Thursday, December 5, 2013

Punished for being the Anti-Bridezilla

who needs this shit?
I learned to say, "NO" thanks to my wedding. Sadly, I didn't learn how to say it effectively until after the caterer bullied me on price, provided unprofessional and substandard service, and then turned around and sued my dad.

There are so many things about the wedding that make me smile fill me with joy. The price of the food and the (piss-poor) quality of the service is something most of the guests didn't notice and I would like my family and close friends to forget. But I don't know how to get over this anger. This blame. This sense that I was not strong enough or smart enough to keep these slimy, unprofessional bloodsuckers on track with our vision for a simple pasta & salad buffet where guests were fed on time, our favorite beer was provided, my brother didn't have to set the tables or plate the cake, and no-one yelled at his mother or our guests to get back to their tables.

Right now I'm pretty angry at myself.

I problem-solve very well. And when the red flags went up, as someone who does events professionally, they were so out of whack from any other vendor I'd worked with previously that there must have been something I wasn't doing right. Was it my fault for not focusing on the caterer more than twice a month, for not tracking them down, for not writing that email sooner, for not insisting on a copy of the signed contract, for using words that I thought were clear but clearly weren't clear because clearly something was still missing, etc, etc...? When I spent three whole months confused about how much were were cutting the check for, and made a spreadsheet to track their budget line items, and then played phone tag for two months, and remained confused and in a state of sticker-shock...that was the time to quit. To stop playing with the mean children. To find a beer caterer and order pizza and live in debt-free post-wedding bliss.

We had a contract. And I wasn't interesting in being (labeled) a bridezilla. So I didn't pitch a fit. I didn't lay down the law of "this is MY wedding and we're doing this timeline MY way". I used reason, a lot of it. I used logic...completely wasted logic, FYI. This company had decided our wedding was their next Monopoly win and they weren't interested in playing in my budgetary playpen.

It didn't occur to me to STOP. Pushback. Shout NO from rafters or pay/appoint an intermediary who would have been more of an asshole direct with them to do so in my stead. Why didn't it occur to me?! While I was patting myself on the back about being level-headed despite the stress and the angst and the creeping sense of powerlessness, they must have been laughing at how easy it was to wring out that extra $X,XXX.xx.

update: Why didn't I check the Better Business Bureau before I contracted with them? The complaints already on there say it all! If any fellow Soon-to-be-Marrieds out there planning on getting married in the Fort Drum area that BBB link is for you! I can't recommend my caterer enough. Really, can't.

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