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The Wedding that almost wasn't

Have you ever attended a wedding or reception in a parking garage? Yes the story you are about to hear is both comical and heart breaking...it's still very raw and I am still trying to believe it happened...you probably won't even believe it after reading it.

I'm going to start from the beginning...I'll trail back with the good times over the next few days...but well this is the story.

Wednesday:
4:00AM - Awake, all happy cause we're leaving for the airport. Telling everyone we see we are on our way to get married.

11:00AM - To the court house pick up marriage license, enjoy the unbelievable weather in
Savannah for the rest of the day.

Thursday:
7:00AM - Perfect morning beach run
10:00AM - Attempt number one to contact wedding coordinator...unsuccessful
Head in to Savannah, then come back and enjoy the beach... half of guests arrive for a great night out.
Multiple unsuccessful calls to coordinator...

Friday:
8:00AM - Perfect morning beach run
9:30AM - Finally reach coordinator's coordinator who says she will tell Annastasia to call...
10:00AM - Best friend misses connecting flight, rerouted to Hilton Head, loses baggage...eventually finds baggage
12:30PM - Decide to call coordinator AGAIN. She says she's too busy to meet with me, what do I need to know... ?? Well, she has booked a second wedding, so my wedding is bumped from 5:30PM to 6:30PM. Seriously no big deal..a few more details surface but all seems well.

Remainder of day enjoyed with entire guest party which arrives by 3PM and then heads out for a great dinner and one heck of a night...

Saturday:
9:00AM - Totally hung over 1 mile run on beach...but psyched hey it's wedding day!
11:00AM - Weather is perfect leave to get hair done
11:30AM -Girl doing hair has never done an updo...second woman working there keeps coming over and redoing ...takes 2 hours instead of one...she scared the girls in to not getting their hair done. Thank GOD for the second woman she made it happen.
2:00PM -Girls getting ready, awesome photographers have arrived
3:00PM - I get dressed, dad gives me beautiful pearl earrings
3:15PM - First moments with David on the pier...MAGICAL... weather is perfect
3:30PM - 20MPH winds begin blowing us literally off the beach...
LET THE GAMES BEGIN
Group takes pictures a few more places around the island, but the winds are intense...and well we never got a single shot on the water or any shots besides a few of D and I even in the sand.

6:00PM - Family is gathered in condo...Anastasia finally appears..."OH I'm just so frazzled, what a day it's been for me." Previous wedding was literally blown off the beach, all food ruined, cake dumped in sand. She sits down, looks at me and says "It's now officially a tropical storm with winds at 35MPH and up, plus potential for lightening and rain. I can not use the tent on the beach, so we have two options. One is a ballroom down the street, but I really don't recommend it...the other is an open space the condo has...it's like a blank canvas we can make it great." LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FREAKING FIRE.

So there I stand in my wedding gown with really very little option as we talk it over, fine just move it to the "open area in the condo" we all agree...but wait what time will everything start now? 7:30 ceremony, but no food til 8:30... YIKES that's a problem...so she agrees to let us go to the condo bar and have appetizers and drinks. Now she might have agreed but it took my wonderful matron of honor to track her down over 20 times to actually make it happen (might I add my contract included a bar tab anyways!). See this was now the 6th time she had tried to reschedule things...but hadn't actually done or moved anything.

6:15PM - Entire group heads to bar...2 teenage girls are attempting to move all decor and tables from beach to garage... 15 people from wedding party spend the next 1 1/2 hours helping them... coordinator is MIA.

6:30PM -I am so sick to my stomach I can not hardly stand up. Girls take me to bathroom and yes...on my wedding day I was barefoot and nearly naked in the bar bathroom because I had to take off my dress.

7:00PM - Family and friends are helping 2 teenage girls decorate because they don't know what to do and the coordinator is still MIA.

7:30PM - Mother is holding wet rag to my neck and I am praying I will just puke. I keep trying to tell people I'm not stressed I was just truly sick...see when I get stressed I eat, I love it.

8:00PM - Find out the coordinator had to go home to cook some food...???! Can not figure out how the place would have gotten set up without the 15 helpers who braved the elements because they love David and I so much.

