By Mariah Ashley
When my daughter was two and having a bad day because she
was asked to eat her
vegetables, told it was time to go to bed or scolded for
coloring on the kitchen wall, she didn't get sad and cry. Instead she got mad.
She'd clench her fists and grit her little Chiclet teeth. Looking up at from me
from behind her bowl cut she'd snarl, "You're the one what did it! You're
the one what made me sad!" It was hilarious and disturbing all at the same
time. She's twelve now. We're still working on it. But that's another story.
The story I want to tell today is a cautionary tale of
how NOT to be The One What Did It, The
One What Made Your Clients Sad, because it's always a good day when you
aren't ruining your clients wedding. I've had cause to ponder this question
lately as I've helplessly watched a few fellow wedding vendors wreaking havoc
on my clients.
Take the case of the overly dramatic/distracted justice
of the peace. I've been working with Fred the JP for years and without fail, I
hear him before I see him. Fred shouts my name when he sees me regardless of
the distance between us, the setting we are in, or the inappropriateness of
shouting at a wedding. Fred also stands right behind me and breathes what's
left of his lunch at the back of my neck. He likes to make small talk during
the ceremony processional, which is of course a causal moment where we both have
free time and no job to do. I awkwardly bob my head to avoid being rude to Fred
while trying to nail my shot of the bride and her father coming down the aisle
toward their bobble-headed photographer.
A few weeks ago I worked with Fred again. It was status
quo; shouting across the lawn, small talk and bobble-heading. But wait, this
day had a twist! Moments before the ceremony, Fred beckoned me to photograph
the signing of the marriage license. The mother of the groom was about to sign
as the first witness. Fred as chatty as ever, hurriedly explained to her to "sign
here" and "print here" and then waived his finger over the area
for her signature. He turned to me and continued his blah-blah-ing, leaving her
to her own devices. You can see where this is going. Yes, she signed in the
"Oh no! Oh my! I've signed in the wrong spot!"
she gasped, squinting at the document.
"What?!" he shouted, jerking his attention from
me back to her.
"What do we do now?" she asked.
now! It's not like I have another copy!"
That's when the groom walked over.
"What's wrong?" he asked.
"Well your mother has just ruined this legal
document by signing on the wrong line. It's invalid and you can't be legally
married without it."
The groom's face drained of all color. The groom's mother
started ringing her hands and apologizing.
"I love you mom but I can't look at you or talk to
you right now." said the dismayed groom.
The wedding planner was the next on the scene of the
"What's going on?" she asked. "I heard
you what's going on, this is all garbage," announced Fred brandishing the
ruined document and waiving his hand over the lawn indicating that the $100K wedding
was now trash.
"Don't say that!" said the horrified wedding
planner coming to the defense of the stricken groom. "You cannot tell my
clients that their beautiful wedding is garbage!"
"Can you believe these people Mariah?!" asked
Fred a few moments later behind the backs of the wedding planner and the
nauseous groom. I just bobbled my head and walked away but what I wanted to do
was clench my fists and grit my Chiclets and snarl. "Fred! You're the one
what did it! You're the one what made them sad!"