Sometimes, no matter how much time, money, thought and planning goes into a wedding its just not going to make a difference. I’ve learned that some people just have unrealistic expectations of what their wedding is going to be. Others, no matter how much you offer to help and attempt to go above and beyond to please them, just aren’t going to be happy no matter what you do.
Now, I’m not one to typically throw a bride under the bus…but folks…the day has come that I feel its my obligation to other wedding industry professionals and the countless number of bridesmaids who have had to endure a bridezilla along the way to let them know the wedding nightmares aren’t entirely myth.
Over the weekend I had the pleasure of coordinating a wedding that I thought would never end. My first red flag appeared during the rehearsal when multiple family members became agitated upon learning the officiant wouldn’t be in attendance. (Just so everyone is clear…this is not an abnormal occurrence. I do rehearsals all the time without the reverend, pastor, chaplain, judge, officiating guru and this isn’t a problem.) When the mother of the bride scoffed at me and questioned my ability to run an organized rehearsal, I knew then we were going to have an issue.
One smooth, organized and efficiently run rehearsal later we find ourselves at the rehearsal dinner. The bride and groom had BBQ catered in…maybe the only good choice made the entire weekend!
I spent an hour that evening with the
monster mother of the bride trying to convince her that the venue wasn’t “jipping” her out of time and money. I reviewed the contract with her and the itinerary which the bride helped create. She insisted she was told the reception would be four hours…not the entire event. *Brides, be sure to read your contracts closely and make sure all the key players are on the same page well before the night of your wedding. This is NOT the way you want to begin your weekend celebration.
Day of the wedding…T minus 6 hours until we have total melt down…
The bride shows up 3 hours late to the venue. She (and her family, friends, bridesmaids) are responsible for set-up of all personal decorations not provided by the venue or vendors. This includes pictures, guestbook, candles, favors, seating charts in this case the centerpieces…anything provided by the bride! Due to her late arrival I was left guessing where certain items went or how she wanted them displayed. This will inevitably come back to bite me later….
I have little trust in men’s dress stores. Countless times they have incorrectly made orders and have set in motion a domino effect of bad events. No exception this time…we had a groomsmen show up late due to an incomplete tux order. You would have thought the world was ending due to the way the bride was yelling and snapping at people over the groom’s “stupid friends who can’t even be on time for a wedding”. She was incapable of seeing the fact that this was in no way the friends fault, but the store’s. He arrived at the venue precisely the time the ceremony was to start…
Ceremony starts 20 minutes late. The bride has, at this point, a permanent scowl on her face. She is seemingly entirely unhappy. Now, I have no idea if she smiled while actually walking down the aisle…but I genuinely hope she did…because it may be the only picture the photographer has of her pearly whites. As she makes it to the altar her 2 year old daughter, the flower girl, begins crying. She is uncontrollable, loud and inconsolable. She is clinging to the brides dress and no one moves to pick her up or move her. (Typically a family member will take the child to their chair or to the back of the room. Outside if it is necessary.)
They are pronounced husband and wife…they make their way back down the aisle and immediately upon exiting the bride barks at me, “You forgot my aisle runner. I spent hours making that thing.” She turns and speaking to no one in general says loudly “Could no one have contained this child.” I’m dumbstruck and speechless because remember it wasn’t my responsibility to put out the aisle runner…and more importantly…what mom talks about her child that way?
I put down the aisle runner so the bride would have it in her pictures. Before we can actually begin photos I am sideswiped again by her lack of sincerity and apparent character flaws. The grooms grandmother, who was as sweet as pecan pie,was sitting in her wheelchair near the area where pictures were being staged. The bride looks at her new husband and says “will you please move your grandmother.” Don’t be fooled by the please there folks…her tone was dripping with disdain. So much that the grandmother began to tear up! Needless to say I was appalled by the bride’s actions. The grandmother didn’t stay for photos and asked to be taken inside.
So begins the grand finale…
We finally finish
pulling teeth taking pictures. I bustle the dress because no one knows how. I get the wedding party lined up to be announced in and return to where the bride and groom are waiting. Before I enter I can hear them screaming at each other through the closed door. I wait…thinking surely they’ll stop as they can see me through the window. Meanwhile I can hear the DJ announcing the bridesmaids and groomsmen. A few minutes pass and I have no choice… I step into the room, put on my best I’m just here to help smile and launch into a monologue that would make a professional couples therapist proud. (They’ve stopped yelling so clearly something I said struck a cord…for a brief moment.) I get the bride some tissue and coax them out the door.
Meanwhile all the guests are waiting for the couple upstairs…I cannot imagine what they are thinking/saying at this point. A few snide comments, rolling eyes and a declaration of “I’m not doing this the rest of my life” later I get them to the door. Just a few more steps to go and I’ve done it!!!! The DJ announces the newlyweds, everyone claps…the applause fades as the couple doesn’t enter…they just stand there and I think this is the most awkward moment I’ve ever experienced at a wedding.
Scowl locked firmly in place the couple finally walks into their reception to limited applause. They begin their first dance which resembles a pre-battle war ritual.
Typically I will stay to party for a bit during the reception… I’ve never hightailed it out of a wedding so fast in my life! I don’t know how the night ended or if it went smoothly for the reception coordinator. In my book this is the wedding to beat…when couples down the road ask me about drama or bad experiences these are the highlights I will give them.
Here’s hoping I’ve met my quota for drama this year and there’s nothing but smooth sailing ahead.
I’d love to hear your wedding nightmares…please share them with me in the comments below!!
Have a great week and happy planning all you bride and grooms to be!