Monday, November 4, 2013

A Wedding

First of all: thanks, you guys!  Your prayers and wishes have power; my bubbe is back home from the hospital.  She's not quite 100% just yet, but she's working on it.  Yay!

Things I have done this week:
  • Handed out candy to around 200 child visitors on Halloween, all of them scrumptiously cute.
  • Took Friday off to go to the Royal Winter Fair, where I conversed with talkative goats, ogled the bare buttocks of two-day-old piglets, and was impressed by a 926-pound pumpkin.
  • Bought 4 books for $4 at a dusty but fruitful fund-raising book sale.
  • Attended a wedding.
  • Attended Game Night with my besties, and helped the hosts out with their serious problem of leftover Halloween candy.
  • Scrubbed my house from top to bottom, which was tiring but completely satisfying.
Any of these could fuel an entire blog post, but I'm going with the wedding, because it was the most unusual.  The bride and groom are grandparents, in their 50's.  I don't know them well, but they are close friends of my friend, Val the Bingo Queen.  Val was their maid of honour, and they were kind enough to invite us because they are the type of people who welcome new friends into their circle.

Our first challenge was the find the venue, a hall in a Royal Canadian Legion out in the wilds of Scarborough.  The GPS directed us to a T-junction at the end of an overpass, with nothing but trees to be seen in every direction.  "You have arrived at the destination," it said.  We didn't think so.  Fortunately we spotted a little sign that said "RCL" with an arrow and it was just a short drive down the road to the left.

The weather wasn't bad, for November in Canada.  It was a few degrees above freezing, overcast, and spitting rain.  The wedding party was shivering outside, under an overhang, smoking cigarettes.  The bridesmaids were all wearing purple gowns and silver high-heeled sandals.  The wedding's theme was "Winter Wonderland" and the colours were purple and white.

This bride and groom are not wealthy.  However, the bride's two grown daughters had done an amazing job of dressing up the drab Legion hall for the occasion.  There was no wedding planner, no florist, no helpful staff.  The daughters had been at the hall all day up until midnight the day before, and again since early that morning, to make it perfect.

The round tables were laid with white, satiny tablecloths, overlaid with square cloths of translucent purple.  Gorgeous centrepieces had been handmade by filling vases with white florist's sand and standing silk flowers and silvered branches in them.  The place cards were done in calligraphy, each one decorated with two tasteful sparkly gems.  These were propped up in little Styrofoam "snowballs", which someone had clearly scooped one at a time with a melon baller or an ice-cream scoop.

An aisle had been laid down the centre of the dance floor, demarcated by lines of white fairy lights wrapped in white tulle, with fat, white candles down each side.  The candles were set on the floor, unlit, while guests took their seats.  They made me nervous.  One was kicked over by accident.  I visually located the fire extinguisher, which coincidentally was right by our table, just in case of a problem once the candles were lit.  Tulle and open flame do not mix well.  (Or they mix very well, if you like a little extra excitement.)  The aisle ended at a white trellis, hung with dark green ivy and more twinkling white lights.  It was magical.

The ceremony was touching.  There were tears of joy and photographs and cute children dressed up in miniature evening-wear.  Nothing caught on fire.

The main fiasco was dinner service.  Unfortunately the so-called caterers (more like a couple of moonlighting cafeteria ladies) were not up to the task.  The maid of honour was expecting what you would expect, thinking of a wedding dinner.  The reality was: only the head table was served.  The rest of us had to get up and file through the kitchen to get our dinner.  It was not a buffet.  The kitchen was just a crummy little kitchen, with signs in it like the one that said "There are thousands of  things to eat in this kitchen and all of them are beans."  We were given paper plates and plastic cutlery for the salad course, and then had to re-use them for the main course.

I'm all for saving the environment, but it did seem a little less than elegant to be carrying my cardboard plate, all mucky with mayo from the macaroni salad, back to the line-up to be served my entrée.  Apparently the caterers hadn't mentioned that they would not be providing plates and cutlery.  The maid of honour, who had made the arrangements, was mortified.

Frankly, given the circumstances (a very drafty, chilly hall and a growling stomach) I was happy just to get a hot meal, and  not to suffer any food poisoning afterwards.  I'm not sure how the bride felt about it, but she seemed happy enough.  She danced the first dance with her new husband wearing a strapless, white satin gown, and white flip-flops with plastic flowers on them.

It was a lot more relaxed and a lot more fun than a few stuffy weddings that I've been to.  Ken and I were glad to be there.


Warped Mind of Ron said...

So many weddings have the minor issues to deal with, but glad the majority of things went well. LOL... fires are generally a bad sign at a wedding so glad that was skipped.

DarcKnyt said...

I hope there's a frenzy of word-of-mouth advertising regarding the "caterers", if you catch my meaning. Shameful to do someone like that on their wedding day. Pathetic.

And HUZZAH for a recovering bubbe! Woot!

Lynn said...

It sounds like a good week and the wedding sounded delightful except for the food. I'm glad you survived that. :)

LL Cool Joe said...

I've gigged at some extremely "unusual" weddings. Let's just say "down market" but to be honest the guests all seem to very happy, and the bride and groom, and really that's all that matters.

Vanessa T said...

Yay for a recovering Bubbe! Woohoo! :D

That reception sounds ... well, it brought to mind a wedding I was once in, many years ago. The MIL planned everything, and wasn't fond of the bride.

Fortunately for your new friends, they aren't any less married! The vows are still good, even if the catering service wasn't exactly what they thought it would be. :)