I want to start by saying I really, really, really love what I do. I have one of those dream jobs…and while it’s stressful at times, I am dealing with people on one of the happiest days of their lives. Every great once in awhile, I come into contact with a bride that feels bitter for some reason, or is just “mean” in general and it makes me incredibly sad for her because I cannot work with her.
I recently had an occasion where someone contacted me about officiant services. It was a last minute assignment and there was no opportunity to meet with the couple ahead of time. The minister they had previously scheduled became unavailable 5 days out due to a “family emergency”. That probably should have been my first clue.
When I arrived for the rehearsal, the first thing that I was told was that the bride and groom were not going to be standing for their ceremony because she had had three failed back surgeries. My heart went out to her because both of my parents were bed ridden with long term illnesses and in constant pain for many years. I told her that it would be no problem at all for them to be seated. Shortly after is when the fireworks started.
Rather than go into the details of exactly what happened, I’ll just say that it was a very unpleasant experience. One that I hope to never have repeated. And further, when it’s your wedding day, and you are dealing with professionals, these professionals are going to do all that they can to accommodate you. Yelling, screaming, rudeness, and name calling are not part of any wedding vendor’s job description. Sometimes, things are stressful. Sometimes, things are difficult. But you have to keep in mind that wedding vendors are people, too, with their own difficulties, and problems.
Needless to say, for the very first time, I found myself in a quandry. I could not be around this bride…so I had to back out. I advised her planner that we were not going to be a fit and that I could not, in good conscious marry this couple. It broke my heart to do that, but there was no alternative. They still had time to find another minister and I told the bride that I wished her well and much happiness on her wedding day.
As a wedding planner, a significant portion of my job is advising clients on vendors, protecols, and ettiquite. Thats not to say that my advice is always followed. But common sense dictates that being nice always generates better results than being mean or unpleasant. I’ve been around wedding vendors that were rude or difficult at times and I cannot in good conscious recommend them to my brides because being nice, matters. Some clients choose to tip vendors and some clients don’t. But being pleasant is a requirement, regardless.