Well, we’re drawing a close to the month as well as to our truth-is-stranger-than-fiction series. I hope you’ve found my anecdotes humorous and entertaining. This week, I’ve been sharing true stories of weddings that were just unbelievable.
My sister Michelle and I were contracted to shoot the wedding of a professional baseball player and his fiancé. Because of the groom’s public persona as well as the nature of the wedding-gone-wrong, I’ll simply refer to the couple as Alex W. and Kristin Z.
More than anything, Kristin wanted her wedding photos at a certain park. However on the day of her wedding, the park was closed to the public because the TV show Bridezillas was being filmed there. (Little did the producer know that we had the real Bridezilla!) That very same day, here in Central Florida, it snowed! (Yes, really!) We don’t get snow here very often at all (maybe once a decade), but when we do, as you might imagine, people tend to freak out and don’t know how to drive.
So, Michelle and I went to the church to photograph the groom and groomsmen. But they weren’t ready on time, and it took them nearly another hour before they were dressed. After we got the men out of the way, we had to drive to the hotel to photograph the bride and bridesmaids nearly 30 minutes away. However, because of the snow and the bad drivers, it took us nearly an hour to get there.
By then, we were late, but it didn’t matter because the bride wasn’t ready anyway. The hairdresser had spent so much time on the bridesmaids and flower girls and had saved the bride for last, so we couldn’t even take any photos of the bride alone while the girls finished getting ready. Worse yet, when the hairdresser realized she was running long, she threw the bride’s hair up in what can only be described as a cotton candy machine disaster. The bride, who was not otherwise unattractive, looked hideous.
After all that, we got only a couple of photos of the bride before we all had to rush back to the church where the ceremony started almost two hours late. Afterwards, we attempted to do family shots, but half of the families were outside smoking and couldn’t be bothered to come in when we called them. Then we went to make up some of the missing bridal party photos by taking them all outside and doing some fun photos at the church.
Kristin was very unhappy because it was snowing outside, and her girls were freezing in their strapless dresses. She was also displeased because the outside of the church was not aesthetically pleasing, and she just wanted her photos in the park.
After we left the church, we all made our way to the reception which was across the street from the hotel. But the same bad drivers made it take much too long for the drive. On the way, the car containing the groomsmen got a flat tire and had to stop, which of course postponed the start of the reception. By the time the whole bridal party was there, the guests were already leaving because the reception venue didn’t have heat, and it was freezing inside.
Worse yet, the caterers ran out of food, and guests were grumbling. Loudly. The deejay had to change his timeline drastically because everyone kept leaving, and the bride had to chase down elderly guests who were stealing the centerpieces that were rented. When we took the photos of the groom removing the garter, there was a pantyliner stuck to the bottom of the bride’s shoe! To add to the disaster, the elevator in the venue broke, and elderly guests had to walk down snow covered cement steps outside in the cold.
We had a photo backdrop station set up where we attempted to get Alex and Kristin for some romantic photos, but because of the chaos, they didn’t make it over until after they did all their dancing. Then she was unhappy because by then, she was sweaty, and her hair looked even worse.
We felt bad that this poor bride had a rough time of her dream day, but what happened after the honeymoon was incredible. She attempted to sue us because she claimed her photos were bad! The fact was, the photos were very good, but they very accurately depicted a less-than-desirable wedding day. She associated her bad memories with the photography (as if us capturing those moments actually made them happen that way). Of course the lawyer that first agreed to represent her took one look at the photos and told her she had no case. (Besides the nasty emails we received from her during this process, she blabbed everything to her deejay who also happened to be a friend of ours.) So, she then wrote us a letter and said we no longer had to worry about hearing from her and that she’d be praying for our souls because we were certainly demons who were destined to burn in hell! (Yes, really!)
The really funny thing was, about three months later, we got a call to do a maternity session. During the session, the mama-to-be told us that Kristin Z. referred her to us after we took her “amazing wedding photos.”
Have you ever been to a wedding that went wrong? If you read about this in a book would you find it believable, or would it seem more like a comedy of errors?
(NONE of the photos below are from the wedding described above. However, I was the photographer for each of these shots.)
(*Please note that 99% of the weddings we shoot are wonderful, and we enjoy them very much. But the rare, bizarre ones like this do tend to stick out like a sore thumb.)