Soiree Special Events

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A Day in the Life - Part 2 (the event)

Missed the first part? Click here to jump to it.

- So we start two minutes early but nobody seems to mind and there are only two late guests (and they were later than 5:00 anyhow). The mothers are escorted just like we practiced yesterday...I was slightly worried about how the groom's two nephews would do in escorting their grandma and how the bride's mom would understand me when it was time to go since she only speaks Serbian. The groom looked so handsome up at the front of the aisle and I was so honored to witness those last-minute jitters the bride had (don't worry - they all have them! the 'does my veil look okay?' 'how about my hair?' 'is he up there already?' 'is this my song?' 'do i start walking now?' questions are all pretty normal but always cute).

5:01pm - I get the bride down the aisle then hear loud "CRASH!" "BOOM!" "SCRAPE!" coming from the ballroom on the floor above. That marble flooring and staircase sure carries sound! It turns out the band and the caterer were still loading in some heavy equipment up the elevator and across the foyer right by the steps without realizing the ceremony had already begun. Mallory & I dashed outside, around the building, downstairs, and up the elevator (the fastest route without being seen, I swear) to quiet down the staff and they embarrassingly obliged.

5:25pm - We hear applause coming from downstairs and do the elevator-upstairs-around the building-dash to make sure the Rolls Royce is in place for the bride & groom and that the bridal party knows where to go for cocktails. We are down in time to see the bride & groom drive off in the Rolls and Mallory is in charge of parading the bridal party around the building. I head back inside to let a few guests know where the open bar is.

5:55pm - Halfway through cocktails some female guests start walking back towards the building, in hopes of finding some bug spray. Good thing I went back to Target for some! The ladies at the building had a bottle too, just in case. Apparently there is a huge swarm of mosquitoes in the cocktail area even though the caterer fogged a couple hours ago. We spend the next 20 minutes spraying calves and the tops of feet.6:25pm - We're ready to move everyone in for dinner but most of the band is MIA and the remaining few aren't changed into their tuxedos yet. I dash upstairs to remind them that we're starting in five minutes and they say 'no problem.' I turn to find the rest of the band walking into the room, tuxedo-clad. Boy do I love these people. The room looks great, too, and the caterer is ready to go.6:30pm - Guests start making their way up to the ballroom and a few notice the ice luge. Then a few more notice the ice luge. Pretty soon we have a snaking line of 30 people waiting to get their cosmopolitan (individually mixed, I might add) poured down a tube of ice. I try and let them have their fun while watching the beautiful escort table get demolished:6:45pm - Introductions were supposed to start 15 minutes ago and the the caterer is giving me the eye. Chef wants to get started on time so the food is perfectly hot when we begin. Fair enough. I try my best to politely shoo guests to their seats.

6:55pm - We begin introductions and the band emcee, Kevin, does a rockin' job on prounouncing the names. Who know that Jocic would be pronounced "Yaw-ts-itch"?

7:00pm - Dinner starts on time and I have redeemed myself with the chef.

7:05pm - My order at the bar includes a scotch on the rocks for the bride's mother, a vodka tonic with lime for the maid of honor, and an ice luged cosmo for the best man's wife. I had to shoo them out of the line so I played cocktail waitress! I check in with the bride and groom while I'm at their table and they seem to be doing just great.

7:15pm - The caterer tells me I'll be receiving a full entree for my meal instead of the boxed club sandwiches the band's getting. Yippee! I know the boxed club sandwich all too well but was hoping for a plate of that yummy-smelling fillet and shrimp. Mallory and I descend to the Rebecca & Sheila's office to enjoy a few minutes of peace & quiet

7:45pm - Dinner's over and we go back to check on everyone. They're all doing great except the best man is a little nervous about his toast. He tells me he has a surprise in store -- I can't wait..

8:15pm - Best man's toast includes a story about the comment the bride made after meeting the groom for the first time. To a friend, she said, "he's not that bad." In turn, the best man made little buttons with the groom's face and the text, "Not that Bad" directly underneath. He had 100 of them. They went like hotcakes and it was hilarious.

