Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


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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
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 THOUGHT??? 

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 expense.

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 plan. 

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".

Another week goes by, same excuse. A third week goes by, and I hear this again.

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 you. 


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 staff!). 

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 for?)   

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