Worst Wedding Ever!

Posted In: Coffee Break

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    paul-wren on #112844

    Few weeks ago I played for a wedding, in all my 30 years of playing weddings this has to top the chart of the worst one.

    The wedding was a two hour drive to get there. It was already in the 90’s that day and not the mood to sit outside in a suit for some 2 and a half hours.

    I got there 30 minutes late because of traffic but still plenty enough time for setup and tuning. I started tuning the harp when this woman came charging towards me and yelling wanting to know why I was late. I explained that i was only a few minutes late but still have plenty of time to set up. She yelled NO! I was a bit put back and worried I had missed the wedding all together. She informed me in words that I will not repeat that I was supposed to be there over an hour ago for a rehearsal walk through. I explained to her that no one told me of this and there is nothing in my contract about a rehearsal. She made a snide remark that the bride should deduct from my ridiculous *&^%$ fee. I tried to tell her I charge extra for rehearsals and I informed the Bride of this when we went over the contract, but she didn’t want to listen and stormed off.

    There were already several people starting to come into the area, so I just tried to shake it off and start playing pre-ceremony music. People were milling around, guys were drinking beer in cans and the girls in dresses to small for them were standing close smoking cigarettes. This was all before the wedding even started! To be honest, I was waiting to hear banjos at any moment.

    All of a sudden I see a finger reach out and puck a string! While I was playing! I set the harp down and said to the girl that did it, “ I would appreciate it if you did not do that, thank you” I just got a rolled eye and she walked away. Geez!!!

    After the wedding was over, I continued playing for another hour while the wedding party was off taking pictures. Two ladies were standing nearby with two small kids running and chasing each other. All of a sudden, one of the kids jumps up on the base of the harp and starts to swing from the column as if on a jungle gym. I set the harp down, asked him to get off and he said NO, you can’t make me! I asked the lady standing nearby if this was their child; she just looked at me like I had lost my mind. She called the child by name and told him to go somewhere and find daddy. No apologies, no correcting the child not to do that, nothing. I went back to playing and about 5 minutes later this little urchin was back again. I tried to get him off the harp, but just stuck his tongue out at me. Finally some man came up and pick the child up off the harp and told him not to touch, but still no apologies to me. I could not wait to get the heck out of there. As soon as I saw everyone going to the dinner, I left.

    I got a call this past weekend from the groom, he told me that the wedding planner told him I was going to refund him my fee! I explained to him that was not true and asked if he had a copy of my contract. He did cause that’s how he got my number to call. I explained what the planner was telling me about the rehearsal and to look at page three, it was in detail of what my fee included and did not include. I then told him how rude she was. He told me that a few other vendors from their wedding told him the same thing. He apologized!
    Ugh, hope I never get another like this.

    kay-lister on #112845


    OH MY GOODNESS!!! You DID have the wedding from HELL!!! So sorry to hear your story. I just don’t know what else to say . . . That’s just HORRIBLE.


    Sylvia on #112846

    I wondered why you’d wear a suit outside in the heat. Don’t men have alternate clothing for outdoor weddings?
    Those people were trash, and the wedding planner (if that was the creature snipping at you when you arrived) was very unprofessional. You’re lucky you got paid.

    jimmy-h on #112847

    I wonder if there should be a “no touch” clause in the contract. Did the kid scratch your harp with his shoes?

    The irony is if your kid leaned on their new car they’d be ready for a throw down.

    Jerusha Amado on #112848

    Good grief! I know that not all weddings are like this, but I’ve heard enough similar stories to dissuade me from doing them.
    I just read Anne Roos’ article in the latest issue of Folk Harp Journal concerning the downside of doing weddings, e.g. a bridal party high on drugs. It’s very sad. Whatever pay you received, Paul, was combat pay in my opinion!

    paul-wren on #112849

    You know, I really didn’t want to do this gig in the first place. I hate traveling over two hours for an event. So when the bid came in, I doubled my fee plus charged them 75 cents a mile. I figured other harpist in the area would give their usual low fees and I would lose it. Was I surprised when she hired me. I should trust my instincts.

    My contract started out years ago with only two pages, it now up to six pages because of things like this happening. Guess i have something else to add.

    Sonya Wiley on #112850

    You need some strategies to scare the bejeezus out of kids like that when they come near you; i’m sure some of the guys on here might could help you with that. That’s what’s wrong these days, kids are put on a pedestal when they should be seen and not heard. Maybe some Bill Cosbyisms.

    Janis Cortese on #112851

    Memorize the following sentence:

    “You shouldn’t do that, honey. The strings on a harp like this are under very high tension, and if they snap on you, they’ll go through you like a steak knife.”

    Make sure to say it loud enough so that mommy overhears. 🙂 (Did I read that here first? Might have … )

    jimmy-h on #112852

    Maybe there should be a sacrificial 48th string that explodes when you hit a new middle pedal.

    Alison on #112853

    or hide your riding crop (whip) in the soundboard…

    lyn-boundy on #112854

    Ooh, Jimmy H, I like that!

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