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
Jan -Jun 2004 Archive
Jul-Dec 2004 Archive
Jul-Dec 2005 Archive
I went to my fiancée's cousin's wedding- it was a small
affair (the bride and groom were expecting and wanted to marry before the baby
was born), but very pretty. However, at the reception, many of the guests needed
to use the restroom. The only other available restroom was at the other end of
the banquet hall- through another wedding reception! Everyone was good about it-
in the other reception the kids were saying "Hey look! Another
bride!", but I was honestly shocked that a place of business would make
people from one party intrude on another just to go to the restroom!
Reading over the new updates reminds me of our extremely inept
wedding photographer. Despite me giving him a shot list and timetable which he
agreed to, he spent so long with the groom before the wedding that there were
none of me, the bride! Nearly a hundred of the groom and his groomsmen, but none
of me and the 'maids beforehand. No bridal portrait. We were late getting to the
church as the photographer was late to my home; he did take the cars, out of
focus, bearing me away in a flap due to lateness.
During the service, I asked only that he not take shots during
the sacrament of the Eucharist (we are practicing Catholics) and that he not
take any 'kissing' shots. Not to our taste. Sure enough, these were the only
'church' shots he took. My family members have been married in this church for
generations, so I had asked for a shot of us leaving the church. Oh no-the
photographer was in the toilet at this point. We adjourned to the spot he
insisted on for that time of day-so dark the shots didn't turn out.
At the reception we gave him free rein, asking only that he
take our guests as well as us. By not asking them to pose, we have very
ill-framed shots of people shouting, looking around, eyes closed etc. He only
snapped around three tables. He didn't take ONE of my husband and I together. I
spent much of the reception requesting him to take shots of us during such
things as the cake cutting. None of the speeches or toasts. Even when I asked
him to use backgrounds such as the bridal table he managed to miss them and
shoot us with the toilet door, etc in the background.
I was not a bossy bridezilla btw-my family were telling me to
get him moving as we weren't getting any shots. I had none with my parents
either. We were mystified to receive discs only and realized it was because most
of the shots that were taken were too blurry to use. Our reception place was
even worse, but to save your patience with a long post I'll leave it here. I am
still devastated not to have these treasured shots, but comfort myself with the
fact that I had my family and friends with me for a lovely day. And our
beauticians, florist, drivers and priest were superb, warm and efficient people.
Good vendors make such a difference to the day and I am forever grateful to
those wonderful vendors! I have recommended them far and wide and I wish
slackers like this guy realized that etiquette costs you business, apart from
anything else such as the customer's pleasure in their wedding day.
I was planning my own wedding from out of state, and I was
planning on using a DJ that my future mother-in-law recommended, that they have
been very impressed with in the past. Well, unfortunately, he wasn’t
able to perform at my reception, but he recommended someone else. Now, I
should have known better than to sign up a DJ without listening to them first,
but there was so much to do that I really welcomed the shortcut and I assumed
that a good DJ would know who to recommend.
I called the new DJ two or three months before the wedding to
ask if she was available, she was. We discussed the particulars of my
wedding, what songs I wanted, etc. She sounded very agreeable and nice, so
I sent the deposit. Two weeks later I called her to make sure she’d
gotten it, she said she hadn’t. So the next time I was in town I
delivered it in person. I called her a couple weeks later because I had a
couple new requests, she said it was no problem. A few weeks later she
calls me to see if I changed my mind on anything and make sure she was bringing
the right music, and I called her (just like I called every other vendor) the
week of the wedding to make sure they had the correct times and locations.
Each time I called we discussed the wedding and what I wanted her to do.
