The Hook On… Weddings.

Life is all about perspective.

Take today’s subject for example. if you’re walking through a hotel and you see a wedding party you may think, “Ah, isn’t that sweet? Two souls pledging their souls to one another.” Or you may think, “Those poor, deluded fools! They have no idea what they’re doing to themselves, do they?”

As a bellman I have a rather unique perspective when it comes to weddings. And yes, in case you were wondering (and I know you were) I intend to share that point of view now.

Aren’t you the luckiest readers alive?

Here are five reasons why bellmen such as myself shudder when we serve wedding parties.

zombie1

ONE)  Support Staff.  Florists. Bakers. Creators of bizarre balloon creations. Ice sculpture… people. Planners. Hookers. (Yes, even them.) Anyone outside the immediate wedding party who is a working-class dog like me should have more respect for their fellow wage slaves.

But they often don’t.

I recognize that serving the public – especially the marrying kind – isn’t easy, to say the least, but come on, people! It’s one of the most basic rules we’re taught as wee rugrats: Do unto others as you would have done to you. (This applies in the bedroom as well.) This is pretty much primal stuff, kids, but many of us just can’t grasp it. Even hookers can’t grasp it.

And hookers certainly know how to grasp things, to say the least…

Yes, I even deal with rude hookers who have been brought in as “wedding presents”, a practice that is more common than you’d ever believe. (Personally, I was happy with a deep fryer.)

The main problem with florists and bakers is their lack of vision. They literally don’t see hotel employees as equals; they waltz into the lobby (sometimes they even walk) and just expect me to hand over a cart, the most important tool I have, and leave myself short as hundreds of guests pour into the hotel like a hungry zombie horde.

It doesn’t work that way, bitches. Hookey don’t play that.

Did I pull that off?

And yes, she did say that, thank you very much.

Bottom line, I’ll treat anyone with respect, even if they disrespect me once. But if they disrespect me twice? Well then, all bets are off.

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TWO)  Mother-in-laws. Yes, even bellmen hate them. Though to be clear, they’re easier to deal with when you’re not actually related to them. If I have to tell a mother-in-law to drop dead (in a roundabout manner, of course) I don’t have to worry about hearing about it for the rest of my life.

In fairness, I haven’t dealt with too many crazy in-laws over the years, but the encounters I have had tend to linger in the memory banks. Like a venereal disease of the mind.

I paint with words, don’t I?

Many mother-in-laws feel they have to take charge of their child’s wedding by terrorizing hotel staff; I’ve seen banquet staff reduced to tears – and not just females.

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THREE)  Wedding dresses.  This may sound silly, but hang in there; all will be clear in a moment. Come to think of it, I told the wife the exact same thing on our honeymoon…

All right, enough reminiscing. Here’s the deal: Wedding dresses are beautiful to look at – but they’re a nightmare to transport on a luggage cart. They take up far too much room and they hang off the ends and the sides of the cart. And if you happen to get one dirty or wrinkled? Well, then you better kiss your boy parts goodbye, man… because you’re dead.

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FOUR)  The Money Factor.  Let’s face it, money makes the world go round. In my line of work, cash is king. But if you’re a bellman serving a wedding party you better get used to being a pauper.

Most wedding parties don’t realize they’re being charged for the services of the Banquets Department – and only the Banquets Department. Bellmen don’t receive jack squat from a wedding unless someone pulls out some cold hard currency, but since we’re the first point of contact for arriving guests, it falls to us to transport dresses, tuxedos, gifts (so, so many gifts) luggage, booze (so much booze) and every other item imaginable. Usually for free.

I get it, weddings are ridiculously-over-priced these days. Luckily, the wife and were smart enough to go to city hall and bank the cash instead of setting fire to it metaphorically. But just because you’re paying through the nose to get married doesn’t mean you get to treat everyone around you like dirt. Do your homework; get the best price you can, be reasonable in your expectations and for Dog’s sake, know where your hard-earned money is going. And to whom.

And finally, here’s the number one reason bellmen fear weddings like Kim Kardashian fears an insurance investigator…

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FIVE)  Brides.  Sure, some grooms can be total dicks, I’ll happily admit it. But after eighteen-plus years of serving the public I can honestly say Bridezillas are the deadliest of the species. I love women, but ladies put so much pressure on themselves to craft the “PERFECT WEDDING” that anything less is unacceptable and often leads to a meltdown of unbelievably-epic proportions.

Seriously.

Still don’t believe me?

Time for a list-with-a-list then! Here are the top five bride meltdowns I’ve witnessed in my nearly two decades as a bellman.

1)  The “Criminal”.  This bride arrived on a Friday with her “true love” – and left on a Sunday… with zip-ties around her wrists. And a couple of officers from the Niagara Regional Police as “escorts”.  Her soulmate left with his arm around a still-drunk bridesmaid who was doing her best to console his genitals.

I still don’t know what precipitated her criminal act. But the whole thing was still awesome.

Okay, so this was more of a breakdown rather than meltdown, I suppose.

