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15 Wedding Planners Share On-The-Job Horror Stories

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It’s no secret that the wedding industry has gotten completely out of control, and brides right along with it. Girls build up expectations in their minds of a perfect, fairytale day, and if that doesn’t happen, well, someone’s ass is grass.

If you hired a wedding planner, I’m guessing that’s the person in the hot seat. And these 15 wedding planners have some eye-popping tales of their worst work day ever.

#15. Check on the priest.

“Not a wedding planner but was directly involved.

A few years ago my sister got married. The wedding was in a small town up north and the church was old and small but beautiful. Of course she asked my brother and I to usher the wedding.

Wedding day comes, everything is great, everyone is seated in the church. We close the outside doors to prepare for my sister to walk in.

The wedding planners are standing outside with us doing a final check. Everything appears to be okay.

Except no one knows where the priest is. He is no where in any part of this small church. My sister comes out and calls the priest, who as it turns out, thought the wedding was actually an hour later than it really was. So he started speeding towards the church, in the mean time, the harpist that was playing keeps playing and everyone inside is getting a bit antsy.

Then we realize that while we were figuring this whole thing out, no one bothered to clue in my soon to be brother in law, who was just standing alone at the altar.

After this event the planners added “Check that the priest is there” to the list”

#14. Dinner and a show.

“I felt so sorry for the wedding coordinator for my niece’s wedding. It’s always a bit of a white trash show with that part of the family, but they went all out for the wedding.

Mother of the bride was noticeably drunk (like leaning over to one side drunk) and noisy during the ceremony. The stepmother of the bride was in a snit. The father of the bride was being his typical spineless self. The bride, groom, and wedding party were all chain smoking and drinking natural light beer before, during, and after the ceremony, and most of them were a lovely shade of orange from the fake tans. The officiant showed up in a t-shirt and sweatpants. There wasn’t enough food for the guests, not even enough for everyone to get a bite of something. Arguments broke out all over, between all members of the bride’s family. If there had actually been dinner, it would have been a great “dinner and a show” thing.”

#13. A long list.

“Photographer here. I was just getting into the wedding photography game, and was taking any client that would let me shoot them, often on a shoestring budget with very late notice. Only had one client that ended up being so bad that I thought i was getting pranked.

Some of the highlights included:

bride and groom showed to the church up an hour and a half late with McDonalds
bride got ready in a room that was under construction – had to avoid 2/3rds of the room when taking photos as they were torn apart.
groom got ready in a room that had signs leftover from a church production that said things like “I was addicted to crack” and “I sold my body” etc.
Ceremony happened in a room that was so small you could hear the brides 3 month old baby crying in the next room over
Ceremony was in a church with two very short isles instead of one big isle, they decided to last minute have people walk down each seperate isle, i couldnt be in two places at once – missed a lot of essential shots there
They turned the lights on and off at different parts of the ceremony in an attempt to highlight the bride, but the person flipping the switches had awful timing, and the isles were so short i couldnt adjust my camera perfectly – created a TON of work in post
person playing piano & singing couldnt sing or play the piano well at all.
reception was 45 minutes away – keep in mind they were an hour and a half late, so now photos that shouldve been at sunset are now done at night
The reception was at a nice townhome with a pool. Dancefloor was in the living room. Wall on the west was playing the game. Mirror on the east wall was reflecting the game. North wall was open and led to the pool where a tv was playing the news, south wall was non-existent and led into the kitchen where everyone was eating.
I asked if they’d turn the TV off – they said they wanted to keep it on so people could watch. At this point i had given up and just delivered pictures with donald trumps face, or reflections of a cripsy chicken sandwich commercial playing on the tv.”

#12. Like an anxious moth.

“I’m a simple woman. I see wedding thread, I upvote.

As an aside, I did see a wedding coordinator talk down a full grown groomzilla from screaming so loudly at my manager in a gourmet chocolate shop that she almost called the cops. Just full on red faced “DO YOU KNOW WHAT A WEDDING IS? WE’VE HAD IT PLANNED FOR MONTHS TO HAVE HAND MADE GODDAMN ARTISINAL CHOCOLATES FOR ALL OUR GUESTS. DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH MONEY WE WERE PLANNING TO SPEND? WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN TOO SHORT OF A TURNAROUND? YOU BITCH I CAN SEE YOUR STAFF SITTING ON THEIR HANDS, YOU’RE TELLING ME YOU’RE TOO BUSY? ITS A GHOSTTOWN HERE AND ITS. BECAUSE. YOU. ARE. SHIT!”

The wedding planner was fluttering around him like an anxious moth while my stone faced manager had to explain to this full grown man that just because he wrote it down in a binder months ago it didn’t mean he’d placed the order. And that it’s way too late to order 400 individual chocolates for a wedding a week out.”