Now it is important to state that my fiancé and I were having
a themed wedding. We both loved fantasy, and so we decided to go purely
fairytale. I wore a medieval-style dress, the groom wore chainmail, the
bridal party were all decked out as lords, ladies, and knights, even our parents
and grandparents and several other relatives and friends got in on the action
and wore costumes. For the décor, we had tiny knights and bowls of grapes
on the tables, candles and greenery and such. I wanted everything to have
a sort of medieval/renaissance feel, nothing strict, just trying to play down
the modern stuff. For this reason, I asked that the DJ try to keep things
low-key. I knew she would need speakers and a turntable, and we set up an
area for all of that, but I asked that she leave anything she might have like
flashing lights and disco balls behind, and she promised that would be no
problem. I also told her that we didn’t want a money dance, that she
didn’t need to keep people from eating before we arrive (we were only serving
snacks, sandwiches, and desserts, since it was an afternoon wedding), and told
her I would be leaving a CD that I would like her to play while the guests wait
for us to arrive – very beautiful hammer dulcimer music, nothing you can dance
to, but would set a nice tone for mingling. She assured me that all of
this was fine.
The reception was held on the third floor of a historic
building, in the ballroom. When we arrived after our wedding, someone met
us at the front door of the building asking something about food, and I asked
why they were waiting, since I expected that people should have already filled
their plates by then.
By the time my new husband and I made it to the third floor,
the door was crowded with a huge line. The DJ announced us, but we got
lost in the throng of people. My maid-of-honor explained that the DJ had
just announced that the buffet was open when we arrived. No big deal, I
thought, although I was a little peeved that people weren’t already fed and
I made my way over to the DJ, who was playing rock and roll,
not hammer dulcimer. She had my CD sitting in front of her, however.
The first thing she told me was, “You never told me this was a themed
wedding.” I just stared at her in shock, before saying, “Yes, I
did.” “No, you didn’t.” she replied. I had told her, in
every phone call, that it was a themed wedding. This wouldn’t have been
so bad if she had been wearing something wedding-appropriate, businesslike, or
nice – but she was in dreadlocks, which she didn’t have when I dropped off
the check, wearing a stained, striped, old T-shirt and jeans. Who wears
something like that to ANY wedding reception? She asked me again what
songs we wanted for our first dance and parent dances. I told her, again,
the music we’d agreed on. Luckily, I had the CD with that, too.
Then she held up my hammer dulcimer CD and said she’d play it whenever I asked
her to. Since I’d asked her to play it before we arrived, I just told
her to forget it. Last, she asked when I wanted to do the money dance!
At this point I thought I was going crazy, it was as though I had never spoken
to this woman at all.
Oh, and later, my mother told me that when she’d gotten
there, the DJ had flashing lights and a disco ball going.
The reception was still a lot of fun, but I wish I would have
just put the songs I wanted in an iPod and let it DJ.
First let me say thank you for this website. White planning my
wedding I read every story and used them as a “what not to do”. It’s been
incredibly helpful. Now for my tacky vendor.
In December of 2006 I became engaged. We live in a small town
that is actually a resort community with a lake and ski slopes. Our first
thought in planning the wedding was where to have it. We are not members of the
local churches and after reading the horror stories on your website regarding
hours between the ceremonies and receptions, I knew I wanted them to be in the
same place or close to each other. We found the perfect option. A two story
paddle-wheel boat on the lake, which I will call the SB. In January of 2007 I
called the SB and asked about charter prices and general information about the
boat. The price was right and the boat seemed perfect. We would be married on
the upper deck at sunset and then the party would move downstairs which was
enclosed with heating, air-conditioning, full-bar, and tables for dinner. We
reserved the boat six months in advance, for June of 2007.
When we received the information packet in January, there was
a per-hour price for private charters. When the contracts were sent to me three
weeks later the price on the contract had jumped $500.00. I called and they
explained that the price had just increased but they would honor the original
price sent to me. Wow, what a great company, NOT!
I spoke with the owners of the SB off and on for the next
couple of months. Discussing table linens, when we could board to decorate and
this and that. My contact was someone I’ll call Betty. Betty was always
friendly, everything seemed right on schedule and we sent the invitations.
Then in late March I get a call from my bridesmaid who asked
if I had seen our local paper that day. I said no and she said, “Well, there
is a huge article on the front page that the SB has been removed from the
lake.” I ran to my computer and pulled up the story. Sure enough the owner of
the dock where the SB had a 20 year lease has kicked the boat out of their dock.
