope. (My
attendants, by the way, were troopers—I told them that they didn’t
have to stand in the rain, but they insisted on getting everything right.)
The next day, the rain was gone, but for much of the morning the sky
was ominously dark and a fog obscured the inn's famous mountain views. My
worries about the weather, combined with the normal stress/nervousness
that comes with being a bride, left me nearly in tears. The wedding was
set for 4:00pm, and between 12:30 and 2:30, “Kathy” was nowhere to be
found. My mother, who should have been spending this quality time with me
and the rest of our family, had to take over her job. She showed the
florist where to go, helped the string quartet (ceremony) and jazz band
(reception) find their places, introduced the readers (dear friends who
flew in that morning) to the minister, helped the hairdressers and makeup
artists find the bridesmaids and me, and oversaw the final decorations of
the cake—all while trying to spend time with me and the bridesmaids. (We
were lucky to have the world’s best wedding photographer—while all of
this was going on, she did a session with me, my attendants, and my
family. She was very calm, hysterically funny, and careful to reassure me
that prewedding chaos is normal. Her artistic, candid style is exactly
what we wanted, and she returned dozens of gorgeous, natural-looking shots
of our big day—along with a great shot of my mother yelling at
“Kathy” when she finally turned up. Heh.)
My mom really saved the day, but a few things didn’t get done. First,
my little cousins got hold of the flower petals that we planned to
sprinkle down the aisle over the aisle runner—and put them UNDER the
runner. Oops. Kitchen staff from the inn kindly went outside, scooped some
up, and put them on top. They looked somewhat sparse, but the ceremony
site still had a nice sense of presence (thanks, wonderful kitchen
Worse, we had decided to have assigned seating, since we wanted to make
sure that each set of college friends could be introduced, long-lost
relatives could sit next to each other, people who don’t get along would
be separated, etc. In anticipation of this, we commissioned calligraphied
place cards. Guess what never got put out because there was no one on hand
to do it? (Holly--our original coordinator, you'll recall--had promised to
do this personally to make certain that it was done right, and when she
had to leave it became “Kathy’s” job.)
Finally, my father’s mother didn’t attend the rehearsal, because
her debilitating back problems force her to go out only when absolutely
necessary. She badly wanted to be seated during the ceremony with the
other grandmothers, however, so we thoroughly briefed her assigned usher
on her needs and what to do as he was walking her down the aisle. He was
graciously waiting to lead her out the inn’s front door, when
“Kathy” started insisting that she was in the wrong place. For some
reason, she thought my grandmother was a guest and rudely asked her to
“take her seat NOW! The ceremony is starting!” My poor grandmother,
believing herself to be committing some faux-pas, burst into tears before
my father-in-law intervened.
Finally, the ceremony went beautifully (on the lovely, green,
tree-covered lawn under cloudy-but-bright skies). Once I reached the end
of the aisle, I wasn’t nervous, and my husband and I both managed not to
cry. The minister gave a lovely, inclusive service, and the readers did
beautifully. The only weird moment—the inn’s front door slamming
loudly—was, of course, caused by “Kathy.” Oh well. The reception,
thankfully, had been planned so perfectly by Holly that “Kathy”
couldn’t seem to find a way to screw it up. If anything went wrong, it
must have been minor and no one has ever told me about it. Despite the
lack of assigned seating, most of our guests sat with the people whom we
wished them to meet—only a few seemed a bit out of place (a college-age
lesbian Buddhist couple ended up at a table of older conservative
Christians, for example), but everyone was extremely gracious. The food
and cake were delicious, the jazz band was wonderful, and my new husband
and I were FINALLY able to relax and enjoy ourselves and our guests. As we
were stepping into our getaway car at the end of the evening--hugging our
parents and waving goodbye to our guests--I could hear "Kathy"
YELLING that it was a beautiful wedding, and she was so honored to be able
to help. Uh-huh.
Dear Miss Jeanne,
Though this story is not nearly as bad as some of the ~vendor from
hell~ stories I've read, it does involve one tacky DJ. I
found him on a website that listed various wedding services on my area. I
was impressed with his statement that he didn't do ~cookie-cutter
reception music~, and his prompt follow-up with me after I had requested
information. We set an appointment for the following week.
On the day of, my fiancé arrived fresh from the airport, having been
out of the town for the past three days (and having had to get up at four
that morning), so he was really, REALLY tired. And it showed. I had
a rather busy day myself, so I too was burnt out. However, we kept
this appointment with the DJ, figuring it would be an hour meeting,
maximum, and then we could hightail it out of there. We were
wrong. This guy kept us at his house/office for over two
hours! And he wasn't demonstrating equipment, just talking. And
talking. And talking. All he did was talk about himself and what a
great DJ he considered himself to be. And how he gave ~a $1200 show
for $700. Not once did he ask us about ourselves. Not once did he
even ask us what kind of music we wanted, though he spent a good amount of
time detailing what he normally played (I thought he didn't do
cookie-cutter weddings....), and even more time informing us what type of
activities he recommended for the reception (The Money Dance. Ewwwww.).
