Ladies and gentlemen of GroupThink, I have incoherent rage-feels and I will spend the next several hundred words ranting about frivolities.
I got married last June, and we did the shindig very much against my will. [A little caveat for those of you contemplating an out-of-context comment about how you just got married at a courthouse and it was so much easier: not only will it get dismissed, but each time I see your name around GroupThink for the next month, I will contemplate saying something shitty to you. Courthouse wasn't an option. I literally begged. Stahp.]
We hired an up-and-coming photographer to do the wedding photos. I had sort of mixed feelings about it; her portfolio was excellent, but so many people say you get what you pay for. Ultimately, I decided that I hate what I look like no matter what I look like, so it wasn't worth spending the extra money on a photograph who could "make me look my best" when I wasn't going to appreciate it. Plus, there was a very tight budget. This was what we could afford. Period.
In the end, we hired the cheaper professional. The stills are lovely. Everything else is poorly lit, fuzzy, and generally meh. She'd chosen a spot for some outdoor photos that was beautiful - but way too windy - and so all of the family shots are ruined by squinty eyes and blowy hair. It was a little disappointing, but my father-in-law is an amateur photographer, and between that and my snap-happy mother, there are some beautiful candids and I've got a general idea of what the day looked like.
The photographer wasn't super professional. She showed up about twenty minutes after I'd asked her too, which meant I had to hold off on getting dressed until she was there, which left me feeling a bit rushed. It also left me in a room with my very impatient mother, who likes to do everything super early, and who was pacing like a bear in a cage because where is the photographer.
And intellectually, I know she wasn't upset with me, but it ended up feeling like my responsibility to fix, because I'm the one with the photog's contact info. And I'm the one who did most of the wedding planning. (Every complaint she has had about the entire process ends up sounding like she thinks I did a bad job and I feel defensive, even though I am 100% candid that it was FluterDude's Dream Wedding.) I didn't say anything to the photographer, but I chose the schedule I sent her for a reason, and if she'd abided by it, I would have had a better morning.
These are Fluter Family dynamics.
Of course my mother, being my mother, made the photos and the "unprofessionalism" into a federal case, and ranted for days on end, every time the topic was brought up. Looking at the pictures was hard, at first, because I didn't want to look at myself - then it was hard because her complaining made me feel like I'd failed at wedding. (I'm not a wedding person. I barely knew how they were supposed to go - FluterDude wanted it, insisted upon it, and then didn't do anything to help it happen. I'm impressed the thing didn't esplode into frothy bridal chaos.)
And FluterDude. Oh, stupid, stupid FluterDude and his ridiculous ... has still not looked at the photos. The photos he had to have for the wedding he needed to be in. So we did this wedding I didn't want, and we took these photos that made me cringe, and there was no happy experience of looking through the pictures with my mother, because she was angry, with my father, because he doesn't have feelings, or with my husband, because ... who knows why FluterDude does these things, but he was up in arms that there must be a wedding! a wedding with him as groom! and then it was over and he has forgotten it ever happened.
I was told to select 30-40 of the best ones and send a list to the photographer for a wedding album. The process dragged out for about two months, but I did it. (Alone. Sulk.) I sent 36. The email sat, unacknowledged, for over a week.
Then, yesterday, in the midst of dealing with a plagiarizing student, teaching, going to a meeting, and doing general Wednesday morning stuff, I guess she called, asking if I wanted to add four more shots - I had four blank spots in my album. I got the call around 1:30 and returned it, and she said, and I quote:
"Oh, I just chose four for you."
I was pretty flexible about this shit. We had a wedding I didn't really want. Fine. We had a photographer I'm starting to dislike. Whatever. There was the whole dramaz with the florist and then the dress was hemmed crooked and every time, it was like ok, whatever, deep breath, how can we fix this.
BUT SIX FUCKING MONTHS LATER. AFTER YOU SAT ON THE SHOTS FOR FOUR MONTHS. I SEND YOU A LIST OF THE THING THAT IS SUPPOSED TO COST THE BULK OF THE MONEY WE GAVE YOU. (BECAUSE WE PAID HER FOR SIX HOURS AND SHE WAS THERE FOR MORE LIKE THREE.) AND YOU CAN'T WAIT TWO GODDAMNED HOURS TO LET ME CHOOSE FOUR MORE PHOTOS. IN MY WEDDING ALBUM. FOR MY WEDDING. YOU KNOW, THAT THING THAT WILL NEVER ENTER YOUR MIND AGAIN, BUT WHICH MIGHT HAVE A TINY AMOUNT OF EMOTIONAL SIGNIFICANCE TO ME?!?!
Not to mention, I know that I'll show said album to said mother and she'll say, "Why did yu pick those pictures," and she'll point right fucking at the four I didn't pick. I know it in my bones. I feel it in my soul. I'm already preparing to defend I person I don't like anymore, even by lying, so I don't fucking have to hear about it.
We still have a $200 credit for prints that I have to order. Mom had originally paid for them for herself, but, she "just doesn't like any of them enough to want one in her house." Actual words.
I thought that once the wedding was over, it was supposed to stop giving me irritation? Leave your rage-stoking comments below. (Please refrain from bragging about how you are super cool because no one made you have a wedding. Not. In. The. Mood.)
(Not my actual dress. But wouldn't that have been fun?)