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Local Wedding Suppliers Spill Their Worst Experience With A Bride

'I had a bride pretty much turn me into her personal assistant—and then hit me.'
PHOTO: istockphoto

Weddings may look pretty in pictures, but let’s not be naïve—ugly stuff actually happens behind the scenes, as these Pinay brides revealed to us recently.

Now, wedding suppliers are spilling the beans on the stress they face with high-strung brides. From unreasonable demands and expectations to flying fists and F words, read on and realize that we should all strive for professionalism and good ol’ kindness, whether we get those white Tiffany chairs or not.

Make sure you communicate your needs clearly with your suppliers in advance so that neither of you gets blindsided on the day. (Apparently, “simple” can mean different things entirely.)

“A bride inquired about my makeup services, and I gave my rate for airbrush and traditional makeup. She found it too expensive, so I thought it wouldn’t push through. Weeks later, she texts me asking about my availability again and said it would just be a ‘simple civil wedding,’ and that she needed a clean and simple look. So I agreed on my regular home service rate, thinking she just needed to get her papers done and all.

On the day of the wedding, I was at the hotel lobby and saw a photo and video team there. We got to talking, and I found out we were doing the same wedding. I began to feel uneasy, but I thought maybe there would be documentation for the civil wedding.

When we finally checked in, that ‘simple civil wedding’ turned out to have an entourage, and she wasn’t wearing a simple white dress, but a full wedding gown and veil! I felt so cheated! I insisted on sticking to my rate for regular hair and makeup and didn’t do a retouch.” –Trisha, 33, makeup artist

Be practical about where your money goes—especially for a destination wedding that presents its own set of challenges. Fireworks are great, but wouldn’t you rather have, oh I don’t know, electricity?

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“One couple chose to scrimp on renting a generator and used their funds instead on alcohol and fireworks—on an out-of-town beach wedding. They didn’t inform me that they had cancelled getting a generator; on the day of the wedding, we were surprised that we had to hook up to the venue’s electrical supply. Because of lack of electricity and electrical surges before the reception program, the LED wall burst into flames and we lost electricity altogether. The program was delayed for two hours.

I tried to convince the couple to cancel the program altogether because we had delayed it for two hours already and it would be a four-hour drive home for most guests, but they refused to budge.

As we resumed the program, the bride led the opening prayer, saying, ‘The devil wanted to cancel the wedding reception program because of all the problems, but our God is more powerful than any technical difficulties so we stood by our God and now the show shall go on.’ So...am I the devil?” –Cathy, 30, wedding coordinator

Suppliers get that you’re trying to cut costs, but make sure you’re able to pay them before you book them, or else you’ll end up doing the money dance twice.

“A bride who wanted to have a lavish wedding booked our team. She had all her pegs and all the details ready. She even contacted one of the top designers in the country to make her gown and got a high-end photographer to shoot.

Everything was smooth-sailing until it was almost time for payments and we discovered that they had no more money to pay the suppliers on the day. We had to do the money dance twice that night and open the couple’s cash gifts just to pool money together.

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After that, the bride refused to answer any more calls from suppliers. Some suppliers are still unpaid.” –Gela, 35, wedding coordinator

In some cases, it’s not the bride who’s the problem, but the people around the bride, like the family...

“I worked with a bride whose mother was so controlling, she was the one booking everything. The only time I met the bride was at the trial makeup session. The mother couldn’t make it then, but she was still in control—she kept calling, and the bride would take a selfie after a look was finished and send it to her mom.

For the trial makeup, I did the bride’s wedding makeup first, then I would change it because she was having her prenup photo shoot that same day. But the mom called me and pinagalitan ako, bakit daw itsura ng bride was the look of her wedding—eh trial makeup nga, ‘di ba? Plus, she said that she could’ve done her daughter’s makeup that way herself, making it sound like binaboy ko face ng anak niya.

A week later, the mom called and said that a tita would be doing her daughter’s makeup as a gift instead. I’ve heard that classic cancellation reason before, the one where they have to cancel because a tita or ninang is giving the service as a surprise gift. Don’t they know that wedding suppliers talk?” –Martha, 31, makeup artist

…or members of the entourage.

“A makeup artist had hired me to do hair for a wedding. While we were prepping the bridesmaids, in came this lady dragging a makeup trolley. I assumed she was the bride’s makeup artist. Turns out, she was one of the bridesmaids, but she had a makeup artist’s supply with her.

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I thought nothing of it and continued working. Suddenly, that bridesmaid started shouting na ang pangit daw ng makeup ng ibang bridesmaid! As in tinuturo niya ‘yung partner MUA ko at sabi bakit daw ganoon kasagwa ‘yung makeup!

My partner MUA could do nothing but stay quiet. Ako din tumahimik lang kasi for sure magkakagulo sa room. I felt sorry for my colleague, who was a naturally feisty person but chose to shut up instead.” –Shine, 32, hair and makeup artist

Learn to relax and let the suppliers do their job so you actually get to enjoy the wedding. After all, it is YOUR moment, and it happens only once. (Hopefully.)