Though we tried several times to gracefully end the meeting, God's
Gift To The DJ world would have none of it. Even my
terminally polite fiancé was getting a wee bit snippy.
When we (finally) left, our heads were spinning like Linda Blair in
~The Exorcist~. ~Wow, he certainly thinks highly of himself.~
My fiancé commented as we walked to the car. We decided to
keep his services in mind (he WAS reasonably-priced), but still look
around for other DJs. The following week I received a voice
mail message from said DJ, asking if I had made my decision. Well,
at least he was following up, and I appreciated that. As a courtesy,
I called him back to say ~not yet~. Unfortunately I called at a time
when he was home, and spent over 30 minutes on the phone with this guy,
listening to him babble about what a great DJ he was, how he gave a ~$1200
show for $700~, and on and on and on.
He called again the next week, but this time he got me when I was
home which was another 30-minute session of me listening to him ramble
about how he was THE DJ to hire. He still had not asked one question about
what we wanted in a DJ, or what our style was, and to be honest, I
should've cut him off the list at that point (I knew this DJ was not a
good fit for our reception). The next week he left a message, which I did
not get a chance to return. He sent an email two days later.
For the next month, he called at least twice a week, but this time I had
wised up: I emailed my responses.
We chose another DJ, not based on price, but based on familiarity (they
were acquainted with my fiancé). I called another DJ we had met
with and gave him the news. He was very understanding, and the
next day I received a nice email telling me to keep him in mind for future
events (which I certainly will). Then I called God's Gift to
DJs. It was the briefest conversation I had ever had with him.
I told him we selected another DJ. He said, ~Fine~ and hung up.
I doubt I will keep him in mind for future events. I just don't have that
kind of time!
I became engaged in February 2003, and soon planned a wedding for July
2004. Within a few months, we had secured a church, reception hall,
photographer, videographer, caterer, and many other vendors.
Basically, even though the wedding was a ways off, we were going full
steam ahead with the plans.
One major purchase was left, the wedding dress. Since I live
in a large town, I wanted plenty of time to check all of the different
bridal stores, so that I could comparison shop, and take my time choosing
the perfect dress. I realize that some of the larger, busier stores
require appointments, but many of the stores I discovered simply by
driving around town, and I would often stop by and quickly browse to see
if the store was worth coming back to. In this way, I came upon a
small store tucked away in a shopping center. I went inside, and
found that there were no customers, only the clerk at the desk. I
asked if I could browse around to see if they had the basic style I
was looking for. The lady asked when my wedding date was. When
I told her, she replied "It's way too far in advance to be shopping
for a dress. No reputable store would let you order a dress more
than a year ahead. Maybe a store such as [competitor name] would let
you order a dress, but that's just bad policy." (Since when has
a store taking my money been considered bad policy? If they are
worried about me changing my mind, isn't that what the deposit is
Now, at this point, I should have fled the store, but I was still new
to the game, and asked if I could at least look around for future
information. She then replied, "I'm sorry, you'll have to make
an appointment to look at the dresses." Keep in mind that I was
the ONLY customer in the store, and it was a slow weekday afternoon, and
the lady was just sitting there at the desk. Frustrated I asked if I
could at least look at a catalogue of their styles. She handed me a
catalogue and told me to go sit in a corner. While I was looking at
the catalogue, the lady got a call on the store phone. Apparently,
it was a bride whose bridesmaid's dresses had come in too small for her
attendants. The lady had the nerve (within clear earshot of me) to
loudly inform the bride that apparently the bridesmaids MUST have all
gained weight since their fitting, and they should come back in to be
re-measured if they wanted to prove otherwise. The conversation went
on for a good 10 minutes, and the only reason I didn't leave was because
it was such a good soap-opera.
Having finished looking through the catalogue, I informed the lady that
the dresses were all much too formal for my tastes (all long sleeves and
chapel-length trains) and that I was looking for something more informal.
She sighed and said "Well, then, you probably want something from
this catalogue instead." At this point I'm wondering why
she didn't ask me what I was looking for IN THE FIRST PLACE. Anyway,
I glanced through the second catalogue and found that it was exactly what
I was looking for. At that point, I made note of the designer's
name, and hightailed it out of there. At home, I found the
designer's website, and got the address of another local bridal shop that
carried their line, where I eventually purchased my dress.
Needless to say, I was not surprised to find a "Going out of
Business" sign in front of the store a few months later.
Thank you so much for a wonderful website! It has provided me
with hours of enjoyable reading, and a good way to relieve some of the
stress of planning a wedding. Luckily, every other vendor has been a
dream to work with, and I look forward to being surrounded by friends and
family on my big day. Best wishes with your website.
Page Last Updated May 15, 2007