How Local Professionals Avoid Disasters
The miracles pulled off for weddings border on the supernatural at times, but wedding pros more often than not shrug and say they were just doing their jobs. Here are their stories of narrow escapes, last-minute revisions and numerous wedding-day surprises.
This is no cakewalk
Ahmed Eita of Rick’s Dessert Diner
Once, about 10 years ago, I was delivering a wedding cake to Grass Valley. I was on a country road when someone suddenly cut me off. It was one of those blinking light intersections: my light was a blinking yellow, and the cross traffic had a blinking red light. This other car just ran through the intersection, and I had to slam on the brakes. When I did, the wedding cake just went BAM! into the backseat.
Now whenever I deliver a cake I always bring extra icing and other tools for situations just like this.
So I stopped to repair the cake right there on the side of the country road. The great thing is that I was able to fix everything. When the bride and groom came to the reception, they didn’t notice anything—they said it was perfect. What they didn’t know was that it was a little crooked. I positioned it in such a way that, from most angles, you wouldn’t be able to tell because you’re seeing it straight on. It was a good thing I brought all of the extra tools. You never know what’s going to happen. Making the cake is easy. It’s transporting the cake from the shop to the reception that’s the hard part.
Rick’s Dessert Diner, 2322 K St.
Damsel in this dress… and that dress, too
Jennifer Murai of House of Fashion
There was a case where this bride-to-be whose wedding was a month away came in to start her dress alteration process, which is pretty standard. She was in her dress, standing in the front foyer area, and we have this large staircase that goes up to the second floor where our bridal department is located. Another bride-to-be, who was just looking at wedding dresses for her own wedding that would take place next year, came out and showed her friends a dress she’d tried on. Our original customer saw this dress and said, “I want that, too.”
When you initially hear something like that, you think, OK, does this bride think we can get this dress right away? Does she think that we stock it? You know, the wheels are turning. Does she want to stick with her original dress? We don’t know what her intentions are. It turns out that she really, really loved the original dress, but she could also picture herself in the other dress that the other customer was wearing that day. So she comes to us and asks if we can order her another dress.
Knowing that her wedding was only a month away, we thought this is impossible. It’s very, very difficult to get a dress in a month, especially if you need to special order it in a certain color and size. But you know we decided to try and see. It turned out that the manufacturer was able to pull some strings for us and she was able to have her original dream dress and her second dress as well. Everything turned out perfect for her and she was very happy.
House of Fashion Bridal Salon, 2101 J St.
Anonymous gentleman at Flower Concepts
We knew the bride well. She came from a wealthy family in the suburbs. She came in to order her flowers, and we had to deliver them to a country club about 30 miles away. We didn’t have an awful lot of things so, instead of the delivery truck, my partner Ned [not his real name] decided to just use our new station wagon to deliver the flowers. He went to the wedding site and he set up all of the flowers and gave the bride her bouquet, put on all of the corsages and boutonnières for everybody.
The groom came up to him and said, “Here, this is for you,” and held out his hand. Ned just thought he was giving him a tip and could feel the piece of paper. He didn’t want to be obvious so he just put it in his pocket. About 10 minutes later, the groom came back up to him and said, “You know, considering all of the good work you did, what I gave you probably wasn’t enough, so here’s something else for all your time and effort.” Ned just stuck it in his pocket, thinking the groom was very considerate. In our profession, we don’t get tipped very often.
He waited until he got out of the country club to see what he’d been given as a tip. It was a little white envelope, just folded up. At that moment, the groom walked by and said, “Now that’s really good stuff. You’re going to enjoy it.” So then Ned got into the station wagon, which was new, and started to drive home when the muffler came off of it. It didn’t fall off completely; it was just dragging behind the car. He got all nervous because he knew what he had in his pocket and prayed the police weren’t going to pick him up with his muffler banging along. And he had 30 miles to go with it! He was scared to death of it. He wanted to show me his tip when he got back but he was so nervous about it that he hid it somewhere. We never found out where he hid it.
Flower Concepts, 2220 J St.