Wedding Nightmares

My friend Christina and her husband Francois own an Inn where her husband sometimes would let people have their weddings. He did all the work for setting those events up and took care of all the inevitable last minute details. Sadly, Francois passed away earlier this year, leaving Christina with the Inn to run alone. She switched from a B&B to and Air B&B, which saved her from having to cook for and serve guests alone.

But there was one event Francois had booked a year ago, a wedding this weekend. Christina liked the young couple so she kept the commitment. About a months ago, with this wedding looming she asked me if I could come out and help her with it given my wedding catering experience. I was happy to help. We were not going to be the caterers, but there is always a lot of last minute things to be handled at a wedding venue and without Francois to be the tough one Christina needed me to come and run interference or play bad cop as needed.

Well, lots was needed. First hurricane Micheal came through and blew down a huge tree right in front of the front door of the Inn. Then, like everyone in the area the Inn lost its power. So did the caterers, who said they could not make food.

Well, things got worked out. The caterers called another restaurant and had them make the food. Christina had a portable generator that was able to power enough of the Inn so the bridal party could stay in the rooms. The fallen tree was not in the way of the ceremony site or the tent so it just acted like a fence. Seemed like things were on track. Something always goes wrong at a wedding and if this was it, great.

This afternoon I drove out to Christina’s. I met the groom and groomsmen, all whose bow ties I had to tie. It was a little less than two hours before the wedding was to start and I was a little concerned the caterers were not there yet and neither was the band.

A woman from a local Inn when the band was going to be staying was wondering where the band was too. Apparently they were supposed to have gotten to the Inn, unloaded their equipment, set up and done sound check all before 3:00, when they would go back to the Inn with her and change for the wedding.

About 3:45 the band of about seven middle to old guys pulled up in their white van with a trailer of equipment. They asked where they were supposed to set up and the tent across the field was pointed out to them. One big issue, the hurricane had made things so wet that they could not use the van to pull the trailer across the field for fear of it sinking in the ground.

Christina, her friend Deb and I all volunteered to help the seven men move the equipment on dollies to the tent. They would have none of that. Then we asked one of Christina’s friends, who was at the Inn helping if he could use his truck to pull the van. The band made no attempt to help of even try to figure out how to do the job. It was apparent they would have liked to turn around and go home to South Carolina where they had come from.

The first truck did not have the right hitch, which was discovered forty-five minutes after trying to make it work. Another workman who had shown up to get the power back on tried his truck and that successfully pulled the musical equipment to the tent.

They got it unloaded just as the guests were arriving for the wedding. So the set up happened, but no sound check. Then they discovered the generator they had for the tent was not starting. Thankfully the friend came back and fixed that. Just then the power to the Inn was restored and it blew the septic tank up a little so stuff was gushing out of the ground for a few minutes. Thankfully no guests seemed to notice.

The food arrived via Honda Accord and the caterers carried the platters across the field, just behind the guests sitting waiting for the wedding to start. The ceremony took place and the bride and groom were beautiful and happy.

As the couple were getting their pictures taken and the guests were enjoying drinks and some nibbles, the seven members of the band came to us to ask where they could change their clothes. Christina showed them to the out door shower room and they balked at this. They had clothes they wanted to iron and rooms to change in.

I was about to say that if they had arrived on time they would have had a chance to change at the Inn they were staying at which was the plan, but I held back since I felt they were already inclined to walk away from this job. The head band guy then said he was going to ask the bride. Thankfully a bossy caterer put a stop to him bothering the bride with this ridiculous question and showed them to the port-a-potty tent where they changed.

When you are a wedding band you better be prepared to do some heavy lifting and bring your clothes already ironed and show up on time. These guys were not that band.

Christina got a good laugh out of the whole thing since she swears this is the last wedding she is ever having at the Inn. I was glad to be there to add some comic relief. My help was certainly not invaluable but I was able to teach the car parking people the right way to have the cars park after they had already parked three in the wrong direction.

I also ran interference when a couple pulled in in their big ass Mercedes SUV. It was a woman with way too much plastic surgery who said they were on a way to the foot ball game and she had a blog and want to take a few pictures of the Inn for her blog. As I was about to object her husband said, “She has 10,000 readers.” As if that meant they should get in the way of someone else’s wedding. I gave them ten minutes on one side of the house and it was apparent that they were using the Inn as the back drop for her personal photo shoot.

Later Christina and her friend Deb and I looked at the woman’s blog and got a big kick out of how lame it was. I will be looking for her shots of the Inn and see if she gives it any publicity after insisting on barging in.

So after what seemed like dozens of things going wrong it appeared the the very chill bride and groom had a good time. I don’t know how the band turned out because I was too exhausted to stay late into the party. This one last one Francois set up was one where he could have been used the most. I don’t think we will ever not miss Francois.

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