How do you know that you are some one’s good friend? When they ask you to manage their wedding.
How does someone know when you are their very good friend? When there are almost five hundred people attending your wedding, and you say “Yes”.
One of the reasons we chose the dates we did for our return was to make it to the wedding of our friends Jeanne and Abbie. Since we were planning on being in the area and aren’t yet encumbered by jobs, we offered to help in any way we could with getting ready for the big wedding day. Jeanne asked if she could employ us on the wedding day itself to kind of manage things behind the scene, so while she didn’t actually plan anything and there was no radio headset to be worn, I mockingly called her Jeanne’s “Wedding Planner”.
And I wasn’t the only one. At the wedding rehearsal the night before several of Jeanne’s out-of-town friends took her to be a pro. “How many wedding do you do a year?” they asked, “This is my first”, (concerned look on out-of-town friends face) “Oh, umm”, whereupon LeeAnne explains that she’s doing Jeanne a “solid” in repayment for the many “solids” we have already received from her in the past.
Then there was a very disconcerting moment in the rehearsal when Jeanne asked both LeeAnne and myself to stand up, and said in front of the eighty people at the wedding rehearsal (Because when you wedding is huge, your wedding rehearsal has to be also disproportionately large), “If any of you have any questions tomorrow at all, find LeeAnne or Dave and they can answer them for you”. Whoa, that’s the first I’ve heard of that. I have a hard time keeping track of myself at these events – this is not good.
The day of the wedding itself remains a blur as much for ourselves as I’m sure it was for Jeanne and Abbie. Some of the events that do remain in my memory include:
- Flower children showing up for the service about three seconds before the march down the aisle begins
- Guests showing up to the service forty-five minutes after it’s begun and wondering why it’s hard to find a seat
- The Ethiopian band showing up 30 minutes after they’re supposed to play the traditional wedding song and introduce the newylwed couple at the reception
- The wedding band learning to play a Junkyard Band Go-Go song in about five minutes before the reception
- The power cutting out right before the wedding bands big finale
- A wedding band of the goofiest middle age white people you’ve ever met preforming a Go-Go song
Somewhat surprisingly, it all went off. Everything happened, there were toasts, the cake was cut, people were sat at tables, everyone worked together and made things happen. And all this with out J-Lo, and her headset. It was a great time and certainly worth changing around a schedule a bit and taking on (way) more responsibility than we thought we’d have.