8:15PM - Am now ready to pass out, have not cried, just tried to laugh and go with the flow...seriously I was amazed as was everyone else that both David and I were laughing..at that point.

8:30PM - Matron of honor finally lays the hammer down to help get me down the aisle...the very dark aisle in the parking garage. Did not put up lights as promised, it is so dark I don't know that pictures will come out...then again how much of that background do I want to see in a photo of me walking down the aisle.

As I'm walking I notice that someone has brought a man from a 1960 beach movie to be our minister...in jean shorts and a faded top. Luckily I had printed out the vows that she was supposed to give him because well SHE HADN'T! He did not talk with us once prior to the ceremony so did not know our names, didn't know the flow...but David and I were pretty focused on each other and just trying to be in that moment.

8:45PM - I tell matron of honor I am going to hurl but want pictures of first dance and father daughter dance...must do immediately. THANK GOD SHE PACKED A FRIGGIN BOOMBOX, because again the coordinator had forgot any music playing device.

8:55PM - Run out of reception...to parking garage elevator, cry finally for 30 seconds until girls make me laugh. Take off dress, put on sweat pants, curl in to fetal position on bed.

9:00PM - Girls leave. I puke. Put on jacket and veil, go back to reception.

9:15PM - No plates...very little food left

9:30PM - Her helpers {just young teens} start asking if we are done and will be leaving soon...supposed to be a 3 hour reception.

10:00PM - Do cake cutting in my sweat suit...yes that was just friggin awesome...had a few bites of cake and decided food was still no good for me.

10:15PM- Kids clean up all food and start tearing everything down. Group stays but it was strange and awkward.

Group partied til 2AM and we laughed all night about how "unique" it was and that surely no one had ever been to a parking garage wedding. I truly wanted to be light hearted about it because the only other option would have just made everyone said.

3AM -David and are talking about how heart broken we truly are...how mad we are at the absolute chaos of the coordinator and well how we still don't believe it happened to us...or that we are going to have to tell people we got married in a parking garage...seriously.

Today was rough since we were tired, but we enjoyed seeing everyone off and tried to just enjoy the day. Right up until I finally sat down at the airport and realized I was going to have to live with this as our wedding day...I started sobbing...in the airport.

37 comments:

  1. Oh, you poor thing...that is so sad and what a rubbish coordinator! I hope she isn't going to get paid for that or maybe you can get compensation??? Sending lots of hugs your way!

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  2. Oh Sweetheart. My heart is aching for you. I'm so sorry that happened to you. That coordinator should get the shaft. I hope you can go over the contract and not pay her.

    You will laugh about this eventually and sounds like you did a good job of that to get through it, but I'm sure you are heart broken. I'm really so so sorry. Could the two of you go back and have a special day together alone? Even take the dress and do it in your hearts?

    ((HUGS))

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  3. I sure hope Annastasia gives you your money back. I wonder why she thought a parking garage was more suitable than a ballroom?

    I'm sorry your wedding-day memories suck, but you did get married -- the goal of the day. I hope you can laugh about it soon!

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  4. I am sooooo sorry Amanda. unbelievable. *hugs*

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  5. Oh, Amanda. That's incredible; I am so sorry. :(

    I like Nancy's suggestion although I know you probably can't even think about that yet. I do think you're right to focus on how blessed you are to have amazing friends and family who worked so hard to help move the event and take care of you and make you laugh in spite of everything.

    Hugs to you and David.

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  6. Amanda, I am so sorry to hear this. But luckily there was someone there to officially marry you! You handled it well and you will be able to laugh eventually. Hopefully you and D can have a special day/party to make up for the mess.
    I know it is of little consolation because what's done is done but definitely take that contract and schedule a meeting with the coordinator and the manager. You need to be compensated b/c you did not get what you paid for. That is absolutely ridiculous.

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  7. OMG- I can't believe the piece of crap Coordinator. She didn't coordinate shit and you should get your money back. Not that that takes away your pain at this point, but still. Ah to be a fly on the wall when you call her and express your disappointment.

    I'm so, so sorry. However, I did notice how everyone around you pitched in and carried you through. And, how you kept your chin up. That is a beautiful memory too-witnessing the love and support of all those who cared so much about you to move heaven and earth to make your day as special as they could.

