Welcome back to the continuing saga of planning our daughter Casey’s wedding to her fiancé Alex at the Norwalk Aquarium.
If you’re relatively new to this blog and too lazy to read the “About” section, you may sometimes wonder why it’s called “The Upsizers.”
The reason is that it was originally about our adventures moving to our first home even though we were in our late fifties. Then I ran out of things to write about that, so I turned to the idiotic things other people were doing.
Many of my posts on the former topic chronicled the remodeling of our kitchen, a process which took almost as long as planning our daughter’s wedding, but entailed the use of many more power tools.
Throughout that process, the contractors were constantly asking questions such as “You want us to stick electrical outlets on both sides of the island?” Or “You want lights under the cabinets?” Each of these questions came with a price tag, of course, but, jeez, they sounded like good ideas, and we were already spending so much money…
I believe this is how the cost of New York City’s Second Avenue Subway has ballooned from $239 million to several gazillion dollars and why the project, begun in 1929, still isn’t close to being finished. “Oh, yeah, we’ll be done in July, give or take a decade or 10. And, by the way, did you want those little 1¢ gum vending machines at each station?”
That’s pretty much what happened with our kitchen. And it’s what’s happening with the wedding.
“Do you want to add a coat check?” the caterer asks.
Well, we can certainly leave our guests to hang up their own outerwear and hope that nobody absconds with someone’s mink coat which, although handsome (even with the small PETA paint stain the cleaners couldn’t get out), will be entirely inappropriate for a mid-October event. We could ask guests not to wear coats at all because it’s not likely to be that cold and the garage is right across the street. But hey, we’re already spending so much money, what’s a few more bucks?
And speaking of the garage, “Do you want to provide complimentary parking for your guests?” the caterer asks. “If you do, you need to purchase pre-paid tickets at the garage and hand them out at the event.”
Well, I’m pretty sure there’s no one coming to the wedding who can’t afford the $2 for parking after 5:00 pm, but it seems like such poor form to ask them to pay. And we did, after all, decline the valet, mostly because I, personally, hate valet parking since I always think the guys are going to rummage through the car, not that they’d find much of anything except used toothpicks and my wife’s business cards and the business cards of 20 other real estate agents, and a few bucks in loose change we keep in there for parking meters. And I really don’t like having to wait to get my car back because I always have thoughts like, “We were here before the guy with the Maserati. Why are they bringing his first?”
Besides, we’re already spending so much, what’s another, um, let’s see, $2 times how many cars? Well, 160-ish guests but the ones at the hotel get a bus, so maybe only 100 will arrive by car, and there’ll be at least two to a car, right, so that’s 50 cars but we’ll get 75 tickets to be safe and, by the way, can we get a refund on the unused ones? No? Well, never mind, just sell us the 75 tickets and we’ll make it a habit to drive to Norwalk for dinner a lot until we use up the leftovers.
And then we have the cocktail hour which, as I’ve previously mentioned in this series, is not in one room but along a winding hallway with various fish in it. “What are you doing for music during the cocktail hour?” the caterer asks.
We actually have an answer for this question. The band is providing an acoustic guitarist, even though I, for one, don’t think we need cocktail hour music at all. I mean, people will be mingling and talking so there’s really no point in having some guy play “Blackbird” in the background, right? But if I were to suggest this to my wife and daughter, I’m sure it would be met by that look they have which indicates I have just said something that is such a “me” thing to say.
“We have an acoustic guitarist,” we reply, but even as we say it out loud, we realize it will be inadequate. The poor guy is unlikely to want to walk up and down this hallway playing “Greensleeves” for an entire hour.
The caterer does not look pleased. “Most people pipe in music with speakers along the way,” he says.
So we talked to the band and they recommended adding a strolling violinist to walk along the hallway while the stationary guitarist ironically plays “The Sounds of Silence” to the otters. Sure, the additional musician will cost a few bucks, but it will be a lot better than having a strolling mariachi band, which I would pay dearly not to have. And, besides, we’re already spending so much…
And anyway, unlike our kitchen, at least we know this will be finished on time.
See you soon.