8:30pm - I coordinate with the band to have the father/daughter dance played immediately after the toast. It takes her dad a minute to realize when I told him "the father/daughter dance is coming up" that it actually was happening but Jelena successfully got him on the dance floor. A few minutes later the groom joins with his mom and then pulls up a ton of guests to join them. What a perfect way to start off a dancing set!

9:00pm - Time to cut the cake and toss the bouquet. Both the bride & groom have had their share of tasty adult beverages but they are holding it together nicely. I give them a quick cake cutting lesson on where to stand for a nice photograph, how to hold the knife to show off her ring, and where to cut the cake so it pulls out on the plate easy. I quickly get out of the way so they can have their moment and they do a perfect job. I hand the bride her toss bouquet (aka Jr. Bridesmaid's bouquet....I hope she won't miss it) and we surprisingly get a good number of single ladies on the floor without the awkward name-calling by the bride. Someone catches the bouquet, they hug, and then dancing resumes.9:30pm - There is tons of cake leftover and Mallory & I have made friends with the caterer. After five pieces of cake between us (I won't tell you who ate 3) we are ready to take a nap. That Laurent Lhuillier (Window's pastry chef & Food Network competitor) sure makes a mean cake! It had raspberry strawberry filling. Yum-o.

9:45pm - The photographer, Bob Blanken, wants a shot of the bride & groom out on the front steps of the building. We escort the newlyweds outside and Bob gives them direction on where to stand, where to sit, and how to pose. He wants to Rolls in the shot so I run around the building and get Joe to pull the car around. Bob shows us the shot on the little digital screen and it looks just amazing. I can't wait for the pro photos to come back!

10:00pm - The Rolls Royce driver turns out to be friendlier than we thought and he chit chats with Mallory and I for quite a while. Luckily we can see the party through the windows on the front of the building in case there are any disasters. They all look like they're having a good time without us so we enjoy the fresh air. The driver convinces us to look like idiots and take photos with the car:(sorry Mallory -- this was the better out of two!)

11:00pm - Mallory and I try to clean up as much as possible, since we'd like to go home as soon as possible once the wedding ends at midnight. We carry the gifts down to my car, disassemble the trash can altar arrangement holders, and generally get personal stuff out of the building. Of course we leave the guest book frame -- that will continue to get signed until the very end.11:55pm - The last song plays and we get ready for David & Jelena's departure. The crowd begs for an encore....specifically, AC/DC's You Shook Me All Night Long. One of the guests apparently knows all the words and jumped behind the bandstand to a microphone. She did a surprisingly good job! This crowd seems so uppity and classy but then you give them an open bar for 6 hours and look what happens.

12:05am - We send David & Jelena off a few minutes late but they look so happy and thrilled to be married that the timeline doesn't matter anymore. Mallory and I spend the next 15 minutes asking the remaining guests who will be riding on the shuttle. He has 25 minutes to get to two hotels before we go over our booked time. We finally get everyone on the shuttle (two had to stand) and they're safely off to their hotel. We call some cabs for a few local couples and the quickly arrive.12:20am - Cleanup ensues. All the delivery trucks came right on time so the crews are already in the ballroom tearing things apart. The caterer somehow dumps the ice sculpture (or loaded it in their truck?) and the band is working on taking everything apart. Mallory & I check for left guest items but the room is clean!

1:00am - The lighting company arrives after breaking down another job at the Smithsonian. Most of the rest of the room is clean so we hope they are quick.

1:15am - The building staff does a walk through with the catering manager and notices a few things they need to clean before we're done. There is a raspberry squished into their beautiful blue and yellow wool carpet. There is some strange sticky substance streaked down the building's antique leather chairs. The marble floor has some wet spots that need to be dried. The sofa and chairs of the lobby need to be moved back in place. They get to work right away since we all want to go home.

1:55am - All the vendors are packed up and out of the building. Some of them are still loading their trucks in the lot but at least the staff can lock the doors. Mallory and I rescue an extra case of chilled Corona that's destined for the caterer's dumpster. I drop Mallory off at her northwest home and then drive home to Reston.2:45am - I arrive home and crawl into bed. Good thing my next meeting's not until 11am!

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