A celebrant asks:

This has been the year of a handful of crazies, seriously. I’m thankful it hasn’t just been me, others in the region have had the exact same experience with this weird 2019 trend of difficult couples. I tried firing one of the couples earlier this year because they were so difficult but they apologised a million times and talked me into staying on. The ceremony was actually a hit and they left a wonderful review, but it really makes me not excited to be there when there has been awkward conflict, or if the couple tries to control the content too much and tells me basically what they want me to say.

Are there any red flags that tip you off when you meet a couple that make you run? Have you ever met a couple where you did not hit it off at all, wanted to say no but they asked to book right away? Most of the difficult couples I’ve met are pretty normal through the beginning stages, but turn toward the crazy later on. Have you experience this? It’s really draining…

Okay, get ready, possibly unpopular opinions on their way…
I guess my view with this is that our job is to facilitate weddings for couples, and sometimes that’s going to be easier than others. It is draining and hideous dealing with some of these people, but our jobs and lives can’t be amazing all the time, or we wouldn’t really value the incredibleness when it does come. The difficult ones make me appreciate the easier ones, so from that perspective I’m grateful for the difficult ones! I don’t have the luxury of turning down people who want to work with me; I have to pay my rent, and celebrancy is really my only income, so I’m not a great one for giving advice about red flags 🙂
When I’m whinging about couples I don’t like, my mum always says “you don’t have to like all your clients, as long as they pay their bill.” I reckon that’s pretty good advice!
I know it can be super difficult to get excited about turning up to a wedding when the couple has been difficult, but I’m a professional and will do my best work for every couple every time, even if I’ve complained about it all the way there and all the way home. It’s my job to put my game face on and deliver the best ceremony I possibly can, with what they’ve given me to work with.
I differ markedly from Josh on this, but my view is that it’s their wedding, not mine; if they want to basically tell me what to say, that’s their prerogative. I’m a pretty expensive talking doll, but if they don’t want to utilise my skills in writing a beautiful ceremony for them, but they still want to pay my bill, bring it on!
All of this shows me the importance of having wedding industry buddies; people you can whinge and vent to when clients suck, so you can whinge and vent all you like but when you get to dealing with them, you can put that game face on and give them what they need and want.
I’m not sure any of this is useful, because I guess I’m basically saying suck it up 😉 I don’t mean that in a rude way; we’re pretty bloody lucky to work in this incredible industry where most of our work is incredibly fulfilling. Just imagine if you were still doing whatever you did before you worked in weddings; would the percentages of amazing work vs hideous work be better than what you deal with now?
The celebrant who asked this question responded with:
This is excellent. Thank you, and please pass along my thanks to mum for her great advice also haha
Your response was exactly what I was hoping for – something to force me to think a bit differently.
I want to deliver something great and feel like what I offer, in my style and for the right couple is great. But when a couple hires me and then tries to get me to perform a different product/style all together, completely stripping me of my creativity and taking me out of my wheelhouse I get a bit annoyed because I don’t think it’ll be as great as it could have been.
Now I’m just complaining haha!!
I was kind of relieved to get that response because I thought I might have completed offended the celebrant by being my usual very frank self 🙂 And yes, I did thank my mum for her as always excellent advice.