Seems the owner of the boat hasn’t paid rent in two years! On top of this the
city has also said the boat is not handicap accessible and since it does public
tours during the day, it cannot be on the lake until it is renovated.
I immediately call Betty. She says, “Oh that local paper.
They didn’t even call us, none of that is true. Everything is fine. The boat
is being renovated with new carpet and paint. It’s on “K” street being
worked on and it will be beautiful for your wedding.” I give a big sigh of
relief and call my family and say, “Don’t worry, it’s nothing”. Sure
enough, I drive down “K” street everyday on my way to work and I can see the
boat has been taken apart like someone is starting work on it. As we move into
April, I glance over at the boat on my way to work everyday and everyday it’s
the same. No work on the boat. I call Betty who says, “Oh, don’t worry we
have plenty of time”. I explain to her that the invitations have already gone
out so she needs to let me know if there is going to be a problem getting the
boat back on the water by June. You guessed it, “no problem”.
All through April I’m calling Betty and asking her which
dock the boat will be leaving from, since it’s not the one on my invitations,
so that I can inform my guests of the change. Every time I call, I am told they
will know in a couple of days, not to worry, they will call me back. I never
once received a call from this company.
Now we are six weeks away from the wedding and I am seriously
panicking, calling every two days. I call the city one Friday. The city tells me
that unless the owner of the boat gets some paperwork to them by the close of
business that day, there is no way the boat will be on the water in time for my
event. I call Betty and relay this information and she says, “Well, you know
more than I do.” The boat owner never gets to the city that day, surprise!
Next, I am told that they will be meeting with the city on May 18th, and will
know after that. May 18th will put me four weeks away from the date. I start
scouting other locations and do a lot of crying because I have been purchasing
things for this big day. Things that I will need on the boat. I call Betty
again, crying and say to her, “Look, we’ve been working together for 5
months on this. Please tell me, one human being to another, will we be able to
use the boat for my wedding?” Her response is “keep good thoughts.”
I find another location which is going to work very nicely.
But here’s the kicker, just to see what she might say, I call Betty on May
19th. “Well,” I say, “What dock will we be leaving out of?” Her
response? “We were taken off the agenda for the meeting with the city. We’ll
know on the 7th.” I said, “the 7th of June?” Betty replies yes. I say to
her, “So on the 8th, two days before my wedding, you could call me and say the
city denied you access to the lake?” Yep. I politely say, “It’s been nice
working with you, I wish you the best of luck”. By the way, as of this
morning, three weeks until the wedding, the boat is still in pieces and has
never had any work done on it.
A little background, On my wedding day in Jan of 1995,
we were setting up before the wedding, There was a phone call for my friend
Shay. Shay comes back in the room in tears, her dad had a stroke and was not
expected to make it. We took her to the hospital and things continued. Her
father passed away 10 days later. During this time her old bf Joe
shows up. Next thing we know they are engaged.
Wedding set for July. The same lady who sewed my wedding
dress, Donna, offered to sew Shays also. All Shay would have to do
is buy the material. But Donna was already sewing the 2 bridesmaid
dresses, so Shay had Peg sew it. Now Peg is very talented seamstress, but
she does not exactly understand time restraints. This was well known in
our circle of friends.
Fast forward to W- Day. I arrive at the
wedding and go to see Shay. It was about 15 min before the ceremony was to start
and she was not dressed, and completely beside herself! Peg had
not delivered the wedding dress yet. At that moment in storms Peg, shoves
the dress at Shay and leaves. I go set down. The BMs dresses look
fabulous. Donna is a very good seamstress, I had told Shay several times to have
Donna take over the dress, as she was finished with the BM dresses.
Wedding march- In walks Shay ----In the most awful dress
imaginable! It seriously looked like a toga! All she needed
was the crown of leaves. She told me later she was afraid it would fall
Needless to say that was the highlight of the marriage. She
divorced him 2 yrs later.
