We’re hooooooome! There’s so much to tell you, from the trip itself to the airport hijinks (insert card here! just kidding! this machine is out of order! thanks for the card!) to the state of the house upon our return (wood floors! echoriffic!), but there is just one quick tale I have to tell you before I forget because it is STILL making me laugh.
The wedding we went to was held at a swanky country club, and I’m not certain if the wedding coordinator was an employee of said establishment (I think she was) or an independent, but I CAN tell you that she took her job REALLY VERY SERIOUSLY. Because wedding are serious business, people, and chop chop, let’s get those flowers arranged just so and smooth those tablecloths and I swear to you she actually snapped her fingers at Otto at some point when she wanted him to do something. (He was a groomsman, but last time I checked that didn’t actually make him a trained animal, but apparently she begged to differ.)
Anyway, the point is that she was a WEE BIT TENSE.
Keeping in mind that you’re talking to someone whose wedding consisted of a quick, family-only ceremony and then dinner out, it’s POSSIBLE that I don’t fully appreciate the gravity of The Perfect Big Party Wedding, sure. But I found this woman alternately annoying and amusing.
Consider that background for what I’m about to tell you.
So Saturday—the day of the wedding—was a VERY long day. The wedding was at 5:00, but we were all staying up towards Boston and the wedding was on the Cape and the wedding party had to be there by 2:30 but there was traffic and SOMEHOW my sister-in-law and I ended up getting down there around 1:30, even though we were taking a different car than our husbands (who were IN the wedding). This makes for a really long day, is all I’m saying.
First we went to the hotel and hung out with relatives and whistled at the guys when they all came out in their tuxes to get into the limo (which was a custom stretch ’57 Chevy in TURQUOISE, which was a nice touch), and then we went on to the country club and tried to stay out the way.
The wedding planner was flitting around becoming more and more stressed out, and at some point she insisted that Otto go with her outside to be ready to seat people (even though it was, I dunno, maybe 3:30?) and then she positioned his brother Nearly Nickless at the front door to greet folks. (The groom, their brother Wild Thing, was assumedly sequestered somewhere doing groom-like things. Praying? Having a snack? I don’t suppose I’ll ever know.) Nearly Nickless’ wife—my sister-in-law—wandered off to talk with some folks, and I found myself just sort of hovering around the front door, waiting for my mother-in-law to arrive with that side of the family.
I thought this was the appropriate thing for me to do, because… ummm… I wasn’t sure what else to do. Whatever. I WAS TRYING TO BE HELPFUL.
While hanging around waiting, I watched the wedding planner flit back and forth in a constant state of pique, and one of the things that she was getting COMPLETELY worked up about while people started coming in was the place cards.
It’s a country club on the Cape. Down on the water. You walk out the back, and there’s a gorgeous view over the golf course down to the beach—just stunning. In keeping with the venue, the place cards were little tags on paper drink umbrellas, and they were stuck inside a giant box of sand that was sitting near the entrance on a couple of tables. Totally cute.
Also, totally the first thing you see after you come in. So folks would be greeted by Nearly Nickless and then proceed to the table and try to take their umbrella-tag, and then the wedding planner would swoop in out of nowhere and screech “THE PHOTOGRAPHER HAS NOT TAKEN A PICTURE OF THIS YET. PLEASE REFRAIN FROM TAKING YOUR SEATING CARD UNTIL AFTER THE CEREMONY!” And the guests would recoil in fright and she would flit away again.
Nearly Nickless somehow neglected to notice that this was happening (I saw it happen three or four times while I was waiting for my mother-in-law.) So at some point a couple came in, and he greeted them, and told them to go ahead and pick up their place cards. They headed over to the table. Nearly Nickless turned back to greet some more people, and I had a split second to make a decision. My mother-in-law still hadn’t arrived, so I left my post and approached the couple at the table.
“Excuse me,” I said, as I came up behind them. “I know that Nearly Nickless told you to take your place cards, but there’s a wedding planner swooping around here who is just a teensy bit high strung and I guess the photographer isn’t here yet and she wants a picture of the umbrellas before anyone takes their cards. She’s yelled at a bunch of people already, so if I were you I would just wait until after the ceremony to grab those.”
The wife was nodding as I spoke, clearly getting that I was trying to help them out, but the husband was giving me a very skeptical look.
“I just…” I faltered. This man was regarding me with something bordering on hostility. “Seriously, she’s NUTS, you should’ve heard her freaking out about it earlier.”
The husband crossed his arms on his chest and rolled his eyes. “So you’re the wedding planner, right?” he said.
“I’m the—NO! Haha! No, I’m not. Not me. You’ll see her, she’s everywhere. She’s wearing a black dress with white polka dots.”
There was a pause. A very pointed pause, as the couple stared at me. And I looked down. At my dress. My black dress with white polka dots.
“Oh my God!! AHAHAHAHA! No, no, REALLY, she’s wearing a DIFFERENT black dress with white polka dots! I swear!”
“You’re the wedding planner,” said the husband, again, as my face heated up and the wife looked at me as if I might be foaming at the mouth.
“Okay, I’m going to go over here, now. No, I am not the wedding planner, I’m one of the groom’s sisters-in-law. I was just trying to help. I’ll point her out to you later, okay? Just wait to take the umbrella!” I walked away laughing, and soon forgot about it.
About ten minutes into the reception the wife came up to me. “ARE YOU the wedding planner?” she asked, anxiously.
I laughed so hard I nearly dropped my drink. (Is the wedding planner allowed to drink at the reception?) “NO! Oh my God, you think I’m insane, your husband thinks I’m insane!” Luck was with me and I was able to spot the ACTUAL wedding planner in a DIFFERENT black-with-white-dots dress and point her out. “THAT is the wedding planner,” I sputtered, still laughing.
“Oh, I knew it!” she said. “My husband was CONVINCED it was you and I told him it couldn’t be. Okay, I’ll tell him. Wait, so which brother is yours?” I was able to point out Otto and we chatted for a minute and then I escaped and wondered when my dress crossed over from “cocktail chic” into “control freak wedding planner” and why I hadn’t noticed.
Thank goodness my hair looked so good, at least. Phew.