“I once worked with a bride who was severely OC. I already noticed it during the planning stage, but I figured we were on the same page.

Come wedding day, the bride had many sudden demands. She asked the hair and makeup artists to change her look four times, even though they had already agreed on a look during the trial session. She also asked the florist to change her bridal bouquet four times. Fifteen minutes before the ceremony, she refused to leave her villa because iba daw ang kulay ng Tiffany chairs, even though I had shown her the chairs prior to the wedding and she gave her okay. When she finally walked down the aisle, the resort’s event coordinator and I cried and hugged each other out of sheer frustration.

The day after the wedding, the bride called to complain that there was a missing envelope in their honeymoon fund box and blamed my staff for it. We investigated, but we really couldn’t locate the envelope she was looking for.

In the end, she didn’t pay half of my service fee.” –Nicko, 42, wedding coordinator

Treat your suppliers like professionals, not like lowly workhorses who can survive on no food…

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“I am a photographer, and I’ve got lots of friends who are wedding photographers. One night, I met these friends; they had come straight from a day-long wedding gig at a posh resort. They were starving.

Apparently, the wedding coordinator had failed to bring meal packs for the crew, which consisted of photographers, videographers, and hair and makeup artists. Earlier at lunch, the bride had grumbled because she had to fork out money for the crew’s meals at the resort’s restaurant. When evening came, the bride made it clear that the wedding feast was exclusively for guests. She angrily stipulated to the wedding coordinator that it was her job to secure the meals for the crew as it was included in the coordinator’s budget.

The crew went hungry all the way until nighttime.” –Ian, 38, photographer

…or that you can expect to do the dirty work for you—literally…

“This bride hired us for on-the-day coordination. I was the head coordinator and my team’s main role was to make everything organized, but just for the event and things needed for it.

After the ceremony, I headed straight to the reception with the bride’s things and prepared her sexy second gown for the reception. When the bride arrived, she saw that her bra, undershorts, and silicon padding were missing. She got mad at us and said the F word. We calmly asked her where they could possibly be, and she said, ‘I have no idea! Kaya nga kinuha ko kayo na coordinator diba, para ayusin mga gamit ko!’

I have been working in this industry for two years now and that was the only time I felt belittled. It is not our job to keep track of a bride’s intimates, but I still asked my brother, who was one of the coordinators, to go back to the hotel for them. My brother brought back the bra, padding, and undershorts—with a soiled napkin attached to it. I removed the napkin on the undershorts myself because we were 45 minutes behind in the program and the bride could not wear the second gown without them.” –Shai, 26, wedding coordinator

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…or that you can slap around—again, literally.

“I’m a hair and makeup artist, but I had a bride pretty much turn me into her personal assistant—and then hit me.

I agreed to the fee she offered me since it was my second time working with her. But the moment I failed to do something she made me do which was not part of my job, she exploded at me. I went home with a bruise on my cheek, crying on the long commute home.

Even after the wedding, she would chat with me saying na hindi worth it ‘yung bayad sa akin, hindi ko magawa ng maayos ‘yung trabaho ko, even when I reasoned out that I was just a HMUA, not a PA.

It still haunts me today. I can’t believe I was physically hurt for something that wasn’t even my job to begin with.” –Beverly, 27, hair and makeup artist

At the very least, understand that this is their livelihood, not some little hobby they do for free like it’s NBD.

“I was referred by a friend to this bride who was looking for a host for their wedding in Batangas.

The bride reached out to me via text message and gave me a few details: date, exact location, and time. Little did I know that she was expecting to get my service for free. She offered to cover my transportation, but she said I would pay for my own accommodation at the resort venue.

I was appalled by how she responded to my messages and the way she looked down on the skills of the host in general, but I was still expecting that she would politely withdraw from booking me. To my surprise, she ended our conversation by saying ‘Di ka naman maganda sa IG mo,’ ‘Di ka sisikat,’ ‘Di ka magaling.’ Thank God I still managed to respond to her professionally and explain to her the reason why I could not say yes to a pro bono service.” –Althea, 27, wedding host

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They know that you just want to have the best wedding possible, but maybe don’t sacrifice your relationship with other people in your quest to have that.

“A bride asked all her bridesmaids to lose weight for her wedding. She wanted all members of her entourage to be skinny, so she carefully chose them.

At the reception, she ordered our team not to give seats to guests who she deemed not properly dressed.” –Samantha, 28, wedding coordinator

For Beyoncé’s sake, just be reasonable. Is that too much to ask for?

“A bride was emailing us with questions at 3:00 a.m., expecting the turnaround time for reply to be 10 minutes. If I were late to reply, I’d expect to hear an earful from my boss as she would report that I was not responsive to her requests. Who replies to emails at 3:00 a.m.?” –Brenda, 33, caterer

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