Surprise Part Deux

One would think that there would be very little that surprises me when it comes to wedding receptions, but still I walk away from some of these events thinking  “What the H just happened in there?” 

Well, a couple of weekends ago, I had that experience.  I was lost for words; I know - me, lost for words - weird, that never happens! 

I have already written about this couple that I am going to tell you about, back in July 2010, the mother of the bride that had made all of the arrangements like picking out the date, location, colors, etc for her wedding her daughter’s wedding.  She’s baaaaaaacccckkkkkk!

I really liked the bride, she is cute, funny and kind.  The groom was cute, funny and kind.  They are obviously a perfect match.  There was nothing unexpected when planning the event.  The typical mom-zilla stuff and a few things the bride was very specific about, which I can handle. 

Then came the week before the event.  The bride and her mom dropped off some things and filled me in on a few things I should be watching for during her reception - the usual stuff like don’t let the bridal party get embarrassingly drunk, watch out for Uncle Jim - he is a little handsy with the ladies, and the groom’s brother and his current girlfriend are in to exhibitionism.  Wait….what.  Exhibitionism,….ok….wow.  Will do, I will keep an eye on that for you. 

The event goes well until….well it went pretty well but anything that could have gone wrong, went pretty wrong.  The florist didn’t bring enough flowers so we had empty vases, but never fear, I Do Expert is here!  I took care of it as well as the other miscellaneous items like the two page list of pictures the bride asked me to take, the decorator forgetting the birdcage for the cards, the appetizers running out in 15 minutes, etc. 

At every event I try not to involved the bride with any problems unless I absolutely have to let her know.  So I went to the Mother of the Bride to let her know about the items that were wrong so she could get a refund and so that they bride wouldn’t have to know.  What does that MOB do, she runs right to the Bride as soon as she gets to the reception and tells her everything that has gone wrong!  I was shocked - I mean when the bride was almost in tears, I pulled her away, showed her how beautiful the reception hall looked and got her announced. 

The bride and groom arrived about 10 minutes late, not too bad!  Then they did a receiving line for 200 people.  Then they did photographs and then they were re-announced.  Dinner was supposed to be served at 7:00 p.m….we had dinner served finally at 9:00 p.m.

Everything else went fairly smooth - taking booze away from a bridesmaid, keeping our eyes on the exhibitionist couple, kicking out an uncle, keeping an eye on the exhibitionist couple, keeping the other bridesmaid from showing her Sharon Stone impersonation to everyone, and keeping an eye on the exhibitionists. 

As the night was coming to a close, guests were leaving we were missing two members of the bridal party.  I asked the I Do Security Officers to walk through the building with me, looking for the missing bridesmaid and groomsman.  We did not find them and we scoured the building. 

We as are locking the doors and thanking the I Do Security Officers, the caterers came to me to let me know that they broke a window.  The I Do Assistant and I went to go check out the broken window.  Discovering it was a window broken on a building other than the reception site, we called the police.  Since the window wasn’t broken completely in, the building’s alarm wasn’t going off.  The police could not do anything unless the alarm was going off, so the dispatcher suggested I complete the breaking of the window.  Not wanting to end this memorable evening with a breaking and entering charge, I declined the option to break in the building.  I hung up the phone and called the building owner at 1:30 am. 

Apparently, I am a worry wart because the I Do Assistant and I were the only people concerned about the broken window as the building owner said he would take care of it…..within the next week.

As I am on the phone, I see someone walking out from behind me.  It was the missing bridesmaid!  Then about a minute later, the missing groomsman walked out.  Here’s the kicker….wait for it…..wait for it…..the couple was NOT the exhibitionist couple we would have expected. 

Then this is where it happened - I. Was. Speechless.  I literally lost my words when I was on the phone, I am sure whoever I was speaking to thought I was a complete idiot, but I couldn’t put a sentence together. 

I hung up the phone and we were gathering the staff to leave the building when I hear a tap, tap, tap on the front window.  It was the groomsman - standing there waving and knocking.  I went out to the front door.

Groomsman: “Um, hi...yeah, um this is awkward. So, um, we don’t have, um, our phones, we need to use your phone.”

I Do Expert: “Yeah, the other bridesmaids and groomsmen thought the two of you left so they took your things you left behind,” I said to this man with this shirt buttoned incorrectly.  “I will let you back in on one condition.  You have to tell me where the two of you were, we scoured the building looking for people to make sure everyone was gone and you scared the bejesus out of me.”

Groomsman: “Well, um...we were….um, in the men’s bathroom by the reception hall.”

