Thoughts of an Author in Training
The venue was stuffed with nautical decorations, underwater seaweed, seashells, and sand that was everywhere by the end of the evening. The tables even had gold fish floating in glass cylinders. It was suppose to be classy. Before the arrival of 200 wedding guests, we were comforted by Michael Buble, the reassurance that it would be a joyful evening, and the promise of food from the caterers.
As staff for the venue, we were guests at this private wedding event intended to be invisible. We’ve gotten pretty good at it, providing service and leaving minimal room for encroachment. It’s only after about the third round of drinks that we become people in the eyes of the patrons, rather than a means to move alcohol from the shelf to their cups. But two gentlemen took care in including us in their festivities, offering laughter, telling jokes, obviously trying too hard. They wanted to break the barrier and establish a good relationship right from the start. They moved among the guests like family, asking about parents, cousins, wives and husbands. We assumed they were key links in the wedding. Not the wedding party itself but close family.
They didn’t know anybody. They were making it up on the fly. They were the real thing- Wedding Crashers.
They’d been let in the door because they knew the caterer. But food was their least priority. Once dinner was presented and settled, out came their tuxes and vibrant colored ties as they sung along to Journey and The Isley Brothers. The more liquor that circulated the venue the less likely it was that anybody would notice. They took shots with the father of the groom, toasted with every speech, danced with little kids, and asked open-ended questions about extended family. They eased their way in to the scene so that even my fellow tender of the bar and I didn’t know the difference. They were harmless.
I’ll try to piece together for you why it was that five cop cars blocked the one way street outside our two-story venue and how our cameras caught the ninja fight that took place on the red carpet stairs leading to the front door.
It started with pre-gaming before the reception, before they were our responsibility. The father of the groom was buzzed and then hammered by dinner making the toast a horrific scene of shouting obscenities and concern for his wife’s disappearance (she was a few seats back and unconcerned about his requests). This only escalated and in discomfort, we didn’t know how to kick out the father of the groom. But as he kept wandering in to the women’s restroom arguing his rights as an American to do so, we politely asked if he wanted us to call him a taxi home. Declining he collected his wife and they stumbled in to the elevator.
The groom was upset by something that was a mystery to most of us, but he was defensive and angry, though he didn’t have much energy to do so. He verbally attacked anyone that tried to calm him and fought gravity when he really wanted to be fighting the humans around him. The groomsmen tried to comfort him in offering shots, which my partner and I started making without booze for the safety and sanity of everyone.
Wedding Crasher Joel decided to play best man and offer his advice at this destructive moment, disobeying any pleas from his fellow crasher not to. For a few minutes it worked and Joel was on our side challenging the groom to a chug-off of water and trying to discourage anyone from offering him more alcohol. It was a success until the groom asked “Did you know this is my party?” to Joel who strangely responding, “Nope. No I did not.”
The game was up.
A few F-bombs were thrown and in one instant Joel went from sobriety advocate to the enemy. Our newest security guard, Steven stood between Joel and the groomsman slowly pushing the situation closer to the door. The groomsmen weren’t having it. They were blowing steam, throwing around the word pussy and eventually caused the biggest douche bag to emerge out of Joel’s Redbull infused being.
Steven was in the middle of the fists, detaining Joel when swiftly his body made contact with Joel’s shiny wedding shoes. Joel was trying to ninja kick, but resembled more of a helpless toddler. He was waving his fists hoping to make contact, when the only person he hit was his fellow wedding crasher. Our second security guard, Todd grabbed Joel in a secure hold but his grip on Steven caused them all to tumble down two flights of stairs.
What were originally three people grew to five groomsmen, two bridesmaids, the mother of the bride, the sister of the bride, somebody’s aunt, a ten-year-old, and our unfortunate security staff of two. It was something you would see on the Maury show. Misguided anger, alcohol problems, a woman defending her mother’s honor because somebody had called her mother a bitch, and two pathetic wedding crashers that would have disappointed Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in any tribute they were paying to the Hollywood film.
It probably wasn’t necessary for all five cop cars to show up and make a scene, but there’s something about a uniform that’ll encourage anyone to stand up straight and pipe the fuck down. They were calm and assertive bringing the escalation down to a minimum.
The wedding party paced around the venue recounting where they had been when the action began, re-telling the same story over and over just changing little details here and there. They were giving in to the obsession of chaos, that all humans have. We gawk at car accidents, throw ourselves in to situations that would have been better off without us, and talk about business that isn’t ours. I’m guilty of it. But what I hadn’t been aware of was chaos and alcohol. Instead of being empathetic to disaster, people are angry and condescending. It’s always somebody else’s fault.
The Wedding Crashers may have had simple intentions to have a good time, enjoy some free food, look for a little love, but they lost sight of that the more they drank. They forgot that this was the real world, not the movies and this was someone’s dream come true that they were disregarding. They should have walked away when being asked to, but they gave in to the chaos, standing up for an unjust right to party.
*The names in the story have been changed*