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Alas, sometimes those who are supposed to help the bride (make that get PAID to help the bride) are the ones who cause the most angst. Here are a few ways real brides handled their "Bridezilla" wedding planners.
"I made the hugest mistake of the century. My fiancé Bill's sister was starting out as a wedding planner so to make him happy I agreed to hire her. OMG: she had no clue what she was doing, except how to spend someone else's money! I finally had a heart-to-heart with Bill and he agreed to tell her we were hiring someone with years of experience, and that we wanted her to just be a guest. I don't know how their conversation went, but luckily she never said a word to me and the wedding turned out beautifully." — Sarah
"About five months before the wedding our wedding planner's husband left her for their nanny. Initially she fell apart totally— stopped answering emails, texts or phone calls. I wish it had stayed that way. When Emily started working again she started making crazy decisions like hiring insanely expensive vendors without even running it by my fiancé and me. While we felt sorry for her, when she started wasting our money it was the last straw and I had to fire her. Ugh!" — Ava
"My wedding planner flipped out when I ordered an in-home try-on for my insanely expensive wedding gown. She actually demanded I wait on the tailor she'd recommended to do the fitting. It felt very uncomfortable but I had to remind her whose wedding it was and that she worked for me. Luckily she snapped back in line. Otherwise I would have gone into zilla mode myself." — Lisa
"My wedding planner accidentally cc'ed me on an email to one of the vendors she'd recommended, making it clear the only reason she wanted me to use this person was it was her friend and she was going to get a commission! I was livid and thrilled to can them both! I demanded my money back or I would sue, using the email as documentation. I got my deposits back, but it was the last thing I needed during an already stressful time." — Tanya
"I got engaged when I was 20 and my wedding planner had 15 years on me. She treated me like a child, insisting I just listen to her about everything because I had no sense of style. I felt so intimidated I went along with all her recommendations. There were aspects of the wedding I would have changed if only I'd had the confidence. Fifteen years later I looked her up on the internet and let this witch have it! I never heard back but it gave me a sense of closure." — Barb
"She kept trash talking former clients to me and I kept thinking, 'Is she going to do the same about me one day?' The thought made me so uncomfortable I was afraid to assert myself until one day, while taste testing at a caterer, I had a few glasses of wine and told her exactly how I felt. She apologized and said she was a complete professional and would never talk about me to future clients. I didn't believe her, but we continued on — and she was better behaved. The wedding was a dream come true, and that's what ultimately counted." — Ruth
Sherry Amatenstein is a New York City-based marriage therapist and author.