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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
4) “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.
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’…
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…