Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Photographer From Hell

I recently officiated a wedding for a very gentle, soft-spoken couple who selected a Japanese garden for their ceremony. Their lighting was subtle, and their understated celebration promised to be enhanced by the sound of a small waterfall, and birds singing. Then the photographer arrived, dragging her step ladder and her attitude behind her. The fact that she looked like somebody's kindly grandmother only added to the irony that her initial snideness soon gave way to pure venom, and verbal abuse. The bride -- who was intensely shy anyway -- soon gave way to tears, and her carefully applied make-up threatened to run down her face. I waited for somebody, somewhere, to say something. Nobody did. They were either too intimidated -- or too shocked -- to react.

I have only one rule as an officiant: nobody makes my bride cry. And I mean nobody. So, I very quietly stepped in and made some threats that will remain between me, Mrs. Satan, and the spirit of my mother who taught me to behave better than I actually did. However, the photographer reined in her serpent's tongue, and I engaged the services of the wedding coordinator to make sure that she didn't unleash on my hapless bride the minute my back was turned.

I overstepped my bounds. It is usually not appropriate for the officiant to engage in tussles with other vendors without the specific permission of the couple. However, I knew the day was about to be ruined for a young woman and her sweet new husband, and I didn't want it to happen.

The photographer is not in charge of the day. Nor is the DJ, the officiant, or the caterer. The wedding is the province of the couple being married. When that simple fact is not respected, disaster can strike. Or, I will...

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