Planner or Not?
I don't really do many weddings that don't have coordination, so I don't have the same experience in that department as he does. Although, I have done some "day of" coordination where the couples have arranged some of the vendors themselves, or had some of their own ideas, here are their stories:
MY DAD IS THE MINISTER
Little do I know (as the photographer/ coordinator) that dad's ceremony lasts 50 minutes and we started at 1 hour before sunset. Needless to say the ceremony took away from the sunset & family photos. I can't really take photos after dark on a beach without it looking like we are in a darkened studio with a black backdrop.
WE WANT 100 OF OUR FRIENDS ON THE BEACH AT KEAWAKAPU AT 1 PM
So you met on this beach at 1 PM and you want to relive that at your ceremony... unfortunately there is no parking for 100 people, it's so hot that everybody is very uncomfortable, and the photos don't turn out well at mid day. Just because you met there (I'm sure that you were wearing bathing suits and not wedding dresses and tuxedos), doesn't mean you want to reproduce that on your wedding day.
MY FRIEND JUST BOUGHT A CAMERA AND IS TAKING PHOTO CLASSES, SHE WILL DO MY PHOTOGRAPHY
Just because you have a SLR and you may know how to make an exposure, doesn't mean that you are ready to pose wedding photos, and you have never been to this beach before, so you don't know the best spots to make your photos interesting. She stood in one spot and took 100 photos. Then, when it got dark, she didn't have a flash with her! The group shots in low light with the ocean in the background couldn't have come out no matter what ISO you were using...Oh, you were using daylight film?
I REALLY WANT TO BE MARRIED AT MAKENA COVE, YOU KNOW, SECRET BEACH
Well, that was fine in 1999, but now it's no longer a secret. It doesn't matter if it's in the morning or at sunset, there will be other wedding coordinators that still think this is the best spot and could care less that there are 3 other weddings going on. Is this Las Vegas? With so many beaches to choose from, why do you continue to use this one for your couples' weddings? Why do couples feel this is a good idea?
MY BROTHER-IN-LAW IS A MUSICIAN AND WILL BE DOING THE MUSIC
Great, but he is not that good, he just learned your special song, and he played the whole 5 minutes of it! This is not a concert, it's a wedding, it's not in a church where you can just fall asleep. You watch someone play a 5 minute song in the middle of your wedding, and even the bride & groom will be bored. Professional musicians know how to make it interesting, play enough of a song so you get the picture without boring you to death with verse after verse.
WE ARE JUST GOING TO PICK UP SOME FOOD PLATTERS AT SAFEWAY, WE DON'T NEED A CATERER
If you really need so save so much money at your wedding, perhaps you should have just stayed home. If you can't spring for a caterer, at least take them out to dinner at a nice restaurant, perhaps you can find a $15 prime rib happy hour if you have to.
WE ARRANGED THE RECEPTION AT THE MAKENA RESORT, TO KEEP COSTS DOWN WE MADE IT A CASH BAR
Mistake, all your heavy-drinking Canadian friends & family figured they would be fine with their credit cards. Unfortunately, a cash bar doesn't take credit cards, and none of them had any cash on them. Even the bride & groom barely could get a drink... and they didn't have the type of drinks you wanted anyway. Consult with the Catering Manager about what a cash bar means and make sure that they are serving the kind of drinks you like ahead of time.