#11. In protest.

“Catering for a wedding, bride’s mother brought in shrimp and ate that, she was allergic to it and had to have an ambulance take her to the hospital.

Turns out, the mother didn’t want a white Australian for a son-in-law and tried to kill herself in protest.”

#10. Mommy dearest.

“I had a couple and her mother come to see me by appointment to plan wedding music for their forthcoming church ceremony.

Each time I’d demonstrate a potential processional on the organ, the bride and groom liked it, but the bride’s mother objected and asked to hear something different (when asked what her idea of “something different” might be, she had no ideas).

The situation got more and more tense as the groom and bride’s mother argued. Finally, the mother said, “Listen – I’m paying for this wedding, and you’ll do it MY way, and that’s the end of it!”

In an effort to bring harmony, I said to the mother, “It’s the couple’s wedding, not yours or mine. Let them make the choices they like, and I’ll provide music at no charge, so the question of who’s paying for it is no longer a factor.”

That solved the problem instantly. But the groom left glaring at his future mother-in-law, probably wondering what he was getting into for the long term. (To my surprise, the best man came to see me at the organ on the day of the ceremony, and gave me an envelope containing double the normal amount.)”

#9. Be a bro.

“Officiant here, Sat with a couple to talk about their ceremony. They asked for the barest of bare bones, 5 min or less package. Welp, ok I guess.

Show up, knowing the ceremony was casual and poolside in their backyard. Didn’t realize it was in swimsuits. Ok, cool, sure. Hottest day in Phoenix ever, so we all appreciated the shortest ceremony ever.

Get a call Monday from a family member that bride and groom broke up, he had been cheating. Right as I dropped the license in the mail.

So, if you’re ever cheating on someone and don’t plan on staying married after the air comes out of the floaties, just ask your officiant to be a bro and not mail the thing, that way you’re only out $75 and not the cost of an actual divorce.”

#8. All the flowers in the world.

“Not a wedding planner, but this a funny/tragic story.

My mother’s friend is a florist, and she makes the flower arrangements for a lot of weddings.

Anyway, for this wedding, the bride wanted flowers on the chairs (not very smart because they would eventually get crushed, and/or ruin someone’s clothes), and each chair with flowers costs about 75€, and there are about 300-400 guests.

Plus, there are all the other flowers arrangements for the tables, and around the venue, so the bride’s mother spent about 20k€ on flowers, alone. I can’t even imagine how much the whole thing cost.

Anyway, the wedding day went by uneventful, until the bride and groom were at their honeymoon. The bride received a call from her ex-boyfriend, they made up, and she left her husband, and went to live with her ex.

Apparently, the mother had a nervous breakdown.”

#7. Oh, the 80s.

“i was at a wedding reception where the maid of honor (sister of the bride) had a fight with her boyfriend and threw herself onto the hood of his car as he tried to drive away with her poor father trying to pull her off. In a purple satin, puffy-sleeve 1987 atrocity. Mass quantities of alcohol was involved.”

#6. We played for hours.

“Not a wedding planner, but a member of a string quartet booked to play the wedding & reception afterwards.

The person who was going to officiate was a rabbi who was also a professor of the bride and groom. He never showed up for the wedding. So our quartet was asked to keep playing while the couple desperately tried to find a last-minute justice of the peace to perform the ceremony.

We played for hours, and were invited to eat the food offered to the guests. In the end, the couple found someone to perform the ceremony. I cannot imagine what it must have been like for them to see their professor the next day.”

#5. Precious Moments.

“Obligatory not a planner, but my mom made wedding cakes for almost 20 years in the 1990’s-2000’s.

Several of her horror stories involved Precious Moments figurines, of all things. They’re the ones that look like creepy babies/angelic children.

For some ungodly reason, Precious Moments cake toppers were all the rage for awhile. Unfortunately, they are made of ceramic, and can be a bit heavy to place on top of stacked pastry.

One time, Mom was mid-cake-setup when the mother of the bride (MOB) handed her a 5 lb. Precious Moments wedding car, and told her it was their cake topper. Besides being heavy, it was also larger than the top tier of the cake. My mom flat-out told her, “No way. That thing is way too heavy, it will crush of top the cake.”

MOB didn’t want to take, “no,” for an answer, and kept insisting that the wedding would be ruined if they didn’t have this cake topper. Mom refused, and explained several more times that the cake could not support the car. She placed the car next to the cake, and got a pretty spray of flowers from the florist to put on top, instead.

An hour later, she got a frantic call from the reception hall, because the cake fell, “all by itself.”

Turns out, MOB waited until Mom left, placed the car topper on top of the cake, and left for the ceremony. The reception manager found the cake all over the floor shortly after.

A similar scenario occurred with a motorcycle- themed Precious Moments figurine several months later. Mom banned all Precious Moments after that.”

