Shortly before we were to be married, my Lovely Fiance and I attended a wedding reception at the very same resort we had selected to host our upcoming reception.
It was the same place where, in 1993, we had announced our engagement to our family members over a lovely Mother's Day brunch. Elegant appointments gave the dining hall the proper feel of a turn-of-the-century country club, and the main building itself was nestled neatly under towering longleaf pines. The stately beauty of the location and our sentimental attachment to it made it the perfect place for our reception, and there we were about to get a sneak peak at the skill of the staff we were entrusting to manage our special day.
In fairness to the resort itself, the primary thing wrong with the wedding we attended was the guest list. From whatever town, state or country they came, many of the guests in attendance seemed to be of the opinion they were attending a party thrown for their enjoyment rather than a celebration to honor the couple getting married.
The first indication of their boorish behavior was evident immediately upon entering the reception hall. A crowd of beefy, red-faced people swarmed the small buffet of finger foods and greedily emptied the chafing dishes of their contents with no consideration for other guests. Within fifteen minutes, the first few dozen people had carried away heaped plates of chicken tenders and meatballs while the rest of us milled about waiting for the resort to replenish the buffet.
We waited a long time.
When the couple of honor finally arrived, the crowd cheered as the they performed the ceremonious cutting of the three-tier cake. Little did we know the guests were cheering more for the cake than for the newlyweds.
Moving directly from the cake to their first dance as husband and wife, the newlyweds no doubt assumed the resort staff would cut the cake and distribute servings to all their guests. That's what I would have assumed, but I find the longer I live the more often my assumptions turn out to be false.
The hungry, hungry wedding guests had been waiting close to an hour for fresh chicken tenders and meatballs that were stubbornly refusing to appear. The prospect of a secondary source of sustenance in such close proximity sparked a ferocious feeding frenzy that would have embarrassed a school of pirhanna had there been one around to witness it.
While my Lovely Fiance admired the newlyweds on the dance floor, I watched in disbelief as wedding guests -- including those of the beefy, red-faced variety that had already eaten -- stabbed plastic forks into the middle tier of the cake and dragged their portions of the kill onto their disposable plates. Before long the upper tier and its topper swayed wildly as the wild-eyed guests continued to gut the cake supporting them. I seemed to be the only person not surprised when the entire thing came crashing down to the ground.
The very next week, my Lovely Fiance had a long and pointed conversation with the resort staff. We had no reason to think our guests would behave in a similar beastly fashion if ran out of food, but we weren't takng any chances.
© 2011 Mark Feggeler