Friday, August 22, 2008
Music Makes the People Come Together
I'm two for two. Two for two, people! I had another pleasant wedding experience. (Note to reader, although I am using the word pleasant, what I really picture when writing that is a war-torn raggedy individual holding a chicken, which is uhm, a peasant holding pheasant.) Anyway, back to being "smug planner". My latest experience was not that interesting or funny or really even worth writing about, except for the fact that I got positive feedback on my last uplifting and non-negative post and I like the idea that I am perceived as a happy and positive bride instead of a snarling angry bride.
The catalyst for this post: I decided on the musicians who I will book to play my ceremony and cocktail hour. And it was an enjoyable and seamless process. Well maybe not seamless. Maybe a little more Abbott and Costello than I had hoped, but on the whole it involved a drama level of about 1, which is a nice place to be. To wit:
Wedding Drama Level Scale:
5 = Abort! Abort! Parental and Future In-Law Interference Occurring. Decisions are made by parents. Money is held hostage. Wedding is unrecognizable as that of bride and groom's own. This step is easily identified by the fact that E&E is huddled in a corner rocking back and forth addled with CTSD (current traumatic stress disorder) and humming "Here Comes The Bride" softly and slowly.
4 = Interference via Bride's Extended Family (see, e.g., Aunts, Uncles, and spawn of same). E&E's parents take thoughts and feelings of their siblings to heart and pay the crap forward to E&E. You know you have arrived at this step when you see E&E curled up in fetal position in bed, with a mostly empty pint of Ben & Jerry's likely found in left hand.
3 = Interference via Groom's Extended Family (i.e., Sister in Law of Mr. F.). Through Mr F's family grapevine (which is so flourishing that it should yield buckets of wine, but instead only results in stomach cramps), E&E gets message that people "aren't happy." And neither is E&E. Recognizable by the massive amount of wine E&E has consumed (and obviously deserves given lack of grapevine production of same) and through sloppily written blog posts completed therewith.
2 = Factors Outside the Control of Bride Conspire Against Her. Changes to wedding venue, being married on the most popular weekend of the year for couples, and having a wedding coordinator who will not respond to any of her emails are all fodder for angst of E&E. You can diagnose this stage by tracking long periods of couch-related immobility; television programming will include marathons of "America's Best Crew" and "America's Next Top Model." Slices of cheddar cheese on Triscuits are also involved. It is not recommended that you try to communicate with E&E during this period since the only response is likely to be: "Things are fine. (sigh)".
1 = Wacky Hijinks, Crazy Vendors, Misunderstandings Galore. Pretty much nuttin compared to levels 2 through 5 above. E&E is a phoenix, rising up from the ashes to form a beautiful and strong bride who plans for her impending wedding with a smile on her face and warmth in her heart (a little of the warmth is from the Jack Daniels Lynchberg Lemonade she is sipping, but this is a relaxation-induced drink, not an anger-induced libation, see "Level 3" above). This phase is identified by failure to find E&E. She is off happily shopping at department stores, visiting friends and being healthful, including trips to the gym and/or farmer's markets, in an effort to focus on...can it be? Yes indeed. HERSELF!
We are all on the same page now, oui? Back to the musicians. I had a lovely conversation with Mr. Bandleader during which we discussed what type of music I would like played for our wedding on February 15th. We spoke for about a half an hour and he was friendly and accommodating, even giving us a bit of a discount for our "off season wedding." (Which I highly recommend to those on a budget since every single vendor has deducted money when I asked based on our winter date.) And then, the conversation ended like this:
"Well great, thank you so much for speaking to me! So, you'll draw up a contract for our date of February 15th of next year and I'll sign it and send you a check. As you suggested, when we get off the phone, I will call the pianist and chat with her about song selections to see if she has the sheet music."
"Absolutely. February 16th, I've got it down."
"No, it's February 15th."
"Right, February 16th."
"No, SUNDAY, February FIFTEEENTHHHH. Uhm, the day after Saturday, February 14th and the day before Monday, February 16th."
"Whoops! Apologies - I got it now, February 15th at 3:00. Perfect."
I then look down at the name and number that the bandleader gave me and I decide to call up the pianist to see if she has the music we wanted her to play for the ceremony. I dial her phone number and she picks up right away.
"Hi, my name is E&E, and I spoke with your bandleader earlier today. He mentioned that you would be available to play at my wedding ceremony on Sunday, February 15th, 2009 and he suggested I reach out to you about some of the music I would like played."
"Thanks so much for calling us! It would be my pleasure to talk to you. We can certainly chat about music and you can even come over my house and we can try out some stuff on the piano so you can approve the sound."
"Wow, that sounds fantastic! Thanks so much - that would be great."
"Hmmm, hold on a sec. [Pause] I just looked at my calendar and I don't think that's going to work. I have an event on the 16th of February."
"Uhm, I said the 15th though. So is that ok?"
"Oh! The fifteenth. Well, that should be fine."
In sum, I will be having a few of the nicest vendors I have met thus far playing the music for the ceremony and the cocktail hour of my wedding. That being said, there is a part of me that has some reservations about two musicians playing for the biggest day of my life who clearly have severely weak listening skills. But really, since when is a good ear important to play a little music? [Blissfully cruising along at Level 1 of wedding drama, E&E skips off into the sunset, ignoring the moderately problematic issues sure to balloon into possible full-fledged wedding day drama on her day of. But that's neither here nor there. Or it is. But who cares?]