Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wedding Season, Folks

“Start taking notes now, because someone needs to write a book about all this.”

My dad says that sort of thing often, but since he has a prophet’s ability to find and declare the next big television show months before I’ve even heard of them (The Office, 30 Rock, Mad Men), I respect the man’s soothsaying ability. When he declared this particular idea, he and my mother had just returned home after playing in their string quartet for someone’s wedding—at which no one showed up until 45 minutes past the start time, there was a subsequent tornado delay, and the groom paid my parents off of a wad of sopping wet $20 bills.

Ever since, I’ve been haphazardly taking notes on some of the weddings we’ve played, and this past weekend’s was a doozy.

For reasons still unknown, the bride contracted our string quartet, based in Grand Rapids, to play her wedding in St. Ignace (up in the U.P.). Because she was willing to pay for gas and 8 hours of driving time, we agreed and threw in a side trip to Mackinaw City—home of fudge and kitschy t-shirt stores.
My new hero.

Obviously my favorite part of the day was the worker at Joanne’s Fudge lopping off four handfuls of gooey, warm fudge straight out of the oven for each of us. Om nom nom, my friends.

The ceremony itself took place at a lakeside resort—lots of trees, a dock, mosquitos, ect. Virtually no one arrived until 3 minutes before the ceremony, rendering a prelude perfunctory at best (which is, by the way, what a hired string quartet looks for in a prelude).
Standard concert attire.

Then we played Led Zeppelin for the seating of the mothers. You think I’m joking, but the bride requested, found, bought, and airmailed us this music especially so her mother and grandmothers could be seated to it. For her own walk down the aisle, she commissioned Taylor Swift’s Love Story, which is cheesier than Velveeta at its best moments. To complete the schmaltz-fest, she drove down to the ceremony in a Rolls Royce, the door of which was opened to reveal her to the crowd right when we hit the chorus (I wish I could say that wasn’t pure luck).

And then, we reached the end of the song exactly when she stopped walking. Non-wedding-playing folks in the audience, this is beyond rare. Most times we have to frantically whisper “Abort! Everyone find a G-chord! The eagle has approached the eyrie! I repeat the eagle—!” or something. But no, the song resolved naturally, followed by a (no kidding) TEN MINUTE ceremony, after which we walked them back down the aisle with another Led Zeppelin favorite, “Whole Lotta Love.”

For those unfamiliar with the song, we sounded about like this:

On that note (music joke!), I believe I’m going to leave you all now to jot down the first draft of my book. It’s going to be a doozy!


  1. I'll buy this book for sure! That wedding was something else, wasn't it?!

  2. Awesome! And what's the story with the standard concert attire? Inside joke?

  3. I wish. Nothing so clever. I just thought the picture was funny, and our quartet was all girls - brunette girls that could totally pull off that look. :)