I Do Expert: “Sure come on in.”  I was judging...boy was I judging. 

This dance of uncomfortable, awkwardness continued for the next 40 minutes.  The bridesmaid had to call the MOB and the groomsman had to call the Mother of the Groom as these were the only phone numbers I had on file.  None of the phone calls were comfortable. 

The who conclusion of the night reminded me of something that the great poet Lil’ Wayne once wrote a perfect lyric for this situation and I will leave you with it now;
Boy I know you got a girl
And you know I got a man
So lets both respect the game
And have a one night stand
Everybody wanna know
But they wouldn't understand
So lets keep it on the low
And have a one night stand

I Do Expert

Don't You Know Who I Am?

Yes, yes, yes...I am well aware that it has almost been eons since I have written my latest and greatest exploits as a wedding and event planner extraordinaire, but what can I say, I have been busy.  Now while I catalog my thoughts of the events of the past many moons, I want to tell you about a quick interaction I have had with a new wedding booking. 

I like to call him John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.  I want to re-state that I have changed the names of my clients as to protect their identities.  So please do not get on Facebook and look up all of the John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidts to find out which is recently engaged.  From this point on I will refer to him as “JJJS” (feel free to insert the  “na na na na na na na” in your head each time you shout his name).

JJJS doesn’t call me initially.  JJJS’s fiance doesn’t call me initially either.  JJJS’s mother calls me.  I have know JJJS’s family since I was approximately in kindergarten.  JJJS’s mother proceeds to introduce her self to me as if we have NEVER met, and never seen each other in our lives.  I play along with the charade like any good event planner.  I talk with JJJS’s mother about the costs, details, etc of planning this wedding.  She is not sure that the venue is quite large enough for the party, but we place a date on hold and give her time to think. 

I hear rumors that JJJS has chosen a different venue and event planner so I am honestly relieved. 

On a random Tuesday, my phone rings. 

“Hello, I Do Expert - how can I make your dreams come true today?”

“Well, yes hello.  I need to ask some questions about a wedding.”  the voice on the phone sounds like a man whose ascot is too tightly tied, “I was wondering if there is an adjustment on price of services based on who I am, and who my fiance is.”

“Nope, regardless of who you are, the price for weddings and receptions is not negotiable.  It is, what it is.”

“Well, maybe if I introduce myself.  This is John...Jacob...Jingleheimer...Schmidt.”

“Fantastic.  Since we are doing introductions, I am the I Do Expert.  And sorry JJJS, there is no price adjustment even after you revealed your identity, just like the masked man on The Bachelorette didn’t get a rose after he revealed his identity.”

**Sidebar:  Ok, maybe I didn’t say that last piece about the masked man on The Bachelorette, but it would have been funny, right?

Back to JJJS.  I hung up the phone with him and he was disappointed he didn’t get a discount.  After three more phone calls of him trying to negotiate my very firm pricing, he decided that he and his fiance would be booking the event. 

Needless to say, JJJS and his fiance didn’t come in with the contract and deposit.  JJJS’s mother did. 

This wedding isn’t until fall of 2012 and I am already blogging about him.  This cannot end well. 

So remember….whenever you go out, the people always shout, “There goes John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.”

I Do Expert

Fly on the Wall

At some point in our lives, everyone has wished to over hear a conversation happening behind closed doors.  I know I have said – “Oh I wish I could be a fly on the wall in that room.”

It surprised me when I get into the wedding planning industry that people were curious as to what was happening behind the closed doors where the bride and her maids were getting ready as well as what was going on where the groom and his groomsmen were preparing for the wedding ceremony. 

So many times a grandma or other loved one stops me and asks “What’s going on in there?” or “How is the bride doing?”  Always my answer is something charming like – “Oh she looks beautiful and is so excited,” or “He is smiling ear to ear waiting for his bride.”  While, in my head I am likely singing a different tune.  So what's the point of all of this, you might ask?  I want to share with you some of the things that actually happen behind the closed doors of brides and grooms – both before and after the wedding ceremony.

Anytime you walk into a room of brides and bridesmaids there is excitement in the air, as well as sense of importance.  As far as the bride is concerned, she is the only person in the entire world that matters.  Some bridesmaids have a huge problem with the bride’s self-proclaimed attitude of “this day is all about me.”

Overhead statement by bridesmaids:

            “I definitely look better than the bride.”
            “Don’t you think she could have found a dress that was more flattering?”
            To the bride as she is walking to meet her father “You look so beautiful!!!”….as soon as the door closes “Just not as good as me on my wedding day.”

