Pick a seat, not a side

Rob commented tonight that his work colleagues think it must be lovely to work in a business that “does” weddings.

He laughed. Long and deep. He sees me some nights when I come home, or more often when he scrapes me off the couch the next morning.

Let me get this straight: there are definitely nice moments in most weddings. The wedding industry does tend to attract the type of woman who can schmooze and swoon at the appropriate times and go all gushy over hydrangeas. There are many, many lovely people who work in the wedding industry.

I am not one of them.

On the other hand, if you want a woman who can tell you where your tables will fit and what sound system you’ll need and how to light your room… I’m a pragmatist, I own a Leatherman and quite a few carabiners, and I can visualise things in 3 dimensions. I’m a show person rather than a wedding person. We don’t mix well with other, non-show people because we’re angry and we swear a lot and we don’t give a fuck about hydrangeas unless they’re on the props list…

Rob works in retail. He tried creating an analogy for his colleagues. “You know how it feels when we have one of those crazy sale days, and everybody is just running all day? That’s what it’s like working in weddings.”

I elaborated for him. “You know what it’s like working one of those crazy sale days? Now imagine that the customers all think they can dictate the price of everything and the stock you should have on the shelves, and if you dare not have the thing they want they’ll accuse you of literally ruining their lives… That’s closer to what it’s like.”

Of course, in general, we all want our customers to be happy. But sometimes “happy” requires psychic abilities and breaking the laws of physics. That tends to make it a difficult goal to achieve.

None of this is a reflection on tonight though – or even this past weekend. So far (so far as I know) all of the brides this weekend have been happy. I’d be lying if I said that was every bride I’d ever worked with though.

I get some great feedback from customers (and one actually brought me chocolates this weekend) but I’m also often the bitch who says “no” at the last minute.

“No you can’t bring your dog into the dining room… No you can’t set off fireworks inside… No you can’t expect a marquee to stay up in a howling gale… No you can’t just squeeze an extra 30 guests in and block the fire exits… I don’t care if that’s what you’ve been dreaming about for 20 years. You should have asked me last week so I wouldn’t have to be saying this today and you could’ve made alternate plans… No, no, no… I’m willing to be a bitch so long as you all get to go home alive.”

… Weddings. Such a high emotional investment on the part of the clients, yet quite possibly the least creative or original event of all event types. They all suffer under this delusion that they’re special, unique snowflakes. Yet every wedding is formulaic. Every wedding is derivative. Every wedding steals shit from magazines or Pinterest pages or friends they don’t mind offending. Why do you think they sell those little Mason jars with handles and straws in places like Kmart? BECAUSE EVERY STUPID, CUTESY PRINCESS IN THE WORLD HAS ALREADY DONE IT!!!

And you know that when you look back on the photos in 20 years you’ll think your hair looks terrible anyway. Just embrace that and stop taking this shit so seriously.

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