The Wedding Singer: Parking and Profanities
One venue manager that comes to mind is Marcus. Marcus was probably somewhere in his mid to late 30s (or he was aging very well). He was super helpful when we first met. He even had the florists move their vehicles so the band had spots to park. It was a grassy area and I actually double-checked that it was ok.
This might seem like an odd thing to mention but you’ll understand soon.
My bass player and I drove to the ceremony site (which was only a few hundred yards away, but we had very heavy stuff including his upright bass). We pulled alongside the building as close as we could get to where we needed to set up. Now when I say “close as we could get” I am not DRIVING up the aisle. I don’t want you to picture me hauling ass across a ceremony site. I have SOME brain power.
We did, however, pull onto some grass.
While we were unloading, we heard this yelling. It was so bizarre and out of context that my bass player and I actually looked at one another, confused. “Get your car out of there! You CANNOT park there!” We both looked around to see who Marcus was yelling at. As if someone HAD driven down the aisle or something. That’s when we realized he was yelling at us. We didn’t move right away because we were stunned. He was screaming as if we had parked on his foot.
“Jeez I’m sorry! I had no idea. We’ll move it!” I said. My remorse was sincere, but my tone said “Dude. Relax.”
“I’m sorry!” he said, very flabbergasted. “it’s just, we have a hard time growing grass right here and you just can’t drive on it.”
“I didn’t know. I am sorry.” My bass player gets into the car and starts to move it.
“You know we just…“ he tries to continue.
“…got it. We’re moving.”
I don’t need to be told more than once. Once would have been nice!
It took a bit for the shock to wear off. It wasn’t as if we’d been warned of this and intentionally disrespected the wishes of the venue.
We continued to set up for the ceremony. The beautiful brides were about to do their first look right around the corner. They had also planned to exchange their vows privately before the actual ceremony. So romantic.
The brides were out of view when I heard screaming again. It was far away so I couldn’t make it out and just continued setting up equipment for the ceremony. Someone came out of the house and said, “did you hear Marcus screaming?” I said “Oh yeah, at us? About 20 minutes ago?” They said “No. Just now.” The brides came back into view looking devastated. Apparently, my guitar player, who had arrived late, pulled up to the stage area on the precious grass and Marcus ran towards him screaming. This time there were obscenities thrown in, including, but not limited to, “you will never fucking work here again.” He called my guitar player a flurry of curse words all the while the two brides were a mere 20 feet away exchanging their vows.
Quite a memory, no?
The brides came back towards the house to prepare for the actual ceremony, which they pushed back so that they would have time to collect themselves. This was the first and only time I had seen them less than glowing or smiling in the year I had worked with them leading up to their special day. I apologized for what they had been through and assured them the rest of the day would be perfect.
During cocktail hour the band was set to eat. Marcus had us at a table on the other side of the property (as if someone seeing us eat would destroy the aesthetic). I was busy with speeches and announcements, so I had my snacks while the band went to eat. Good thing I did, because Marcus provided a mere five small pieces of chicken, four tiny pieces of fish, and about eight baby potatoes for the band and the other vendors.
The reception was a lot of fun even though the band was starving. Occasionally, Marcus would come out on the dance floor (as if he were a guest) and just start dancing. It was cringy and awkward. I ran interference when he attempted to dance with one of the brides because she looked like she wanted to shove her bouquet down his throat.
This man was a sociopath. One moment screaming (without hyperbole) at the top of his lungs and the next offering me a piece of cake.
I reached out to the venue a few days later. The woman (an absentee landlord) explained the delicate nature of the grass and some ‘’heavily regulated permits” granted by the town. She apologized if I was “offended”.
I told her that I understand and respect the rules. There is never any excuse to speak to another grown-ass, professional adult like this! Ever!
We go out of our way to make sure we have a good working relationship with venues because VENDORS TALK. I get asked all the time if I know a good venue. Or a good caterer. Or a good photographer. I have turned down two weddings at that venue since this happened. Because according to Marcus, I’ll never fucking play there again.
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