Friday, January 12, 2007

Archived: Burn baby burn

Original Post Date: October 2, 2006
Well, I had a wedding this weekend. I’ve been working with these clients, we’ll call them Jane and John (not their real names), for 13 months. I have never had a bride more intent on having the perfect wedding, nor have I ever had a bride that was harder to keep under budget. I begged her to use some non floral centerpieces to cut down on a little bit of the florist bill, but all I could talk her into was a 3 tiered tealight holder for each of the 4 cocktail tables, which she spray painted to match the reception colors and tied ribbons around. They looked great, but apparently not great enough for the big tables.
The wedding went smoothly enough, and then we headed to the reception, which was at a large hotel in its main ballroom. The plan was for the couple to hide in their suite until the guests all got settled. Then the DJ would announce them for their grand entrance. Well, the DJ was late setting up—SO irritating.

So I’m standing by the cake chatting with the photographer, waiting for the DJ to get his act together, when out of the corner of my eye I see a huge flame shoot into the air. Oh, I think, I didn’t realize she was having a flambé station. Then I realize that there is no flambé station and that, in fact, a cocktail table is on fire. We’re talking 10 foot flames.

I run over to the table, where about 8 staff are watching with great interest. I ask the bartender if he has anything to put the fire out, and he throws a glass of water on the fire. Nice. As a fireball shoots to the ceiling, finally someone grabs another tablecloth and goes to smother the flames. Whew! Fire’s out.
Fire alarm goes off. Hotel is evacuated. Except for us, of course—we know there’s no fire, so we keep on partying. Turns out the tea lights melted their own casing, and as soon as an open flame touched that spray paint, voila! Blazes.
Finally the DJ decides to do his job, so I go get Jane and John. Her intricate plan is that the hotel event manager (we’ll call her Suzy) and I are to stand outside the double doors to the ballroom with the doors closed. The DJ is to announce the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Doe. Then we’re supposed to fling open the doors, and Jane and John will walk in to a rousing rendition of the William Tell Overture, go to the dance floor, and lead the guests in calling the hogs. They’re big fans, it’s kind of cheesy, but whatever. So the DJ announces them, we fling open said doors, and they walk in to…The Star Spangled Banner. The idiot DJ played the wrong song. Perfect. Suzy and I just shut the doors behind them and laughed until we cried, then went in to make sure nothing else caught on fire. I assured guests all night that no, John was not going into the armed services, the music was a mistake.
I love this job!

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