- Number of weddings: 3
- Number of toasts: 11
- Number of bridesmaids at biggest wedding: 7
- Number of bridesmaids at smallest wedding: 6
- Number of falling-down-drunk brides: 1
We were all over the place this weekend. Here are some highlights from a weekend on the road:
Friday - Cape Cod
This was the first wedding in weeks where the humidity wasn't 100 percent, so it was bound to be enjoyable even if it was a lousy gig. (This would be a good time to remind the boys in the band to dry clean the tuxes once in a while, as they can already stand up by themselves and are on the verge of becoming self-aware.) Since the weather was so nice, the guests spent cocktail hour outside on the deck - much to the chagrin of C, who would have preferred that rain keep them close to the band even if we weren't playing yet. Really. D had been hired to play background music on the beautiful grand piano which was on the inside wall of the ballroom; he could have sat there picking his nose for an hour considering how few guests ventured inside.
Mr. Malaprop made a guest appearance at the Centerpiece Giveaway. Many couples give them to the oldest person at each table, referred to by C as the "eldest citizen." (I have more than once pointed out to him that this makes illegal aliens ineligible.) Sometimes they are given to the person whose birthday is closest to the wedding day, which was what C announced at the appropriate time. The B yelled over to correct him that she wanted the flowers to go to the couple with the closest anniversary, which turned into: "I'm sorry, evidently the lovely bride would like the flowers to go to the couple with the highest anniversary. Once again, to today. That's the, highest couple."
Saturday - North Shore.
It's usually a tip-off that a party crowd is in attendance when they bring 12-packs of Heineken light to the ceremony. I had a duo (guitar/trumpet) for the service, then had to double-time across a college campus to set up for the reception and got there around the same time as our fill-in sax player. Actual first conversation:
"Hey, I'm D.J."
"D.J., I'm Chris. Nice to meet you. Mind if I ask you a few questions?"
"Sure, go ahead."
"Where should I stand?"
"We usually have the sax player next to the drummer, almost directly behind me."
"Got it. What's the first dance song?"
"The Luckiest, by Ben Folds. Awesome song, but it's just piano and vocal - you can sit it out."
"Great. One other thing?"
"Sure, Chris, what is it?"
"Exactly which bridesmaid do I get to f^&k after the gig?"
He waited until I was drinking a glass of water to get just the right spit take.
It was the kind of night that paramedics showed up and we never found out why; that one of the members of the band claimed the bride came on to him; that the member of the band closest to C (different one) got so angry at him he was ready to squash his head like a cantaloupe; that the party was going so incredibly great we forgot to do "Sweet Caroline." Actually, that's all true except the last part - the day we do a wedding without Neil Diamond is the day the paramedics carry C out on a stretcher.
Sunday - New York area.
The function coordinator at this gig bore an odd physical resemblance to Nathan Lane, Rosie O'Donnell, Adolph Hitler, and Larry the Cable Guy. He seemed to be torn between wanting to treat us like all bands (that is to say, worthless morons) and wanting to pursue his attraction to C. (All FCs are attracted to C, male or female; I think it's his cologne.) For example: although he was happy to feed us, he gave us fish that had been sitting out for an hour and insisted that we bus our own plates.
New York weddings are tough because they have very specific schedules (the FCs are overbearing control freaks, did I mention that?) and don't allow the band to create any momentum. Here's an example worksheet:
- 6:00 PM - Band begins. Light instrumental music only!
- 6:12 PM - Line up wedding party.
- 6:17 PM - Begin wedding party entrance. Introductions should be spaced 20 seconds apart.
- 6:19 PM - Grand Entrance of Bride and Groom.
- 6:20 PM - First Dance. NO MORE THAN 2 MINUTES 15 SECONDS!
You get the idea. We've had wait staff run up to us, frantically waving clipboards and pointing to something like "Sherbet: 7:16 PM sharp!"
There's a traditional dance done at most Jewish weddings called the Hora. Those of you unfamiliar with the name would probably recognize it - the B and G are hoisted above the crowd on chairs while the rest of the guests circle them on the dance floor. I bring it up to caution those of you that might be participating in one sometime soon: don't use folding chairs. You'd think the Function Coordinator would make sure that appropriate seating is provided, but (s)he will probably be off yelling at the band.