Summer Weddings: An Innkeeper’s Journal

JULY 2015

A groom and his ushers are staying with us for the weekend. They met in college on crew team and rise early the day of the wedding to row on a nearby lake, returning in the afternoon with cases of Corona and India Pale Ales. All tall and handsome, they claim to have gotten into their Ivy League School on athletic skills alone but many of them are engineers and their conversations concerning nuclear power plants and natural gas sound like a foreign language.

As the countdown to the wedding ceremony begins I hear them up on the second floor making their way to the groom’s room where the pre-nuptial celebration is about to begin.

“Hey, what are you still doing in your boxer shorts? You need to be suited up in your tux and pounding beers in the groom’s room. A-SAP,” shouts the best man.

Shortly after they leave for the ceremony the rain comes pouring down. It is an outdoor wedding, three tents in the backyard of an old summer home set high on a hill. I remember an old expression that may or may not be true, “Rain on your wedding day, sunshine the rest of your life.”

I myself was married on a cold sunny day in Lake Louise, Canada. We eloped with a few friends. My guy skied before the wedding. I took a hot tub with a friend.

On another wedding weekend we have a guest who sounds exactly like one of Chandler’s girlfriends on the TV show Friends. The character’s name was Janice. She had long dark hair, a high-pitched nasally voice, and said “Oh. MY. God.” quite frequently.

Our guest the Janice sound-a-like originally called to cancel. She had just gotten married two weeks ago, honeymooned in Hawaii, and “can’t even think about going back to work after this weekend’s wedding. I just can’t make it.”

Before I can process the cancellation she calls me back and says, “Forget I ever called.”

Running late on the day of the wedding she calls again to let me know she has to change into her wedding clothes and might miss the bus that is coming to pick up the guests staying at the Inn. I tell her Rich will drive them over as apparently there is limited parking at the venue. As she gets closer she calls to tell me she might not miss the bus after all. “I’m not telling my family, but I’ll tell you. I changed in the car.” Oh. MY. God.

Another weekend it is the bride, her maid of honor, and two bridesmaids who are staying at the Inn. She has requested an eleven a.m. check-in because she is getting dressed here and of course that entails pre-wedding photos. Checkout is at eleven and we have rooms to clean. Luckily no one was in the bride’s room the night before.

By noon friends of the bride begin to show up. The mother of the bride and a few aunts join them. All three of us, Rich, me, and our daughter Michelle, pitch in cleaning rooms. I also deliver champagne flutes, ice buckets, and chocolate strawberries to the bridal party.

Another early arrival shows up at one, guests not involved with the wedding, and when I show them to their room we find a bridesmaid getting dressed in there.

The maid of honor and her boyfriend checked in the night before and he is hungover from the rehearsal dinner. She tells us we don’t need to fluff their room but asks if she can bring his omelet upstairs. She has been a big help, bringing down empty champagne glasses, getting coffee for the non-drinkers, and arranging flowers.

The florist and the photographer show up. The bride looks lovely.

The next morning at breakfast we hear the day was a huge success. The maid of honor’s boyfriend has another hangover. This time he requests only coffee which the maid of honor delivers to him. Michelle and I have started referring to him as the bad boyfriend.

The bride and groom are honeymooning in Vietnam but not until the fall. They are just going to rest and hang out this week. We too rest and hang out after everyone leaves. No one is coming until Wednesday. We make bloody Marys and Rich watches golf. We have Monday and Tuesday to clean the rooms, do laundry, and recover from the wedding whirlwind.

On Wednesday an older couple checks in. When they leave I discover she left her book, Dating the Divorced Man, on the bedside table. She’d read only to Chapter Two where a restaurant receipt marked the page. I noticed she was a bit cranky, sitting by herself in the library while her divorcee watched TV in the small lounge. She never called to ask me to mail her the book. I’m assuming she decided she didn’t need to finish it.

Flowers by the Sink


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