Inspire Speaker: Dani Klein-Williams

Dani Klein Williams

In this series of blog posts we are introducing the faculty at Inspire 2015. Today we’d like to introduce you to Dani Klein-Williams who will be leading a session called Let's Get Down to Business... Why Sales are Sexy Dani Klein Williams

As any modern day businesswoman would do when faced with the challenge of writing a blog post for Inspire on anything other than my speaking topic, I took a Facebook poll on what I should talk about. Facebook followers said they wanted to know everything from how I balance work and family life, my struggle with fertility to wedding horror stories….

I am choosing wedding horror stories. I would love to dive right in to the uber personal fertility stories but there is not enough wine in the house at the moment ;)

So here goes - CRAZIEST wedding ever:

Setting: Upstate NY, never met the couple, they booked me last minute online thru a pay-for-lead service. Terrible idea to even join this but when I was first shooting weddings, I had no clue how to attract clients so I made a common mistake in the beginning by setting my prices CRAZY LOW and then bought leads thru a site.  This couple paid $825 for me to drive 4 hours each way and shoot for 5 hours AND I included the digital images--YIKES--hindsight is always 20/20!

We arrived at the church for the ceremony (no getting ready pics) and waited, and waited, the groom hadn’t shown up. We waited an hour and a half… nothing,  so we made our way back out to the car to head for home. As we were loading equipment into the car, I spot a man in a tux in the parking lot on his cell. I said to my assistant “ Could that be the groom?” Once he got off the phone we asked what his name was… sure enough in WAS the groom, casually strolling up to the church… no apologies or explanation… so they started the ceremony with a very shaken bride.

As the Bride was walking down the aisle  I thought – how sad – her father must have passed.  The gentleman walking her down the aisle appeared to be her brother – he was just about her age maybe slightly older.

After the ceremony the Bride and Groom exited the church and the Bride says, “Damn it!  I lost my ring! “ After a few minutes of looking in the grass they called off the search and announce they will just get another one “It was only $8 at Claire’s”.

I never received their family portrait list until that moment, due to the last minute booking, so imagine how surprised I was to learn the Groom wanted portraits with his 11 children and 11 DIFFERENT mothers! Each child with each Mom and himself. Luckily the bride’s list was short and sweet and much more traditional.  The Bride seemed cool with it though… AWKWARD for me!  I felt like I needed to tell her to “RUN AWAY!”

After an extensive amount of time on these portraits, we were running late to the reception.

Upon our arrival, the Bride and groom were immediately announced and then went straight into ‘parent dances’; the Bride and her ‘brother’ were up first. To my surprise the song “We Belong Together” by Mariah Carey played… I was suspicious so I couldn’t help myself… I asked a bridesmaid who the Bride she was dancing with; it was the same man that gave her away at the wedding. The bridesmaid’s answer was shocking…it was her ex-boyfriend. EX-BOYFRIEND?-  We belong together?! WTF?!?!

As the song finished, the caterer asked to speak with me.  We stepped outside and she asked if I had been paid.  “Yes” I replied.

“Well” she said “we haven’t, and we are shutting it down, so grab your stuff and take off.”  Then she had the DJ announce the party was over and to clear out… before dinner was even served!

My assistant and I got the heck out of there and spent the 4 hour drive home coming up with a new marketing plan and increasing our package pricing.

So there you have it folks.  Wedding from hell.  True Story. Next blog post will be on a boudoir horror story. Stay tuned!

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