A crawfish boil, a photographers nightmare and a bridezillas karma.

Photo credit- Greg Dupree Styling: Heather Chadduck

This story was sent in to be posted anonymously and I feel like as this story unfolds it will be very clear why. I know this is a long read but stick around to the very end because it is a wild ride...

"In the height of covid I had another photographer reach out to me last minute to ask me to step in as a lead shooter for them because they had tested positive for covid-19. I had about an hour and a half to get home, change and gather up my gear. By some miracle, I made it early to capture some getting ready pictures and so the wedding from hell began.

I wish I could disclose the name of the bride because I remember in the following days thinking how ironic it was she was named something so beautiful but was one of the ugliest people I'd ever had the displeasure of working with. And I don't mean ugly as in looks, I mean as a whole ass person. She started the day by saying I was late and tearing into me for that. Based on the timeline and copy of their contract I had received that wasn't true. And mind you I had under 2 hours of notice that I was working and I cancelled plans to step in as a favor to this colleague. I tried to excuse it though, maybe she was just nervous? People can act all sorts of crazy when under stress. I could understand feeling tense, I'd be stressed too if my photographer pulled out the day of without being sure if they would be able to find a replacement. Very 2020 Pandemic probs and I am sure that was a whirlwind. So I apologized for the inconvenience and showed her the 8-hour timeline I had and asked her if there were any other inaccuracies. She said the timeline for those 8 hours were correct.

As the day continued, she only got meaner and more demanding, we had full fledged bridezilla on our hands. At every turn she found something to complain about or someone she set her sites on to tear down. After me it was he make up artist, the bride was upset that the lipstick she, the bride, had picked out, tested, bought and brought with her was the wrong color. She demanded a luxury brand lipstick she saw in the makeup artists kit. The MUA said she couldn't do that but would mix a custom color to match the color of the luxury lipstick. That wasn't good enough. So the MUA said she'd give it to her for an additional fee, that wasn't good enough. Eventually the MUA decided to quit going back and forth with her. The brides hair and makeup was done and she was paid, so she left. Lucky her.

Then her bridesmaids arrived to the venue dressed and ready to go. This bride had told her bridesmaids to pick whatever dress they wanted but gave them a color and fabric they must choose. We were about an hour out from the ceremony at this point. Instead of greeting her friends with excitement she decided to body shame all of them. She told them how fat and ugly she thought they all looked in the dresses they had chosen. She made one of them cry she was so venomous. This was all pretty ironic considering the dress fiasco that held up the wedding about 40 mins.

Back when the bride bought her dress she had decided to buy it in a size smaller than she was in hopes that she'd be down a dress sizes. From what those around her said the consultant discouraged her from doing it because the wedding wasn't far enough out for it to be realistic. When she went to put the dress on there was a huge gap of skin where the corset wouldn't lace shut enough, it wasn't closing. She barrated everyone who was lacing her up yelling, "you stupid bitches can't do nothing right!" Then she pointed at me saying "You've done enough weddings, you can lace it right." By an act of God himself, her mother, some Vaseline and I, we closed the damn dress. But per usual that wasn't good enough because our "incompetence" held up her ceremony. I remember thinking how is it possible for her to breath, with as tight as that dress must have been, let alone keep yelling at all of us?

Her ceremony started, she walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of "Oceans", a christian worship song, that really struck me. Then they proceeded with a time of prayer, followed by hand picked scripture and then exchanged christian vows. This isn't me hating on christians either, just noting the hypocrisy of it all.

During photos she complained about how hot and buggy it was and held me personally responsible for that. It was "these damn spots", I kept picking for pictures that were the problem not it being an outdoor wedding in the damn south. Even with the complaining I managed to make up the lost time and got the timeline back on track. And then despite her wishes I took my contracted 30 min break during the time everyone eats dinner. The caterer brought me a plate along with other vendors that were also taking a beat. They did a grazing board, barbecue and then something I thought fun; a crawfish boil. I was given a little bit of everything. My second shooter skipped out on dinner but had a little of the grazing board things because they had plans with friends after. The videographer only had the barbecue because they were a picky eater.

The vendor break was cut in half though because shocker, the bride demanded to skip around in the timeline. We jumped back in and did all the classic wedding reception things. About an hour before I was scheduled to leave shit hit the fan. I approached the couple as they were grabbing drinks, the last thing on my timeline said "Send-Off". I told her my time to leave was coming up and I wanted to know what the send off plan was. Normally I know this going into my weddings but since I was thrown in I didn't. She said "you're the fucking photographer, you figure it out." I told her that it is something that the couples typically have pre-decided and I don't plan the method. And like a child would, she threw a tantrum. Eventually to keep the peace I asked a bridesmaid to sacrifice their bouquet so friends and family could toss petals. It's now 25 minutes before I am supposed to leave. I told her the plan and point out I leave in 25 minutes so did she want to plan to do this in the next 15 minutes. She then said "I pay you to be be here for 10 hours!" I pointed back to the contract where it said 8 hours and she still argued and told the best man to park me in. I told her that she didn't contract me, my colleague did and if she wanted 10 hours she could pay my rate for extending the contract upfront and if she parked me in I would call the police. We did the send off and to my surprise when I went to my car I was in fact parked in by a big lifted truck. When I looked up she had followed me out and shouted, "I guess your bitch-ass has to stay." Luckily, enough cars had left and there was a space just big enough for me to reverse out of. Even though this woman was a nightmare, I didn't want to actually call the cops on someones wedding day.

3am rolled around and I woke up in a puddle of sweat and before I could process that, I was running to the bathroom where I proceeded to puke my brains out on and off for the next 5 hours. I reached out to the second shooter and videographer to see if they were okay. They were fine. I thought I had a stomach bug. Then I got a text from the photographer I had stepped in for asking if I was okay. I had food poisoning. Apparently the damn crawfish boil had taken down everyone, including the bridezilla from hell. While I felt awful, I felt just a little bit better knowing she got a dose of instant karma and was now puking her brains out on her honeymoon."