Sunday, August 22, 2010

Italian weddings

I learned a valuable lesson last night. When the urge to blog is upon you - stop drop and blog. Riding my bike home from working at the Yacht Club last night I had some great sentences about the wedding I had just worked. 11 hours watching 90 people stop at every traditional wedding checkpoint and show their papers. Hysterical bride? Check. Cringe-inducing speeches? Check. Obnoxious MC? Check.

When we arrived with the gear and got a look at the place, I admit it, I doubted our ability to serve a four course plated dinner plus dessert out of a room the size of a locker room at the Y but god knows we're a mighty crew, a strong crew and a crew that is silently judging you for all your wedding decisions. We never have the set-up time we're supposed to have, we know this, but this one was so ridiculously cliched I actually started to enjoy it. All six of the parents/grandparents whatever who were paying for the wedding came an hour early to announce they were paying for the wedding and so had come to put up gigantic tacky white bows/plate six different kinds of cookies/confirm that the appetizers had fish in them every single time we went past/circle us as we tried to finish setting the tables (with three knives and two forks, thanks event planner! Rot in hell!)

I have developed a strong distaste for people who think they can plan their own weddings. They don't need a wedding planner! They just rip you off! Weddings are easy! You just order food and chairs right? This one wasn't too bad, I sensed the gentle hand of the event planner (Sorry about that earlier remark!) in timing suggestions and what to order but...man, these people could not stick to a schedule. The bride waited until we were just bringing out the first course to declare that she had to go get changed righthtatminute and then she looked at me with eyes that scorched my own and ran to the back, to tearfully start demanding of everyone within 10 feet where her dress was. Well, we didn't have the damn thing, thank god, and eventually the manager of the place, with a look in her eyes I found very sympathetic (i.e. controlling herself from starting to do shots at the bar)found the thing. This is what was once known as "changing into the reception dress." The idea seems to be to show up to the reception in it rather than waiting for the salad to be served and then bolting. Maybe she was afraid of getting salad dressing on it.

This was a very odd bride compared to the ones we normally work with. We're an expensive company, okay, most people who hire us have probably had catering before...I don't know, they dress a certain way. This wedding dress....

I am pleased to report these people could eat. The weight of the uneaten food at some events can really tax your wrists. Some of the weddings we have the menu isn't really a room-pleaser. Just a tip, if three-quarters of your guests are going to be from Mainland China, don't opt for the pasta bar. That just ensures that when the (small) suckling pig gets there your guests will feel compelled to fight to the death over its carcass.

We served, cleared, served, cleared, served, cleared - salad, brie, dinner - and then we had to wait for them to cut the cake. Nobody was in a hurry to cut this cake. All the photographers - pros and amateurs - were setting up and fussing with lighting and angles and stuff and this one guest, with a furtive yet beautifully innocent and thoughtful look assessed the state of the cake with an outstretched forefinger. She met some resistance so she poked harder. Determined to somehow make a dent in that cake she really gave it some effort, utilizing back muscles and a proper poking stance and everything. I watched her - I should have stopped her, but what can you do with someone so openly poking a cake? An adult, I should add. Luckily, the cake was styrofoam. A three-tier, chocolate-brown, small to medium-sized cake with a Mountie on top. One Mountie and his horse. I'm hoping that wasn't the product of weeks of feverish debate. The woman looked at me and I nodded. "Yep," I said. "Styrofoam." She didn't know what to do. I looked away politely.

They cut that cake though. Styrofoam decoy cakes are evidently a thing and when the time came the groom maneuvered the knife while his bride sort of numbly held on and he managed to poke out the back panel that exists to be filled with real cake so the happy couple can remove said cake and schmear it on each other if they feel the need. They did. I had been hoping a three-inch stripper would come out of that hatch in the fake cake. There are no surprises left after dozens of weddings.

The guests started hitting the booze in earnest, we got to eat, the two kids there slept on chairs put together by their mothers for them to nest in. The dance floor opened up and the usual litany of dances were danced. I've never actually been present for a first dance to "It's a Wonderful World". I knew it had happened but I had assumed that had all taken place in the 80s. The wedding dj - I think he brought his own time warp with him. I wonder if it's because we do so many Jewish weddings - this one had a totally different flavour. "That's Amore" was a big hit on the dance floor.

I was surprised to see the time-warped dj briskly segue into some crazy rap songs - there was some song about girls doing shots? so they would suck the singers' cocks? I saw an old lady work her shit to the song. Here, I found it for you.

The we loaded up the three tons of crap, packed the van, the van drove away and I biked home. The end.

1 comment:

  1. Your description is so vivid...it's like I was there!

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