    Even after all this, I still say you're a lucky girl. You married a great guy and you're very loved.

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  8. Oh, gosh. Something like this is my worst fear. I'm getting married at the beach in a month. Have not been too worried about it. Until now.

    It sounds like you have some really supportive friends who helped you through the day. Thank goodness for them. I would have been a basket case.

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  9. On the plus side you are married! Congratulations. :)

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  10. You have every right to be upset and I can't imagine how you're feeling right now. If I may provide a bit of silver lining...

    1) You did the most important thing which was get married.
    2) While most people just have a vague recollection of their wedding years later, you will remember all of it... and I think you'll remember it with a smile.
    3) I'm a firm believer that the worse a wedding is, the better the marriage will be. With everything that happened to you, there's no way you won't live happily ever after.

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  11. Unbelievable. Nothing more to say.

    Congratulations on the marriage, though. That's something that a crappy coordinator can't ruin.

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  12. I am so sorry to hear your day wasn't everything you and David dreamed off. But you got married, and have an incredible story to tell and remember.

    Congratulations on getting hitched!

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  13. Staying positive here... congratulations on getting married! I'll trade your parking garage wedding to an amazing guy for my singledom :)

    Also, what if you get a renewal of your vows next year? Get your money back from the coordinator and try again? That could be a really gorgeous ceremony, plus there would be less pressure. And hey, a whole second set of wedding gifts! :)

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  14. I'm sorry you had to go through that. It's a great testament to your marriage that you can both laugh about it now. (Well, it might be too soon still, but you know what I mean.)

    Yeah for being a married woman!

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  15. Ok, maybe it was because I was in your shoes only a year and a half ago, but that story is hilarious. Of course it was horrible, but seriously, that is straight out of some Ben Stiller movie.

    Look at it this way: having a perfect wedding is boring. In twenty years no one will want to gather 'round to hear how your wedding day went off without a hitch. This is a story for you and David to tell all your lives.

    Take me for example. When people ask me about my wedding I tell them that it was wonderful and all, but we almost didn't get married because my wife was running so late (like 4 hours late).

    It might have been hell to go through, but it makes for some great memories--which sounds a lot like running.

    Congrats!

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  16. Wow. I just don't know what to say. That wedding report was written better than any race report I've ever read. The cool thing, though, is that you got to marry the person you love. Nothing's better than that. Congratulations to you both and I hope you have a great honeymoon.

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  17. oh amanda! this is awful! oh - and my last bit of advice to you was to remember everything ... am sure you'd rather not. that coordinator sucks - hopefully you can work something out there so she doesn't get paid, or you get your money back or something.

    i love that you could laugh about it. and it is so obvious that you have so many friends and family to help you make lemonade out of the lemons that were handed to you. and - you are married now. congratulations! i have no doubts you will both take a mulligan on the ceremony of the day someday -- for now, congratulations!!

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  18. Oh that is heartbreaking. I hope you didn't pay anything to that coordinator, or get anything back that you did pay!

    End of the day, you are married. That's the important thing. You got to run on the beach...that's another good thing right?

    I'm with those suggesting a vow renewal...hey, May 17th is a Saturday, you should go someplace and re-do it, just the two of you, and use that date (it's a very lucky one!!).

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  19. Oh that is heartbreaking. I hope you didn't pay anything to that coordinator, or get anything back that you did pay!

    End of the day, you are married. That's the important thing. You got to run on the beach...that's another good thing right?

    I'm with those suggesting a vow renewal...hey, May 17th is a Saturday, you should go someplace and re-do it, just the two of you, and use that date (it's a very lucky one!!).

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  20. Oh, that's just heartbreaking! Hopefully you didn't pay the coordinator as she did NOTHING! Report her to her boss and the Better Business Bureau.

    On the bright side: You have an amazing group of friends and family who went the extra miles to try and make your day special. You have your wonderful husband who stood by you through this. AND there is always the option to renew your vows for your one year anniversary in some fabulous location - just the two of you.

    As cliche as this sounds: all that matters is that you two love eachother. Your life will only get better and each day will be amazing and beautiful.

