I recently got a short glimpse at how the other half lives.
Okay, maybe not the other half, since statistically, I don’t know which 50-percentile of wage earners I fall in. So maybe I just saw how the other 1% live.
My cousin got married last weekend. This particular cousin lives on the other side of the train tracks. Or the helipad. Or the Illuminati, or whatever the great barrier between Pledbian and Patrician is.
Even if my income wasn’t the perfect picture of American equity, I’d be about as middle class as they come. From my vantage point atop the bell curve, it’s easy to see both sides. My family contributes a handful of members to both extremes. This coming weekend, I could attend a baby shower for my 19-year old cousin, who is having a baby to keep a boyfriend from leaving, twenty years after her mother had her to hold onto a boyfriend. The next wedding I attend is just as likely to feature a banjo and a Vegas drive-thru as it is a limousine.
But not this wedding. Oh, no. This wedding featured a harpist. This wedding had fresh sushi rolls being made on the spot during cocktail hour. This wedding had either booked a band with five different singers or a different band to handle each music genre. I couldn’t tell, because this wedding also featured a damn near 1-to-1 staff-to-guest ratio, such that a patron could not take more than a couple sips of wine before the glass was refilled.
Honestly, Ozzifer, I didn’t even finish one glass of wine…
I should’ve known where things were going while stuck in the half-hour long line for valet parking. The 1920s-era hotel on the outskirts of Beverly Hills didn’t allow self-parking. Maybe I could’ve figured it out when I paid $10 for a beer before the ceremony started. But the sticker shock-inspired PTSD might’ve curtailed my powers of observation after that particular transaction
I also lost a bit of observational prowess when the start of the wedding was delayed a half-hour, presumably to give any TMZ reporters time to make it through the valet parking barricade. The result was all of us black coat-clad gentlemen sweating in the afternoon sun, losing pounds and a bit of consciousness, while we waited. The sleeveless arms of the pale girl sitting next to me were visibly changing hues by the minute. As she approached medium rare, her boyfriend offered her his coat, to which she just shook her head and laughed, “I’d rather burn than melt.”
Dante would have a field day with that one.
After missing the first couple signs, I started to realize this wasn’t the standard McWedding when the groom and his mother arrived. They drove across the well-manicured hotel lawn in a vintage red 1965 Porsche. I guess the DeLorean was unavailable.
You think I’m joking, but I’m not. The father of the bride owns a DeLorean. He once told me that of all of his vintage cars, the DeLorean gets the most reaction from people. Sure, the various Porsches and Ferraris get looks, but when people verify the guy driving them isn’t Jay Leno, their interest wanes. But the DeLorean, even in Beverly Hills or Manhattan Beach, gets people talking to him. They prattle on about the infamous owner, they inquire about the notorious maintenance issues. But they never ask the question they want to, the one he can always see burning a hole on their tongue – “have you gotten that bad boy up to 88?”
After the groom and his mother left the vehicle, the bridal party began. We were on the back lawn of the hotel, which sat on the top of a hill. So there was really no ability for people, the bride included, to come from behind us. So they walked down the back stairs of the hotel, right in front of us. We had to kind of pretend we hadn’t seen them as they walked past all of the rows to make a U-turn at the back. Then they were at the back of the aisle to do their “official” walk down the aisle, and we all had to “ooh” and “ahh” as if we hadn’t just seen them.
And in proper wedding etiquette, the next grouping of bridesmaid and groomsman could not appear at the staircase leading from the hotel until the previous couple was most of the way down the aisle.
While the sun beat down, this procedure happened seven times. Seven bridesmaids and seven groomsmen. I know this isn’t out of the ordinary, but honestly, this shit has to stop. Who in the hell has fourteen people that they absolutely HAVE to have IN the wedding?
And it wasn’t over at fourteen, because they still had to add all of the ring bearers and flower girls, bringing the total bridal party count to twenty. Yes, math majors, that means after all the adult humans were accounted for, there were still six more members to be added. Three ring bearers and three flower girls.
Since I gave a nod to the math peeps last round, that was a drop for the English grads. Astute readers will note that I referred to the bridesmaids and groomsmen as both adult and human. Why? Because the first descriptor only distinguished them from four of the six junior members. The last two beings down the aisle were adults, but of the canine variety. The bride owns two little yap dogs – you know, the kind that fit in your purse – and they were included.
Adorable, right? Couldn’t you just totally see Paris Hilton doing that if, y’know, she was still relevant? The girl dog was wearing a little bride’s dress. (I know, it’s so gauche to wear white to a wedding.) I don’t know “who she was wearing.” I honestly wish I could make a play on words here, but the only designer I know is Vera Wang, and I can’t make her name into “bark” or “kibble.”
The boy dog wore a little tuxedo. It should also be noted that he carried the actual rings, because you wouldn’t want to trust that precious cargo to a species that avoids eating its own feces. This also might be the closest California law would allow the bride to get to a How I Met Your Mother-inspired ring bear.
This is important because, as the ceremony and reception continued, it became apparent that she was trying to include everything she had ever heard in any other famous wedding.
The flowers were the same as one of the Kardashian weddings (The thirty-seventh Kardashian wedding, my sources inform me). The bride’s train rivaled the one in the royal wedding. Unfortunately, she had to rely on bridesmaids and hotel staff, instead of Pippa Middleton, to help her around corners. She had to rely on hotel staff and bridesmaids. The choreographed bridal party entrances at the reception were like a YouTube greatest hits compilation. Not sure where the belly dancers escorting the bride and groom into the reception came from – The Amazing Race?
Pretty sure I saw Luca Brasi pacing back and forth practicing what he would say to the Don.
Seriously, though, everything was top notch. The food was absolutely stellar. Even if it was $300 per plate. Over two hundred guests. Where did my math majors go?
My wife estimates the flower cost probably rivaled or exceeded the food in cost. Something about hydrangeas.
The band, as I mentioned before, never missed a beat. How often do you hear a Big Band transition from “Shout” to “All About That Bass?” I cannot count the number of times I thought a DJ was playing the original.
The toasts went on over an hour. The Best Man was the groom’s brother and the Maid of Honor went to school with the bride. I guess if you give a couple of rich kids a microphone, all bets are off. Lots of references to how many kids they should have, because the bridal party must play into wedding clichés, as well.
“Don Corelone, I am honored and grateful that you have invited me to your daughter’s wedding on the day of your daughter’s wedding. And I hope that their first child be a masculine child.”
The Money Dance was renamed the Father-Daughter Dance. I kid, of course. There was no money dance because the bride couldn’t get her Square App to sync up for American Express Black. So her father just came as the band played “Hey, Big Spender.”
I joke, I joke.
Of course, when the count of individual items that cost more than your own entire wedding start hitting double digits, it’s time to skedaddle. And it didn’t matter how much money I saved on the free booze, it wouldn’t be enough to afford Beverly Hills Uber rates.
Plus, we had to beat the long line at the valet.