#4. Strong drink required.

“Wedding Coordinator here – The couple that never paid their final balance for the reception.

I’m a “day of event” coordinator (so I’m not part of the arrangements, only handle the details to make sure everything goes smoothly. This was one of the rare times it didn’t.

Once the ceremony started, I headed over to the reception hall to oversee the setup, only to find out that the couple paid the deposit, but never paid the balance-about half of the total cost (IIR about $30k). The catering hall was refusing to hold the reception until they got their money in cash (no personal checks allowed). It was a Sunday before a bank holiday and while most commercial banks would have been fine, their local bank was not open until that Tuesday.

Slightly panicking, I called the main coordinator who was still at the church with the couple to try to figure this out. The older brother tried to help by trying to get money from relatives, but they were obviously short of the sum needed. We were at the point where guests were starting to arrive. After going back and forth, the catering manager said they would hold the cocktail hour since the deposit covered that.

When the couple arrived, the groom, the brother, and my lead coordinator met with the manager and they basically offered their money box, along with whatever payment they were able to round up to hold as ransom until they made the payment. The reception went on as planned, and once everything was set, I broke my work rule and had a strong drink.”

#3. Not-so-happy ending.

“This happened at a wedding reception that took place where I used to work:

Bride and groom were fighting when they arrived for the reception, groom starts chugging back wine and passed out before he could make a speech and had to be carried out by his groomsmen.”

#2. All I wanted was a beach wedding.

“I planned my own wedding, I’m not sure how popular wedding planners are in the UK… I had to have a church wedding despite being non religious due to my (now) husband’s very Christian family. At the time he was also hanging on to being one and I figured that if it was important to them and I had no real default then that was fine.

In the UK if you aren’t getting married where your family is linked to a church you have to (usually) be part of the community for a year. So we went most Sundays and I sat through it, did the pre marriage councilling, picked the hymns (one’s from school) etc. I organised literally everything with my husband, we even made most of the wedding stuff by hand.

The week before the wedding he receives an email from his very religious uncle. It has a freeware word document attached to it which is a 3 page essay on how I am, amoungst other things, souless, going to hell, from the cup of demons, a sin etc. We told his family and almost no one stood up for me.

Needless to say I was pretty upset after jumping through so many hoops to be respectful of their beliefs. My husband replied to his uncle’s email and then called him to inform him he was uninvited. I sent him a wonderful email explaining exactly what I thought of him. We gave his picture to the wedding party lads in case he turned up. They were under strict orders to make a scene. Luckily he didn’t but it’s caused a massive crack in his family. No one even reprimanded the guy.

So that’s how my husband be ame almost completely isolated from his family, including a loss of faith. All I wanted was a beach wedding!

(Edit: ohgodwalloftext and speeling)”

#1. We see a lot of shit.

“I’m a professional violinist who works with wedding planners, and I’ve seen some things.

Once I got an email from a bride asking me if I’d play at a wedding, for free, in bleak midwinter, in a pavilion waaaay down the path of a hiking trail. Uh, no ma’am.

My first college gig was a wedding that was supposed to be in a beautiful sunny garden, but being in the Deep South, guess what? There were actually tornadoes that day instead. The families decided to go on with the wedding… so they had the wedding under the reception tent instead and moved the actual reception indoors (weird thinking, huh). Things were actually going ok until near the end of the ceremony, when weather sirens went off. We didn’t get hit by a tornado, but the rain and wind that eventually came in made it so that it was even hitting us under the tent. We obviously couldn’t couldn’t play for the recessional and had to run a short distance inside to pack the instruments up rather than risk staying outside and getting the instruments soaked. The wedding was completed outside ASAP and everyone made a beeline for indoors as fast as possible once it was over! The bride was laughing thankfully but everyone was wet and worried about tornadoes and it was just such a crazy day.

Also another Deep South wedding I played for: two avid football fans left their own reception early to watch their team’s football game that was on that day. (I knew the girl personally. She divorced him a year later, he ended up being an egotistical, abusive, cheating ass.)

I also played in a quartet at this gorgeous mountainside wedding and we got there quite early to set up. A fight broke out between who I later realized was the bride and groom, they busted out of the clubhouse behind us literally kicking and screaming at each other. They appeared ok during the wedding amazingly, but I would be surprised if that marriage lasted.

And last but definitely not least was the day my sister and I played a wedding when my grandfather died in the hospital. My family had been called to the hospital as I was getting ready to leave for the venue, and got the news he passed when I finished. I knew he was dying the whole time, though. Playing an entire wedding and reception through the death of a loved one is something I never, ever want to do again. I had to keep my sobs in so hard I got the hiccups.

Treat your wedding musicians well, most of us deal with and see a lot of shit.

Edited for two words.”