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  21. Oh my gosh..I am so, so sorry that happened! I would definitely figure out what to do about the wedding coordinator (if you could call her that!)

    You two definitely were so much calmer than I ever would have been!

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  22. Oh my freakin word! What a mess! How, what, I just don't understand how she could have let that happen. The part where she says "oh, what a day it's been for me" clearly shows her lack of understanding in the type of work she's chosen to do. The day is for the bride and groom, not the wedding planner.

    Need me to go open a can of whoop a$$ on her? I'd definitely go find a lawyer. Worth paying the consult to see what options you have, I can think of a few from law school...

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  23. Amanda- I ran across your blog while researching some information for a pending legal litigation that my family and I have with Anastasia. Please contact me, because I would like to find out some more information on what she has done to you. For me, she cancelled my wedding two weeks before my wedding date, siting that I had made too many changes and that our contract was null and void. She came away with some $5000 plus from us, and refuses to respond to certified letters. I would be more then happy to send you all of the emails that we have had. I am so sorry that you had to deal with far more then I had, but she is an awful conartist that needs to be stopped so that no other bride has to go through these things. Please contact me as soon as you can. My name is Mandy and you can email me at mgdisney@gmail.com. Thank you for your time and trying to shed some light on this awful woman.

    Mandy

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  25. I am so sorry that your Tybee wedding wasn't what you dreamed it would be! I remember that day clearly as my husband,daughter and I were on the beach that day! As a wedding planner myself I always have a back up plan for beach weddings that my brides have agreed on beforehand.
    If you are ever back on Tybee and would like to renew your vows, I would love to do it for you for free.
    Tybee is a truly beautiful place and maybe one day it can be magical for you as well.

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  26. I am so sorry about your day :-( I also used her for my wedding and was completely disappointed by her services. I went with the photographer from her company and I still do not have pictures nor will I ever get any. I am beyond pissed and upset. Heck, she didn't even show up for my wedding. I am now planning a vow renewal in a couple of yrs and I plan to do it all myself or hire a reputable planner in the Tybee area.

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  27. NO WAY. I'm so sorry the wedding day didn't go like you planned. At least you have the marriage and the memories!

    That terrible coordinator...

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  28. WWWOWWW!! I thought that stuff only happened in the movies. I'm sorry you had to go through all that. CRAZY! But like SROD said, it's something to tell your grandchildren!!

    Hugs!

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  29. OMG. I wanted to cry just reading this. I'm so sorry you had to go thru that. So sorry.

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  30. i really wanted to cry for you. i think you and your husband should get remarried somewhere else..... somewhere relaxing and fun!

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  31. I know your pain. My day was so much like yours...only Anastasia never showed and her team packed up everything and left 30 minutes before the wedding was scheduled. They said it was because of the weather...even after deciding on a back-up location. Funny thing is, the weather completely cleared 10 minutes after they left. Basically...she just took our money and ran. My guests had to set up using the chairs by the pool at the hotel. I paid her so much...only to have nothing she promised...really, nothing. Oh wait, I did get the pin on flower for my hubby...that was one REALLY expensive flower. Total crook!!

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  32. That's Horrible!

    No one should have to have that for their wedding day memories.

    Wish you were near Nashville, I would love to offer you a free complimentary couple's photo session.

    It's hard to smile when you have those memories but I hope you've been able to smile all the same.

    All the best to you both.

    Mark (Mark Denman Photography)

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  33. I just read this for the first time. Wow. I am glad you were able to laugh about it and cry later. It is the love that matters, not the venue. You made the best of a bad situation and were able to have a wedding (even if it was in a parking garage).

    You're amazing. :)

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  34. No way!!! HOly cow--you're right--it's hard to believe this is real!! YOu have such a healthy perspective now--but that had to take many days/weeks/months to get there. :(

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  35. can NOT believe that you guys have that wedding story! Then again, only easy going people could make it through that story without hurting someone.

    Even though it's not...wait a minute, I mean because it's not perfect, I think your wedding story is perfect! Out of adversity the strongest things are made!!

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  36. Sorry to say Anastasia is back. Historic Savannah Weddings or Pretty Savannah Weddings or Events with Style. Be careful!

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