When I was planning my wedding, which took place last
week, I found a florist I thought to be incredibly professional and friendly. We
had three consultations that she went out of her way to have at our venue so we
could see some test arrangements of our flowers and triple-confirm what we
want before we put any money down (at an amazingly inexpensive price,
too!). I was so impressed, I even recommended her to my friend, who is having
her wedding a couple weeks after mine.
The big day arrives. The florist and I signed the contract that stated she and
her employees would be at the venue at 1 pm for the 3:30 ceremony. By 1:30,
still no florist. So I call her cell phone to make sure she's alright and she
informs me that SHE had decided to change the time to later, and assured me
that she had MEANT to call me and let me know. Well, nothing to be done about
that now, I think, and am comforted hearing that the stuff is almost
all loaded up and they will leave in a matter of minutes.
An hour and a half later, after failed attempts by the increasingly frantic
bridal party to get her back on the phone, she calls me and says they hit some
heavy traffic, but are just up the street. Okay, I'm kinda sweatin' it by now,
as I am completely sequestered away in the bridal suite and can no longer leave
or else ruin the tradition of not seeing the groom beforehand. This is torture
for me as I am a hands-on person and thrive on solving problems personally, but
I feel I have no choice but to sit and wait, so I do so as calmly as possible.
We lost the opportunity for many pre-ceremony bridal shots with the professional
photographer as a result.
By this time, unbeknownst to hidden 'lil me, the bridesmaids are scurrying for a
backup, with roughly 25 minutes to go before show time. The photographer even
offers to run to the local grocery store to buy some flowers just so I'll have SOMETHING
to carry down the aisle. The husband of one of my 'maids is getting ready to do
just that as the florist's van finally pulls up. It is now about 3:15 pm.
Her "employees" consist of her husband (who is in no way associated
with the business, he told my now-husband later) and mother! One of the
things we had rented were some pillars which were supposed to be draped with
fabric and topped with floral arrangements. I was told later by some of the
guests that it was like watching a comedy act as some of the pillars toppled and
hit the florists on the head as they struggled to set them up. They visibly used
packing tape to secure a cheap bunch of fake ivy to the top of the tallest two.
The shorter two were supposed to have tall rose-filled vases, which never
materialized. The fabric draped between them looked like a remnant, complete
with frayed edges.
The bridesmaids rush in to my room with the bouquets, which as you may be able
to guess by now, were also not what I had ordered. Many of the roses in my own
bouquet were damaged and wilted-looking. Thinking quickly, I turned over a pot
of metallic gold-pink eyeshadow I had brought and dusted the petals liberally
with a blush brush, which helped mask the brown creases and spots. About 5-10
minutes behind schedule, I make it down the aisle. I notice that some of the
boutonnieres on the groomsmen are either bent or the bows have come untied.
Unfortunately, we weren't able to completely make up for all the bridal photos
we missed out on beforehand, and ended up missing the entire cocktail hour.
The flowers and decorations for the reception are about 1/3 of what we ordered.
After the reception was over, she was too embarrassed to clean up what was left,
and sent only her poor husband, who, albeit unrelated to the business, got an
earful from a few of the still-peeved-on-my-behalf bridal party members.
Now, I understand that the unexpected can always come up and she may
well have had a family emergency or something that caused her to be late. All I
really would have wanted was a phone call so that we would have had more time to
form a back-up plan and get things rolling more quickly, rather than being left
to depend on her insistence that she would be there any minute when she was
really two and a half hours late. The good news is that everyone else ended up
being so professional and the venue itself was so beautiful that no one else
noticed the flaws--not even the mother of the groom, who had been there for two
of the consultations! I commended for being so calm and friendly through the
whole ordeal (I must be a pretty good actress, haha!). My bridesmaids were
totally awesome and supportive the whole time and I love them to death. My one
friend/'maid ended up threatening to not continue with her own order if we were
not compensated and she was guaranteed that they would not do that to her. We are
supposedly going to get half our money back from the florist (although she
called my cell phone at 7:30 am the morning AFTER my wedding--hello!?), and
my pictures still turned out beautiful. But thank goodness we created our
own centerpieces, table numbers, and birdcage for the reception instead of
depending entirely on her!
Page Last Updated October 11, 2008