            It is not all bad – I have seen bridesmaids fall apart like babies when they see the bride in her dress or right before they all walk down the aisle.  Believe me – I broke down when I saw my little, tiny, baby sister in her wedding dress (ok, so she is approximately 14 seconds younger than me).  I think it hits you, when you see someone you love so much walking down the aisle or getting ready to walk down the aisle like a princess to commit to a life of love and marriage.  Every wedding I have been it, or been a part of I have cried.  Even as I send the nastiest bride down the aisle, I still get teary eyed.  It’s touching and like I said in my very first entry – I love LOVE.

Then you walk into the room where the men are getting ready.  Whenever you have a group of men gathered into a room with the door closed – I feel like it turns into a locker room.  After you get over the caged up man smell and excitement, you start to listen.

            “Are you sure buddy? This is the last chance to run!”
            “I saw her and she looks beautiful man!”
            “Dude that stripper so wanted you last night.”

Some of the most touching and magical moments are when a father sees his daughter for the first time in her wedding dress.  I can just picture a father looking at a little six year-old version of his daughter walking towards him in a white poufy dress and over-sized high heels on, then blinking through the tears to realize that it is his grown-up daughter.  It is that moment where a father tries to fight back tears, to ultimately lose the battle in an embrace with his daughter ending with a kiss on the cheek. 

There are moments, however, that are burned into my brain for completely opposite reasons.  A situation where I never wanted to or wished to overhear what was going on in a room, but I experienced it anyway.

One of the most horrifying moments was when I had the groom and groomsmen in place, the grandmothers lined up, I had the Mother of the Groom ready to go, bridesmaids were standing in position and I was missing the Maid of Honor, Mother of the Bride and the Bride.  I was frantically running around looking for them, when I hear a terrible, terrible sound coming from the ladies restroom.  I put my ear to the door and I recognize the sound, and immediately my stomach turns.  Anyone who knows me is well aware that I do NOT handle people getting sick in front of me well.  I tap on the door, open it a little and manage to whisper out “Is everything ok?  We are getting ready to start.”  The Mother of the Bride shouts “We are fine, just get it started and we will be out in a minute.”

I try to avoid the situation, thinking it will be over soon.  So I head over to my assistant to start sending the grandmothers out VERY slowly.  One of the grandmothers grabbed my arm and pulled my face down to hers and said “Honey is everything ok?  I haven’t seen the Bride.”  While my head replays the sounds coming from the bathroom, my stomach turns and I am able to whisper to her “Yes, ma’am.  Everything is fine.”  I straighten her corsage and tell her how beautiful she is and send her down the aisle feeling like the Queen of Sheba. 

I hope and pray that when I turn around, everyone is out of the ladies room and in position, but that is not the case.  So I slowly opened the door to slide in and quickly closed it behind me. 

There was the bride on her knees in front of the toilet, vomiting.  The mother is screaming at her about being irresponsible and getting her dress dirty.  The Maid of Honor is holding her veil and hair, while saying encouraging statements.  This was one of those times I never wished to be a fly on the wall in the room. 

“Ladies, we are ready for you.  Mom, I am going to need you to step outside so you can be seated.”  This kind statement was followed by death glares from the mother and a look of “please save me” from the Maid of Honor. 

They can wait on us!”  the mother shouted at me

“What is your problem?!?” the mother shouts at the bride. 

“I don’t know mother! I guess I either had too much champagne this morning….or I’m pregnant,” the bride says. 

My jaw hit the ground.  No one was laughing.  There was so much tension in the room.  Everyone was uncomfortable and the eggshells on the floor appeared everywhere.  There was no where to go from here. 

Then the Maid of Honor spoke.  In the kindest, most sympathetic and heartfelt voice uttered “Well, you are going to look so skinny in your dress after throwing up for the last 20 minutes that no one will even suspect you are knocked-up.”  Like with that little comment, everything would be fine. 

The bride stood up and smiled at her Maid of Honor, washed her mouth out with water and I shoved a couple of curiously strong mints down her throat.  She straightened her dress and the Maid of Honor floofed her veil.  The Mother of the Bride adjusted her dress and jacket, combed her hair to the side with her hands and all exited the restroom with smiles on their face ready to have a very memorable ceremony and reception. 

Everything seemed to go smoothly throughout the ceremony and evening.  I never saw the Mother of the Bride and Bride speak throughout the evening.    I don’t know what ever happened.  I don’t know if the bride had the flu, was pregnant or what, but it does go to show that there certainly are times that you do NOT want to be a fly on the wall, and this was certainly one of them.