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The Bat Wedding – OMD


Memorial Day a few years ago I was hired as a Day of Event Wedding Coordinator.  Does it pay? Great I’m there.. Wonderful!

At the time I was basically am unclear on my responsibilities but I can think on my feet so let’s go.  I wander into the Women’s Club of Evanston is a community run beautiful old historic home in the heart of leafy Northwestern University college town Evanston Illinois.


I wander in to discover it is a Jewish wedding – probably should have caught that when I was hired to do the Bluestein/Jacobson wedding but alas now I am on the scene day before the wedding and no MD research prep has been done and we are swinging into rehearsal of the ceremony. Mazel tov!


I literally recall faking my way through a ‘what wine, rabbi? And wondering why we needed hummus holders… CHUPPA holders – yes, yes – stand here please.   I can be bossy even when I have no idea what the vocabulary is!

Next day Rabbi shows up- it’s his second wedding he has performed – he’s like a 30 year old cross between Jesus and Elvis – long hair – groovy hottie – looks like he biked on over to the wedding with his suit in his messenger bag.   At one point I try to pick what I think is lint off his leg – nope that’s the prayer shawl.  I was vaguely thinking about hitting on him until he forgot his bible DURING THE CEREMONY and had to go to the back of the room during the wedding and into the closet, in the messenger bag to get the BIBLE while the couple is under the chuppa waiting for him to…. you know read from the bible.   I obviously forgot to remind the Rabbi he needed the bible but I feel that was out of my purview me being Catholic and all.


Immediately following the ceremony a few of the guests asked me where the smoking section was so I asked the Women’s Club of Evanston docent lady who responded ‘no where near the building – due to the oil paintings’ she said in a ominous whisper with a knowing nod.   I was thinking if we promise we won’t use the paintings as ash trays
can the people smoke on the front steps?”  But I have a keep-the docent-like-chicks-happy policy so I whispered an ‘of course” and moved on.

Everything goes pretty well – they get married. Before the ceremony I do lots of knowing head nodding myself directing guests to chairs. I vaguely am trying to piece together who’s who in the multiple divorce family tree and the only one you can ever really spot out of the gate is the new wife. The seating of the glamorous step mother of the groom took a 12 person quorum.   Post ceremony I do lots of cheery drill sergeant
screaming so none of of the big wedding players leave the porch where the wedding photos will be taken.

Excellent.  I keep the groovy first wife mother of the groom with a bottomless
glass of chardonnay and far away from the said step mother of the groom.
There’s a member of the wedding party dressed in a man’s white suit.  The
groomsmen are in black tuxes.  The bridesmaids are in apple green. Yep apple green cocktail dresses- looks best when grouped with several other apple green cocktail dresses.  Then we have an extra person in a white suit.  I piece it
together by the end of the night – it’s the bride’s only sister: the lesbian.
But for the majority of the group photo directives I just tried to skip using gender or
pronouns – not the easiest thing to do.  How many times can you say ‘you all’ ‘yous guys’ and point your finger without being unprofessional?   But I don’t want to call the wrong lady lady so vague pet names – ‘wedding partiers – this way!” it is.

The guests go into the to the reception – except for the cake that looks like it was spray
painted pink by a Cindy Lauper in 1982 – the cake has to stay outside in its neon glory. All is well.  For grace there is the Challah bread prayer- mid blessing the rabbi needs to bless a glass of wine which – surprise he doesn’t have.  Why bring a bible to the ceremony? Why bring wine to the toast?  Meanwhile the blessing is followed by the champagne toast so only champagne has been served- there is not a glass of wine to be found.  I said to the Rabbi I thought sparkling wine made the prayer more festive but that didn’t fly with Rock and Roll Rabbi.  All of sudden he’s a stickler for what kind of alcohol he blesses – an Irish priest would bless Nyquil if that’s all we had.


With all guests awaiting the toast with eyes to the head table with me lurching loudly behind it I steal a basically empty greasy from fried food from the cocktail reception glass of wine from the girlfriend an usher and practically toss it to the Rabbi for the blessing – excellent! We can eat now!

Everyone is seated.  The DJ is playing.  I look around the vaulted ceiling ballroom I think things are good.  Wait, why are plates going back to the kitchen?  Yep a couple of chicken dinners were underdone – of course, one of the – let’s use the
word – raw – chicken dinners is set in front of the father of the bride.  I am brainstorming responses to words like Avian flu or salmonella. It was just a rare mistake – Pat the catering chef fixed the plates and gave them a discount and the parents of the bride were pretty well recovered from being upset by the whole deal by the end.

Meanwhile at the reception – just as I am relaxing.  Counting about 3 more hours
of reception time noting happily that noone is getting to drunk.   Steping away to take a load off my high heels I return to the ballroom and there high high above the 150 guests swooping and flying and diving repeat diving is yes a bat. a BAT.   I look to my left and walking purposefully over to me is the father of the bride.  “So what are we going to do”  I think to myself oh one moment let me go to my event planner bag and get my anti-bat serum that I carry with me at all times just for moments like this!


I look to my right and predictably but yikes – the groomsmen are keystone cops trying to capture or run off the bat. Picture a groomsman standing on a chair using his tuxedo jacket to swat at a bat winging its way through those beautiful vaulted ceilings. After a few tense minutes the bat flies to the entry hallway.   Sounds good except all the guests need to exit through the entryway.  Problem. Having no idea I started with calling the police who sent me to Animal Control – who literally just laughed.


So how did it end? The kid from the catering company who was washing dishes came out and trapped the bat with a pot and the guests just walked around it. It all turned out fine but what a hoot!

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