I am typically very, very selective of the weddings that I choose to take on. It isn’t that I don’t particularly like weddings. I actually have found that I do indeed like them. However, what I don’t like is the extreme anxiety of the day, being yelled at, the drama, and the potential for bridezilla’s, groomzilla’s, maid of honor-zilla’s and etc. You get the point. There is almost always some form of drama at weddings, and that just isn’t my cup of tea. I really don’t have the temperament for it. I can be kind, caring, giving, albeit a bit awkward and quirky…but I can also be a little pistol when you push over that thin line. When that happens you don’t see “Greenwood” Christi anymore. You will see “38th and Capitol” Christi come out, and she isn’t pretty. (You have to live in Indianapolis or frequent the area to truly grasp this concept.)
Anywho, I was contacted recently by a friend who had a friend who had a friend looking for a last minute photographer. The details were a little murky, but I got in contact with them and by that Wednesday I was booked. I felt absolutely horrible for this bride. Long story short, she had hired a planner, spent a pretty penny (almost 12k, I think) and the planner’s communication was spotty at best. To add insult to injury she had not done a lot of her duties.
If you are newly engaged and/or never had a wedding, you may be wondering what exactly a wedding planner is. A wedding planner is someone that you hire to assist you with creating a budget for your wedding, design plans, your event timeline, helping hire and manage all vendors – including their payments, tracking RSVP’s, managing setups and complications on the wedding day, and so much more. They really are handy people to hire if you have it in your budget AND they know what they are doing.
My clients wedding was on a Saturday. The wedding planner arrived on Friday with tables, chairs, dance floor, and the tent in tow. The tent was installed, but she did not bother with setting anything else up. Since she had full use of the space (it was at my clients home) I seen no reason not to do so, but again that was her job…not mine. However, what really irritated me is the fact that my client had purchased items to use for the ceremony and she expected my client to set it up herself. IMO that wasn’t my client’s job. I don’t care who paid for it. I don’t care what excuse this woman could have come up with, did come up with, or thought, etc. My client had never been married before. She didn’t know what to do. Seriously, at all.
So while it wasn’t my job to do, I still did it:
I don’t know which pissed me off the most: the fact that this woman got paid as much as she did and I sat there for almost three hours doing her job, or the fact that she sat there watching me do her job. Someone else noticed, too, and took the photo for me.
It should also be noted that despite being the wedding planner for this wedding the following items had to be handled either by the bride herself, or taken care of by her bridal party prior to the wedding and within 6 days:
• Photographer (me)
• Wedding Cake
• Wedding Programs
• No Wedding Timeline
• No Wedding Rehearsal
I provided the bride with a basic timeline of how weddings “typically” go and bride/her wedding party took care of making their bouquets. They did a really good job, but I did take them overnight with me Friday night to do some little modifications. Those who know me know I’m really good with florals. Since the wedding planner gave no thought to any kind of programs or anything informational at all, I took the liberty of designing one. I don’t know what time I finally fell asleep Saturday morning, but it was after 2am. I was going to take a break before showering because I was covered in hot glue, but yeah…I fell asleep sitting up. Ooops.
By 9am I was back at it again printing out the programs. I love my printer. She’s sooooooo old, and slow…but she does a good job. It took me almost two hours to print all the programs, and then much longer than I care to admit to roll them up and tie them up. I think they turned out really cute though.
I had wanted to get to the wedding early in case the bride needed anything, but no….a series of unfortunate events happened and I got there just on time. The wedding planner wasn’t navigating anything inside. She was outside with what I assumed was her family setting things up. Which, in my opinion should have already been done, but at least it got done….I was honestly worried she wasn’t going to show. She didn’t once try to help the bride. Not once. Her kids were in and out of the house, though.
There are only so many photos I can take of the bride or bridal party getting makeup put on or their hair done, so I always take a few minutes to head outside to capture photos of place settings and whatnot before the place gets too packed full of people – if/when I have the ability to do so. Let’s face it. People get a little grumpy when you ask if you can hover over their shoulder for a minute or two – yes, even if you’re a paid worker.
This is where I really started to get mad. It was obvious that she owned the chargers. Which is 100% fine. I have no problems with people who own their stuff. Wedding planners and people like me who own props often do. What I have a BIG problem with, though, is not taking care of the items you own and then using them in something like a W…E…D…D…I…N…G…
I am not making this stuff up, people. She literally put something like that on the tables. Not just one table. They were everywhere. To the point I had to find one or two that had the least amount of damage for me to edit out in post process. The ONLY thing I did to that image was resize it! And would it kill her to invest in some higher grade paper for a wedding? I know, I know…I’m being picky here. But hello!??! Almost 12G’s here!
The centerpieces were a glass candle tray, two cylinder candle holders filled with water and wrapped with rhinestones, a votive candle, and artificial rose petals on the table. I don’t remember seeing her ever light a single candle, but I do know that I seen some tables light their own because they were smokers and had a lighter. I’m not a smoker so I coudn’t.
