Warning: Incoming rant

I am getting tired of some of my clients. They do NOT understand or even value the cost of items and services for weddings.

They balk at how much a minister charges, yet I dare them to find someone who not only is knowledgeable about putting together a customized sermon that embraces their spiritual requirements, but is also comfortable speaking eloquently in front of a large group of guests, and knows how to keep two very nervous people from making utter fools of themselves.

I once had a couple who refused to pay the minister’s fees, and instead asked a friend to officiate the ceremony. The friend agreed, but on the day of the wedding he got so nervous that he stuttered through the ceremony, forgot half his lines, and threw a temper tantrum (complete with a flying microphone) as the bride and groom were walking up the aisle after the ceremony. I’m sure they’re glad they saved a couple hundred bucks!

One client, who’s getting married half an hour from the middle of nowhere, wanted a classical ensemble to play only during the ceremony. She freaked when she saw what they charged (each professional musician was making less than $60 for one hour of work and almost two hours of travel time required to get to the wedding venue). When she heard a sample of their ceremony music, she remarked: “I have been playing the violin since I was three years old, so I can tell they made a couple of mistakes during Pachabel’s Canon.”

You know what, sweetie? Why don’t you play the violin at your own wedding? This is NOT New York. We do NOT have fifty aspiring classical ensembles knocking down my door to play at cheap weddings like yours.

This same client demanded that I haggle with the caterer for a 30% discount on what is already the most affordable banquet package available. Never mind that this particular event is on a Saturday night, right in the middle of the busiest wedding month of the year! As if this were not enough, the client also wanted the venue to waive the rental of chairs, tables, and linens for 100 guests, because they were booking a few rooms at the hotel associated with the venue.

I offered other locations that had pricing compatible with their budget, but they were adamant about getting what they wanted at the price THEY wanted to pay.

Oh, but here’s the kicker! I booked a very talented local DJ for their event, but after I had done all the work of calling the vendor, coordinating the logistics, and reserving his services, the clients decided that they’re bringing their own DJ from the U.S. That’s all fine and good, except their DJ is charging FIVE TIMES what mine is. Yet, they still have the nerve to complain to me that they’re going over budget.

Sure, I am hired to work for these people. But, seriously, I can’t make wine from water!

Note to my cheap clients: If you have champagne taste on a beer budget, that’s your problem, not mine. I find it enormously rude that you poo-poo the already amazingly affordable prices my vendors offer. Before you come crying to me, do some research on what it would cost you to get married in your town.

Wedding professionals are extremely hard-working people who sacrifice their nights, weekends and holidays to make sure your event is flawless. They know their craft and have been performing it for many years – decades in some cases!

If you feel their work is not worthy of your money, then by all means have your aunt play the violin, ask your brother to officiate the ceremony, make your mother cook a casserole, and have your drunk cousin take the video. I’ve heard that you can get great wedding cakes at the supermarket. Oh, and put some of those disposable cameras on the banquet tables. They go really well with your plastic flower arrangements and vinyl tablecloths from the dollar store.

The vendors are not attending your wedding because they like you; they’re there because it’s their job, and they will do it to the best of their abilities. Respect them for this and demonstrate that you value their work. In turn, they will bend over backwards to make sure your event is flawless and special. Nobody forced you to have a wedding. There is such a thing as elopement.

Rant over. Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming