Monday, November 21, 2011


(Pt. I)

In addition to my writing projects,
political interests, rock and roll
exploits and faith-based pursuits,
I'm also a wedding specialist. (No,
really.) From DJ-ing to planning,
I've been involved in nearly 1,000
weddings since 1984. From the
private backyard reception with 13
guests in the mid-'80s to the mega
gala I attended at Donald Trump's
in the late '90s to more typical-type
events in the 2000s, I've just about
seen it all over the last 30-some
years — the fun, the festivities,
and more than a few (avoidable)
nightmares and mishaps.

The song ain't called "Here Comes the Bride" for nothing. Let's face it, when it comes to weddings, it's all about the ladies. Sorry guys. But as the groom, you do have an important role, sorta. And if you play your cards right, you just might get an invitation! Hence, I primarily will be addressing brides in this series.

Gals who clearly have been influenced by episodes of Bridezilla, Oprah-type talking heads and related books and magazines often have unrealistic expectations regarding their "big day." Based on my personal experiences, I have found few professionals within the bridal industry who have the chutzpah to level with their clients and provide them with accurate advice and sound guidance. However, I do. And throughout this continuing series, I will dispel numerous wedding myths and offer valuable insight while recounting an extensive list of amazing, sometimes frightening, and often hilarious stories. And through sharing these stories, I hope to assist brides-to-be in orchestrating truly memorable ceremonies and receptions — memorable in a good way.

I'm often perplexed by brides who spend fortunes on shoes that remain hidden under their flowing gowns and assorted disposable monogrammed do-dads, yet cut corners on such essentials as the DJ, the venue and sometimes, even the crowning jewel of any wedding reception — the cake...

The year was 1997 and the  "Smith" reception was to begin at 5pm. As usual, I arrived to load-in and set up my DJ gear two hours early. By 4pm I noticed that the cake table was empty. No big deal, bakers often bring in the cake close to the reception start time. But at 5pm there still was no cake. And by 5:15 I wasn't the only one  becoming concerned as guests began arriving while the cake table remained barren.

Just before 5:30, a frumpy-looking gentleman, carrying a rather large cardboard box, came crashing frantically through the doorway of the reception hall. "The cake! Something happened to the cake!" he exclaimed, desperately looking for someone in charge. We'll call the frumpy guy, "Uncle Joe."

This isn't the infamous cake.
In an attempt to minimize her escalating reception-related expenses, the bride this day had opted for a family member, "Aunt Sue," to provide a homemade wedding cake. This happens frequently in the bridal biz and typically, it meets with fantastic results. However, with all of the ensuing hub-bub this day, Aunt Sue instructed Uncle Joe to deliver the cake for her. Unfortunately, Uncle Joe stopped off for a "cold one" at a local pub along the way to the reception hall.

It was still early spring, but in Florida, outdoor afternoon temperatures in March often can exceed 80°. However, the temperature inside of a locked car with the windows rolled up under these same circumstances is considerably hotter.

"I was only in the bar for a few minutes," Uncle Joe muttered nervously as he placed the box on the cake table.

"Oh my God!" the banquet manager exclaimed as she peeked inside the box to examine the contents.

It was a wedding day nightmare come true. After 30 minutes sitting inside of a roasting car, the once beautiful, three-tier cake now had become a melted train wreck.

Several ladies who had arrived early and had been alerted of the disaster quickly darted off to the venue's kitchen with the boxful of "remains." Calls were placed immediately to reputable local bakeries in hopes that someone could rush over and help salvage the situation. But it now was close to 6PM on a Saturday, and the one bakery that was still open was tied up, servicing their own customer's event.

Before long, the ladies had reconstructed the cake (sorta) — propping it up and holding it together with cleverly hidden toothpicks. Whoo — that was a close one! All was now well — sorta.

The 2008 Sands reception
was a total blast. And their
cake was fabulous!

The bride and groom were both unaware of the narrowly dodged bullet. And when it came time to cut the cake, the newlyweds stuck in the knife gleefully, and then watched in horror as the red jelly-filled layers crumbled into pieces, fell off the table and dribbled down the bride's pristine, flowing white gown.

Be sure that I'm not recounting this story to make light of the couple's experience. I frequently will remind readers throughout this series about the importance of making smart choices — hiring professionals and entrusting essential details to responsible parties. Poor Uncle Joe exemplified neither of these attributes. Sadly, this was a wedding disaster that was completely avoidable.

To be continued...

-Christopher Long
(November 2011)

I'm very accessible and I'm happy to assist folks at any time regarding wedding-related questions, concerns and comments. I can be contacted through either the "Comment" forum of this blog or directly via my personal email address.


 Don't miss my entire
Here Comes the Bride


  1. I had the whole side fall off a cake I purchased for a party--yikes!
    Love the wedding blog--keep the stories coming!

  2. Favorite song for walking down the aisle, Sympathy for the Devil.