Saturday, October 28, 2006

Windy Wedding

This afternoon I played an outdoor wedding with a string quartet at the Windermere Club House. It was held on the lawn overlooking a small lake where a few weeping willows were drooping by the lake's edge. Quite beautiful. Unfortunately, although it was a gorgeous day, it was extremely windy! I've played some very interesting weddings at some equally interesting locations, but as far as struggling to get through, this one took the cake. Talk about battling the elements!
I like to be organized and try to prepare for all possibilities. That is why I take things like sunglasses, hair clips, clothes pins (to hold the pages open) and a heavy duty music stand. However, I don't think there was anything else I could have brought that would have helped today. It was so windy that our music stands were being blown over by the wind! Really. This was a first for me. I thought just keeping the pages open to a certain piece of music was going to be the challenge. I never imagined that the wind would actually blow the stands holding the heavy 3 inch binders to the ground. Once, while in the middle of a song, the wind blew my bow off of my strings. It was ridiculous!
So there the four of us were, sunglasses on, spitting out strands of our hair, our feet pressed on to the legs of the music stands (trying in vain to hold them to the ground), while trying to make beautiful music with numb fingers.I don't think all four of us were actually playing all at the same time for about half of the music! As soon as we started a piece, one person's stand would blow over. As soon as she got it back up, someone else's pages blew to a different song...etc etc. There were a few moments during the ceremony music where two musician's had to quit playing to hold down the music of two others - this way at least the music (be it a duo instead of a quartet) could go on!!!
And of course we weren't the only ones struggling. Two of the nearby6 foot tall iron candelabras with glass votives blew over and smashed to bits. The flower arrangements fell off the pillars, the tablecloth upon which the unity candle was placed(yes folks, they still tried to light a unity candle) was blowing up and around the glass covered candle, and of course the rose petals that were scattered along the aisle blew away about 5 seconds after they were dropped.
So. That is a peek into my afternoon. I think it will be one of those wedding ceremonies I don't soon forget!

11 comments:

Nan said...

Jen,

That tops any story I've heard yet!

Amy said...

Was the bride upset?

Patrick & Rachel said...

I can't imagine, and NO there would never be a way to prepare for that!!! I think it also would have been a true struggle to not laugh my way through the performance:)

Anonymous said...

I can just imagine how the Bride felt. Here she had imagined this lovely outdoor wedding and the wind just took that all away. I had always wanted an outdoor wedding but I was worried about a scenario like this so I setteled for outdoor pictures. Kudos to your quartet for playing through it. :-)

Becky said...

hahaha... your blog always makes me laugh. i like it. this story is one of the main reasons i would never risk an outdoor wedding. but i have had two wedding dreams lately where i'm not prepared and everything is weird/going wrong. even though it's an inside wedding. ;-b

Anonymous said...

oh my oh my oh my!
Yes, how did the bride and groom (and the bride's mother) take it all?
Rob

Kathy said...

One time our quartet played when it was windy; we were miked, so in addition to struggling with our stands/music, we had the mike stands to worry about. We piled stones and backpacks around the stands, but that didn't stop one of the stands whirling around on the second violinist! Quite memorable, as you say...

Pattie said...

Oh no! That sounds awful! At least you'll always have a good story to tell-- bride and groom included!

j.j. said...

I really don't know what the bride thought...obviously she missed most of that! The minister was very nice, though. After the ceremony started he acknowledged our "efforts" and made some kind of comment about this scenario not being in our job description!
The bride's mom was 83 and the groom's aunt was 99. I think all they could think about was how cold and windy it was! Also, even after MULTIPLE discussions with the coordinator about cues for starting to seat the parents, the mothers were escorted to their seats like any other guests... so that threw our song list off. (The bride had wanted Air on the G for the mothers..oh well.)
The whole thing felt a bit disorganized and random.

Stephanie said...

I bet you dealt with it with grace. That is one crazy episode. Next time you should put a clause in your contract. =) Not sure exactly how it should read, but ..... =)

susan29 said...

I, the undersigned, do hereby swear that in the event of flood, fire, famine or windstorm....

Fun reading Jen. Not fun to experience.