This Client Didn’t Make Their Job Any Easier
“I have catered over 100 weddings in my day and never really ‘ruined’ anything or had any big disasters but I have a story of a client ruining my night.
It was a destination wedding at a private residence 4 hours from my home base at a 25,000 sq ft vacation house near a ski resort. The clients were friends and one of my original regular customers at my restaurant. In fact, they had their first date at my place.
The Bride was very insistent about having a non-traditional reception. She wanted a running ‘happy hour’ party where different food and drink stations came out throughout the day/night with no traditional sit-down dinner. The main meal part of the night was ‘small plates’ served dim sum/tapas style. We had 10 items on the menu and my staff would walk carts up and down the tent passing out various plates. So if a cart went by with something you liked you took it, if not you waited for the next cart.
In our last meeting with the clients and the wedding planner, everyone decided that it was important for the bride and groom to have a speech welcoming everyone and to briefly explain how dinner was going to work. On the day of the wedding, despite being reminded, the bride neglected to do this. When my staff descended upon the tent people were confused; taking anything that came by their table, being upset that they didn’t get other things. After ‘dinner,’ the bride and groom give thank you speeches. When the Bride gets up to speak the first thing she says is that she is sorry that dinner did not go as she planned and hopes that everyone wasn’t disappointed. I was on the edge of the tent with the wedding planner and my heart just sunk and I wanted to hide in the corner. The wedding planner was upset and took her aside to tell her about the inappropriateness of her statement.
This is the point in the story where I tell you that ‘dinner’ was 1.5 hours late because after the initial pictures the bride didn’t like her eyelashes and disappeared for over an hour to redo her make up. During which we had run out of appetizers (we had enough for a 1-hour happy hour reception, not 2.5-hours) not to mention how the timing affected the timing of the dinner food.
Because they were friends, especially the groom (who was paying for the wedding approx $125k) they asked me the defer $10k of my $25k bill for a week after the wedding and come final payment time, predictable the bride throws in a faux apology. I couldn’t cash that check fast enough.”
This DJ’s Set List Was Not Bopping
“For my wedding, we later found out was that the DJ who was supposed to do our wedding bailed at the last minute, so the owner of the DJ service had to scramble and send someone she didn’t know. And it totally backfired.
After all the toasts and stuff, we go up and tell him we’re ready to do the first dance. ‘Uh, what song are you dancing to?’ I tell him. ‘Um, I don’t have that one.’ What the heck? Luckily, I had driven my car to the reception even though I hadn’t planned to, and had the CD in my car.
Once the dance floor opens up, he starts playing the worst selection of music ever, including songs we had on our ‘do not play’ list. It doesn’t take long for us to realize the guy is high as a kite and completely out of it. Needless to say, the dance floor empties out for a long time. Then, he plays Billie Jean, at which point people come back and start dancing. So, in his messed-up brain, he then proceeds to try and play the ENTIRE Thriller album. I had to go stop him after four songs.
Anyway, didn’t ruin the wedding by any sense, but was definitely bizarre and annoying at the time, although funny now.”
Nothing This Wedding Planner Did Would Save The Wedding
“I’ve worked at tons of weddings, from little get-togethers on the beach, to half-million-dollar galas in Manhattan. Here’s a story about how the wedding party contributed to making things lousy all around. I met the couple at a great location near the beach. I was told by the lady that they were having a family reunion. We later worked out the menu, budget, arrangements, etc, and they put down the 50% deposit. The remaining 50% was due 48 hours before the event – which was in about 4 months.
About a month before the ‘family reunion,’ she lets out it’s actually a wedding. She said she had read online that the wedding industry rips people off, and it was better to not say it’s a wedding, but some other type of party. Jeez… So, we made some adjustments now that I actually knew it was a wedding.
48-hour countdown comes, and no payment from them. I almost blew it off but decided to put up my own money and do the job anyway. Paying for all the rentals, all the food, and staff, etc.
The wedding and reception get underway, still no payment. And no mention of it from them. They then proceed to be rude and abusive to my staff. This is a party of about 150 people. They slam the bar we’d set up and everyone is pounding drinks. About two hours into it and everyone is hammered. And the complaints and abuse are pouring in nonstop.
My staff remained pretty chill about it. We’d worked many weddings and receptions before, and knew this type of behavior was typical.
So, as things die down, I had to go deal with getting paid. I finally got it, but not before getting a trashed ear full from the bride and her mother, who was trying to work out why they should get some discounts. There were at least 50 people who were plastered. I offered to let the police sort it out. That must have gotten their attention. They paid up – about $5K in cash, which was weird – and left.
These people obviously thrived on abusive relationships. They wanted to have a crappy time – and wanted someone to blame it on – and they got it. Out of all the weddings I’ve been to and worked at, these people took the cake. Literally.”