Plea for help!
I had a pretty bad experience with our officiant at our wedding...
We had spoken to him on the phone and felt really good about him, so we went ahead and booked. At that point, he sent us their "suggested ceremonies", none of which we liked at all. His "most popular" one was this weird thing about the 5 needs of men (a wife who puts out, always acts like she's into it, keeps the house nice and "wears her hair in a style that is pleasing to him") and the 5 needs of women (I can't remember any but that she wanted to be financially provided for and get cuddles... seriously).
After seeing that, we decided we'd probably do better to try and draft our own ceremony and ask him to follow it- he said that was totally cool, and actually complimented the ceremony when I first sent it via email as well as 2 weeks before the wedding when we did our sit down planning meeting. We went over the ceremony, he asked us to add some things, cut some things and allow him to improv specific parts, all of which we agreed to. We felt really good about everything when we left.
However, the day of the wedding it felt like he hadn't looked at our ceremony again after that meeting. He messed up the name of one of my dead grandfathers (my grandmother was obviously pretty upset), included parts of the ceremony he'd wanted us to cut, and in general seemed very uncomfortable and lost (lots of awkward pauses and "umm"s). I'd made a point of explaining that I would be keeping my name and didn't want to be announced as Mr. and Mrs. X. He was about to do that until I turned around and said (my) "LAST NAME" as we were about to walk back down the aisle. He also completely botched the story behind why my dude is called "The Associate", and why our rings are engraved with "The Associates", which I'd specified was so incredibly important to me at our meeting (my specific words were, "if you get nothing else right, please get this down!!" - he didn't). So obviously, not a good experience.
I'd picked this guy after seeing that he had great reviews on the bridey sites, and feeling good about our communication before the wedding, so I wanted to provide honest feedback not only as constructive criticism for him, but honest reviews for other brides-to-be to use.
I left a review pretty much detailing the above, but with the things I liked as well (he spent a lot of time with us at the pre-wedding meeting going over the ceremony, was good in the parts he was allowed to improv and were obviously more comfortable to him, etc). Within a few hours I had a comment on my review from him saying that he disagreed with the circumstances of the ceremony, that he received many compliments (I assure you he didn't), etc.
He then called my phone and left a voicemail saying he wanted to discuss this and wanted me to call him back. The review was left anonymously, but it obviously wasn't very hard to figure out who it was from with the level of detail I included...
I emailed him and said that I was open to discussing the ceremony and review, but preferred to do it via email. We'd communicated during the planning process via email for at least half of our convos, so this wasn't unprecedented. Plus I wanted a paper trail.
Just received a response saying he preferred not to discuss such sensitive issues via email.
This strikes me as (pardon my language) shady as f*ck. But I'm afraid if I don't talk to him that he'll tell the sites he tried to talk to me and I refused so that they will take my review down. I really want it to stand, as it was 100% truthful and I'm getting the vibe that he harasses anyone who doesn't give him perfect marks. 1) That's not fair to brides looking at these reviews when they choose their vendors. And 2) bullying bullshit like that just pisses me off.
What's a girl to do?!
**Brideys, industry peeps and everbody with an opinion... I want to hear from you! Melissa already knows how I feel, and what I think she should do next, but I want to know what YOU think!**
Image via Anna Maria Island Officiants