The menu consisted of: Rib tips, Macaroni and Cheese, Pulled Chicken, Pulled Pork, Potato Salad, Baked Beans, Macaroni Salad, Cole Slaw, Deviled Eggs, and Hot Dogs and Chips available for children. Drink options were Coke, Sprite, Diet Coke, Water, and Juice. Supposedly, this is where her main gig is: food. I’m a fat girl raised by people who know southern cooking and midwestern cooking. I have had a whole lot of rib tips and pulled chicken and pork in my life. I would rate hers an “eh”. I’ve had better. But this was just my preference. It just tasted, well….like leftovers more than freshly cooked. I got the rib tips without any BBQ sauce to see if they were dry – often sauce can mask this…and they were slightly on the dry side. The pulled chicken was okay. I prefer a little kick than sweet. I’m not fond of southern baked beans, but also a preference. The macaroni and cheese were also eh. Not as bad as boxed, but not as good as good ole fashioned homemade. The coleslaw and potato salad weren’t too bad. She should be ashamed at her deviled eggs. I did not try the macaroni salad because it always makes me sick. I also didn’t like that it was served in those disposable pans with disposable styrofoam plates and plastic wear. Basic dollar tree plates, but at least she did splurge on pre-packaged plastic wear. She did not provide any glasses for guests to drink out of. It was cans only unless you were drinking alcohol – which she was also supposed to provide, but didn’t. The food wasn’t “bad” perse, but I guess I was just expecting better from someone who supposedly has a BBQ business? Either that or I was already biased towards her at this point. One or the other. I did try almost everything, though, so that I could at least try to give her the benefit of the doubt in the food department.
So by this point you’re probably wondering what this woman DID provide for this wedding for the money – I don’t think I’ve missed anything, but I could have.
• 40×60 Pole Tent
• Dance Floor of unknown size
• 15 round tables
• 3 rectangle tables
• 150 Chairs
• A Photo Booth
• A Bouncy House
• Food and *some* Drinks
These are things she did not, but was supposed to have, the DAY OF THE WEDDING that the maid of honor had to get at the last minute:
To be honest I am trying to figure out where all of the brides money went, and unless she receives or demands an itemized list we will probably never know. Since I do a lot of my own prop buying and purchasing…and because I have helped people throughout my almost 41 yrs with planning weddings and other events, I have a pretty good idea how much some stuff cost – depending on what company you rent from.
• 40×60 Pole Tent – $1200-$1500 MAX
• Dance Floor – $300 MAX (it was smaller and I can rent a 8×12 for about $250)
• 18 Tables – $193 after tax
• Chairs – $642 after tax
• Centerpieces – Personally, I think she made them. It would be quite cheap to do so. The cylinder glass trays can be purchased on Amazon for under $40 for 12, you can get the cylinders at dollar tree if you’re lucky to find them or order on the website or for under $200 on Amazon, the rhinestone ribbon is on Amazon for $8 and she probably needed two rolls, bulk votive candles with glass are under $20 on Amazon, and $7.99 x 2 for both shades of rose petals. All a business write off with a grand total of $355 after tax
• Tablecloths – $208 after tax
• Photo Booth – $600
• Bounce House – $160
• Food – Average buffet price per person is $27, so we are going to round up to $30…but I think this would be too much for what was provided (just my opinion) $4500
There is no food tax in Indiana, but she would have to pay tax on the plates and plastic wear. Based on these numbers she only spent around $8500 rounding UP. She didn’t hire any “labor” for the event other than her family members, and I agree they would need paid….but I’m sorry…you don’t get paid thousands of dollars for doing a craptastic.
Oh, and did I mention that her husband tried to start an argument with me literally AT the wedding? Apparently she overheard me explaining to one of the guests who knew the situation that I don’t see where the money went either and went into details about pricing, because if you know, you know. Well her husband decided he was going to have words to say about it. I’m sorry, but I don’t need a husband to fight my battles. If you have anything to say to me you can say it to my face and not just yell at me from across the tent when I’m doing my job. I know how to do mine. I’m sorry if your wife doesn’t know how to do hers.
I’m not the one who bad mouthed my client to other vendors working for that client.
I’m not the one sitting here who made several people pissed off.
I’m not the one who packed up as much of the wedding as I could before the wedding was over.
I’m not the one who had their client in tears REPEATEDLY in the days leading up to and ON what was supposed to be HER day.
When I sat down to get how I felt out I tried to find her business pages and websites, because usually everyone has at least one, right? I couldn’t find anything. I have her personal facebook, but I won’t blast that here. My problem with her isn’t necessarily personal – it’s professional – so I won’t even post her photo…unless I am given reason to. I have no doubt that this woman took advantage of a sweet, caring woman who just wants to believe in the good of people. She was out for easy money. That’s it. I hope she leaves other brides alone.
Karma has her name, and I hope her vengeance applies the laws of three.