Soon I will be in full wedding mode. Today that means assembling all the pieces I need to bring along, packing up the car, and driving.
There are lei to pick up. The delicate lei for the bride and groom could not survive a night.
There is the bride and groom to meet and greet, for the first time.
And now for the consciousness raising part – there is dealing with the owner/controller of the venue they have chosen.
Yesterday I arrived with the cake and flowers and boxes of candles and glassware. I had been told to “use the cottage”, where I could store certain items in the refrigerator. I had asked for the arch to be moved into position for me to decorate.
First I opened the cottage, where every surface was strewn with papers and manila files. There were boxes on the floor, great piles of discarded plastic such as might have been used in place of painter’s cloth. I recalled she had been doing some touch up painting when I made the site visit months back.
The refrigerator contained food. Someone had kindly removed most of the food to a single plastic bag (humongous size) and stuffed it into one of the drawers. That was the drawer I needed for the lei.
I cleared the main shelf for the cake, transferred the food into other places, making room for the lei. I cleared the counter so I could have a surface for preparing the flowers.
The arch was still attached to the fence under a shedding tree, its white self covered with detritus, remnants of prior weddings in the form of tape residue that had attracted dirt build up. It was not heavy, but awkward to move. It is vinyl and neither sturdy nor stable, I discovered as I cut its plastic bonds and maneuvered it across the lawn.
In vain I sought some rebar or similar poles to anchor it in place. Eventually I settled upon the most level spot around the periphery of the lawn to set up.
First I used up all the paper towels in the cottage and some I had used for candle wrapping to clean up the arch. The tape residue was a lost cause, as were the legs as stained as the teeth of an old tobacco chewer.
I laid the arch on its back to attach the decor to the top, and once raised up, had to find a way up there to straighten it all out, and make additions as needed. This part flowed along nicely, with a delicate mist cooling the air and keeping the arch flowers fresh. My attempts to anchor the feet of the arch all failed, but I was successful in hiding the stained legs with monstera leaves inside flower pots I had brought for another use.
It is because of the chairs I am here on this goal. When she showed them to me on the site visit they were stashed away in a storage area. Might I say buried behind and under … stuff… Just to remove them would be a major chore, not to be conducted in my wedding attire. Not to be conducted the day of the wedding by me in any attire. And did I mention the dirt on the arch? I am thinking of chairs to clean… this is not the sort of wedding where the chairs are dressed up. They are a simple convenience on the lawn. I can now see that chair covers were a wedding planner’s answer to filthy chairs, and they became a standard decorator touch.
The owner/controller of the venue was to have met me there yesterday, helped me with the arch, and brought out the chairs. I was content to work alone, but as the day wore on and she did not appear, I went on a search. There were cars there, but wherever the people were, I could not find them. I saw one fellow carrying some hedge clippers as I carried a box down to the site, and when I returned, he likewise had vanished.
My answers to all this: I contacted the bride and suggested that as the client of the venue she contact the owner and make certain the chairs appear on time and ready. I am not expecting “ready”. I will wear grubby clothes and change later. I will bring bottles of cleaning spray and rags. I will reduce the task of cleaning the chairs to the shortest possible time. Better yet, when the owner appears I will hand her the cleaning material and tell her the chairs need attention and I am doing the flowers. I do not care whether she likes me or not. My attitude has been formed by having had to enlist the bride every time I needed her attention, as when I set up the site visit. Her lack of professionalism is appalling. She is a case study in how not to deal with clients.
The only reason this woman has any business at all is because her site photographs well.
All right. Now to prepare my attitude and enter my day. The sky has not yet begun to lighten. These are my pre-day moments. Wish me luck!