Have you ever watched Bridezillas and thought, "there's no way that happens in real life?" If so, you probably haven't talked to a wedding planner recently — that show may be a tad (OK, super) sexist, but it barely scratches the surface. These tales can be entertaining from the outside, but from the inside, there's no shortage of horror stories from wedding planners. Jennifer Lopez makes the job look sexy in The Wedding Planner (although, let's be honest: J. Lo would make any job look sexy), but that doesn't mean wedding planning doesn't come with its fair share of disasters.
As a wedding guest, you typically see a beautiful, romantic celebration of love. The wine flows freely, and you dance the night away with your friends who have just declared their lifelong commitment to each other. As a wedding planner, things are a bit less rosy. Your job is to make that gorgeous ceremony happen, even if the wedding party is making it nearly impossible.
I spoke with several wedding planners about the craziest things that have occurred while planning weddings. They told me about bridezillas, groomzillas, DJzillas, ex-zillas — you name it. Read on to hear some horror stories from wedding planners that will make the movie Us seem positively optimistic by comparison.
A Wedding And An Exorcism
We had a bride who was literally lost it on the wedding day. She fired her maid of honor and her best man, and she wouldn't dance with her dad because someone challenged her attitude. The entire family left the wedding because of her attitude. The priest was literally performing an exorcism on her in the church and almost would not marry her — I had to beg him to complete the job.
— JoAnn Gregoli, Elegant Occasions
The DJ was actually a friend of the groom’s, and his only source was his phone and YouTube. He had no idea what Pachelbel’s "Canon in D Major" was.
— Jenny,* 35
The mother of the bride went shopping for her dress the morning of the wedding! The makeup artist didn’t show up — no calls, no messages. One call brought another MUA in at the last minute.
— Liza,* 41
The Ex Strikes Back
We had a wedding down the shore with a wealthy individual. His ex decided to show up uninvited and yell from the fence that she was still in love with her husband. He called the police and had her removed.
— JoAnn Gregoli, Elegant Occasions
As an event and party planner, it's always nice to attend a function that you don't have to work and can just enjoy yourself as a guest. On this occasion, I attended a mountain wedding hosted in the summer. It was a warm day and the wedding was in a beautiful, remote location. In order to get to the venue, guests had to drive up winding roads to an altitude of 7,000 feet. For the limo driving the bride to the site, the car arrived completely dusty from the dirt roads. In addition, a few guests arrived feeling nauseous from the winding roads. Everyone realized there was no shade covering for the guests, and the heat was blistering. There was no ventilation, nor air movement and you felt completely exposed to the sun. During the wedding, some guests began to get uneasy. Finally, one guest jumped out of their seat and screamed, 'bees.' While no one was attacked, there was obviously a nest nearby — close enough to make some guests stand up and further away. There were some other unwanted guests which included a few steers and wild turkeys that roamed to the area. They roam freely on the ranch. The moral of the story — hire a wedding planner!
— Greg Jenkins, Bravo Productions
My horror story (mild in comparison to some I’ve heard) was a vow renewal bride who was crying broke almost from the moment she signed the contract (first red flag I ignored). I pulled out every trick in my arsenal out to help her have a wonderful event and not look as if she was broke. I called in favors from other vendors, provided décor, chair covers, table centerpieces and swag items for her guest gift bags and persuaded the venue to provide the tablecloths at no charge. The next day she was half-thanking me but said she could have a done a much better job. All of the vendors who stepped up to help as a favor and even those who were working that evening all said the same thing — she was ungrateful, rude, and actually felt entitled to receive our services for free or nearly free, because she had 'a lot of good friends' she would refer us to. The immediate thought was if they're like you and can’t afford this (which in value was close to $1,000), thanks, but no thanks, I’ll pass. That experience ensured that I would never ever book a low-budget bride again! Now, I charge full-price for everything, every time and if they can’t afford the quoted price, they aren’t the client for me.
— Kim Moss, Black Bag Productions
Now you understand why wedding planner stories are so popular on TV! The IRL tales of what happens to wedding planners are better than anything you could make up. Next time you meet a wedding planner, make sure you ask them for their scariest, spookiest story.
*names have been changed.