D.C. McMillen drops by with a tale of a good wedding, gone bad. Bring on the welcome!
My latest release is a fun little story called The Wedding. It involves a woman who would rather undergo a medical procedure than attend a wedding as someone’s date, yet somehow she manages to get sucked in. I’ll tell you more about The Wedding soon but before then, I’d like to share a little story that’s in keeping with the topic of weddings.
I attended a wedding not too long ago - a wedding that, in every single aspect and on all levels, exemplified exactly what not to do if you’re hosting such a function.
To begin with, the couple decided to hold their September wedding on a golf course about an hour outside of Toronto. Why a couple would choose an outdoor wedding in the fall is beyond me.
It took forever to find the venue. Perhaps it would have been easier if it was not foggy, overcast and spitting rain. Once we did get to the golf course, parking was quite far from the front doors. My boyfriend held his suit jacket over my head and we made a run for it.
Despite our fears, we were not late. In fact, the bride, groom and entire wedding party were late because they were taking photos. Once the wedding commenced, which was moved indoors for obvious reasons, it took FOREVER to finish. I mean, forever. When the ceremony did finally end, we were herded outside. That’s right, outside. Crowded into a poorly covered, not quite heated patio, we were made to wait at a cash bar. No hors d'oeuvres. The guests huddled together in steadily dropping temperatures and increasing rainfall. After about an hour, I had to go to the washroom. I tried to re-enter the building but another guest stopped me.
“We’re not allowed in,” she complained. “They’re taking photos inside so we have to walk around the building to get to the washroom.”
“Are you kidding me? I have to walk through the rain on a mushy lawn in stilettos because they are taking photographs?” I was so angry that I actually stopped shivering for a moment.
“Yup, they even turned away her.” She pointed at a woman who had to be in her late seventies/early eighties. She wielded a cane.
“Oh hell no,” I exclaimed.
I walked over to the elderly lady, introduced myself and explained that she and I were going to use the washroom without walking around the building. I then gave pretty much the same speech to the employees who tried to stop us at the doors. After I pushed past them, other guests began to do the same.
Picture taking was over. Or so we thought. We were seated at our tables but dinner did not come. Instead came many loooooong speeches and videos interspersed with more posing for photos. Finally dinner was served. It was bland and cold, likely because it had been held off for too long for photos.
When dinner was over, my boyfriend and I sighed with relief. The dancing would soon start. We dutifully waited for the first dance, the father-daughter dance, and then the groom-mother dance to finish. Then the MC announced that the grandparents were now going to take the floor. We tamped down our impatience while other guests at our table groaned and grimaced. When all of the ceremonial dances were complete, we scraped back our chairs, ready to salvage the night. The MC then requested that the dance floor remain empty while the bridal party and relatives only take pictures on the dance floor.
“Are you kidding me?” I asked for the second time that night.
Half an hour later, photos were still being taken on the dance floor. And no, we were not allowed to cross it to get a drink at the bar. Basically, the second class guests had nothing to do but make small talk and watch the first class guests pose for the camera. It became painfully apparent that we were only invited because they wanted our cash gift.
“Well,” I addressed the table. “It’s 11pm and this is officially the worst wedding I’ve ever been to. Despite that, it’s been a pleasure meeting all of you. Good evening.”
We left without interrupting the bride and groom’s activities. In fact, we had not had an opportunity to greet them all day. The rest of our table followed suit, leaving with us. Other tables noticed us leaving and began gathering their things.
The next day, my boyfriend received a phone call from the groom. Apparently the money/card box had been stolen by a stranger or bitter guest.
“Okay, well thanks for letting me know,” I heard the boyfriend say. “I’ll cancel the cheque on Monday.” Then I heard, “Dude are you serious?...That’s why you called me?....No, I don’t know how much the dinner cost...Fine, I’ll send you another cheque but I’m writing Go fuck yourself on the memo line.”
Don’t worry, folks. As angry as I was, I did convince the boyfriend fill in the memo line with something more suitable to the occasion. Specifically, I made him write Congratulations! before adding Go fuck yourself.
Now it’s your turn. What was your worst wedding experience? Before you answer, here’s a little more about my latest release, The Wedding.
Karen is not the type to attend a wedding with a guy she’s only slept with once but, in a rare display of empathy, she agrees to accompany her new landlord Allen to this sure-to-be-boring function. Fortunately, Karen knows how to have a good time, and she’s pretty sure she and Allen can make their own fun...even if they have to do it in the outdoors just steps away from a couple hundred stuffy wedding guests.
The Wedding, mini-excerpt:
The car rumbled to life and he pulled from the roundabout into traffic. He seemed at ease, his hand alternately resting on my thigh and the shifter. As we neared our destination, however, his comfort steadily dissipated. His fingers tapped against the wheel and he smoothed his other hand along the thigh of his dress pants. Jesus, I hope he’s not going to act like this all night. There better be an open bar.
“So, uh, like I said,” he said finally. “My ex-best friend and his wife won’t be there.”
“Uh huh,” I said, distracted. Who doesn’t have an open bar at a wedding these days? No one, that’s who. God, I hope the champagne is good. I need an overflowing glass of expensive champagne, like, ten minutes ago. Since when does Karen Valentine go to weddings as someone’s date?
D.C. McMillen enjoys writing about dirty sex in questionable places but has been known to write about other subjects, on special occasions. She is featured in MuseItHot’s Short & Spicy line up with The Rental, The Wedding and A Decent December. D.C.’s short stories and flash fiction can be found in several anthologies and other print and online publications. She is obsessed with Twitter and invites you to look her up at @mcmillendc, on her blog, or Facebook.