But it still counts.

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2)  “The Smasher”.  This chick was most displeased with the way her wedding plans were unfolding (or rather, unraveling) so she went medieval on the room. And the ice machine. And the limo. Honestly, this broad should train up-and-coming rock stars on how to properly decimate a hotel room.

beyonce6She actually preceded Queen B…

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3)  The “Weeper”.  She couldn’t stop crying. For two days. She cried happy tears. She cried sad tears. Se cried when we ran out of bags of milk for the ginormous milk machine in the breakfast hall.

Okay, I have to admit, that machine was pretty cool… I cried too.

silverking

break4)  “The Wailer”.  This young lady’s parents refused to attend her nuptials after a breakdown in communication with her soon-to-be-in-laws led to a family-wide brawl in the lobby. So she began to wail like a child with a broken toy, pausing only to catch her breath. This went on for two hours until we finally convinced her parents an din-laws were nuts anyway, so she was better off.

Oh, and we got her blind stinking drunk too. That certainly helped.

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5)  “The Rocky”.  She punched every bridesmaid in the face. At the reception. Where she was, to the best of my knowledge, stone cold sober. I don’t think anyone should have told her that her new husband slept with every bridesmaid during the six months they were broken up. Just sayin’…

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There you have it, kids, my wedding post. Almost twenty years of tales from the hospitality trenches condensed into a single piece of… blogging gold. And as usual, I didn’t have to embellish a darn thing.

See you in the lobby…

 

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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30 Responses to The Hook On… Weddings.

  1. davidprosser says:

    This close to Halloween you could have called it Tales from the Dark Side.
    Hugs

  2. For ten years I did floral design. The owner of the shop wouldn’t let me near brides. They are all nuts. They want lily of the valley in December. My stock answer was always, “Don’t worry! This is just your first marriage. You’ll get it right next time.”

  3. Oh mother-in-laws. Mine is quite the evil bitch… I wish she’d go to a hotel and never return.

  4. Holy cow! I never thought about that nightmare. But I can see how demanding and horrifying a wedding can become, especially if it’s a big one. My condolences to you. My wedding was a small affair. Not as small as I’d originally planned or intended, but when your mother is manic and keeps expanding the guest list… (For the record, my wedding day was far from a fairy tale for me). Yes, I do understand the immense pressure that people put on themselves to have “the perfect day,” and of course, when the pressure is so intense, there is often an opportunity for things to pop off. What a lot of brides don’t understand, that us old married folks do, is that the wedding is one day; the marriage is where the time and attention and work needs to go. The wedding industry has done a great job of brainwashing everyone.

  5. List of X says:

    Next time a baker wants to take your cart to move their stuff, ask them if they’ll let you use their kitchen to bake yourself a cake.

  6. I’m still trying to get the cola out of my keyboard. I have to remember to read your stuff with nothing in my mouth. My nose hurts too. Nice one Hook.

  7. Personally I was happy with a deep fryer. Very Hook aside.

  8. Great advice and since I just went through a wedding this summer with MY daughter… all of it is legit! My daughter wasn’t a Bridezilla THANK GOD but I was still stressed out to the max. As far as I can tell, the only thing that was hard to let go of was the photographer (millennial) who was a total dick and didn’t take important pictures. We did not discover this until he was gone. And he showed up in shorts and flip flops! Seriously! But the pictures he DID take were mostly awesome… if you don’t count the 5/600 he took of me 😦 They were ALL bad! Other than a couple of little things, that was the only thing that was really wrong. It wasn’t perfect (no wedding is) and took a lot of hard work but I would say it was almost as perfect as it could be. 🙂

  9. curvyroads says:

    Oh Em Gee, Robert, you have seen it all!

  10. Archon's Den says:

    I am somehow comforted that we didn’t get a chance to visit you when we were in the Misty City, although, well back in the lobby might have been safe enough. 😳

  11. Tara says:

    Outstanding! We cater a lot of weddings, but I’ve never seen anything quite like these. Well, except for the Russian wedding…

  12. OMG…I’m exhausted just reading this. I can only imagine how weddings make your job difficult. I’m encouraging my kids to elope 🙂

  13. Shiver. Daughter had wedding last summer. We car transported/hand carried The Dress for 2 days (Whew. No problemo – except did you know The Dress must be kept in AC and never left in a hot car…thank goodness for drive thru food).
    I was so embarrased by her Mother-in-law (and never stood close unless I had to) and I told the couple to make sure all the hotel staff were treated kindly and paid appropriately because I had been made very aware by The Hook that Staff were people, too ( which they must have done since the staff was so kind and fabulous).
    You do more to help than you know Hook. Thanks for your hints
    (Oh they were married low key with just parents, minister, and guitar player on top of mts on the perfect day…so off to a good start anyway..and The Dress made it up on the gondola without too much problem. Can’t ask for more than that)

  14. Mrs Fever says:

    Top on the list of events I avoid: weddings. Family Reunions are a close second.

    Compared to those? I’ll take a funeral any day, thanks. 😱

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