Editor’s Note: This is not satire. These are real life conversations sent to us by an APW reader, between herself and her mother, Grace. She calls it #weddingswithGrace. We call it, #beenthere.
Wedding Conversations With Grace:
“It’s your wedding; you can do whatever you want.” —Grace
“There has to be silver trays. If there’s not silver trays I’m not coming.” —also Grace
“I’ll bring the silver trays if I have to.” —Grace, moments later
“I’m tired. I don’t feel like going anywhere right now. (beat) I would rally for some linen if you want to go look at linens.” —Grace
“Just bring me a Bees Knees. When you told me the caterers asked if you were going to put the dog in the wedding, I thought, ‘It’s all over… just bring me a Bees Knees from Houston’s.’ A dog in the wedding. What a disgrace. I told your father, ‘Lets just go on up to heaven.’” —Grace
Flower Selection With Grace:
“You want Confederate Jasmine.” —Grace, on the ivy I apparently want for table decor. “We have some in the backyard.”
(She then went a pulled some and has been keeping it in a coffee mug on the kitchen table as an experiment to see how long it lasts so we can know if it can be used as decor on the tables Friday night for the rehearsal dinner AND the wedding Saturday.)
Cake tasting with Grace:
“Is there any way to make it look like that and have it cost less?” —Grace, to the woman going over the cakes and their pricing
“What about orchids on it?” —Me
“When I think of orchids I think of funerals.” —Grace
“Am I too opinionated?” —Grace
I pointed out they sold plastic cake serving knives and asked if we should get one. Grace flung her head down at me so hard her sunglasses nearly slid off her nose.
“Or I guess our caterers would probably have one.” —Me
“Your MOTHER has a SILVER cake knife. A plastic cake knife? Not over my dead body.” —Grace
Then she had the bakery refund her the $30 deposit she had to put down for the tasting that would go toward the cost of the cake if we got the cake there, even though we fully intend to get the cake there. They couldn’t find any record/receipt of her paying the deposit—she did it over the phone—so finally just gave up and gave her $30 cash from the register.
Venue Discussions With Grace:
“On Monday we’re going up to… (long pause) I just hate saying the name (of the venue, Sweetiebee Farms). There must be a porn star named Sweetiebee. When Alexandra (her main frenemy) called to ask I told her, ‘Oh, it’s a farm in the mountains…’ And then she kept asking me what the name was and I finally said, ‘Sweetiebee.’ I had to spell it for her three times.” —Grace
Wedding invitations With Grace:
“Do you have to put ‘Sweetiebee’ on there? Can you just put an address?” —Grace
“We need to talk to them about that tomorrow.” —Grace, on the venue needing to change their name
Part 1—Driving To The Venue, with Grace:
The two hour drive up to the venue (100 miles from Atlanta to the town of Blairsville, which is in the North Georgia Mountains).
“You better start working on an answer to your guests for why Blairsvile.” —Grace
“Well, we wanted a place where we coul—”
“That’s not enough.” —Grace
“You better start weaving Blairsville into your story. Don’t tell anyone you’ve never even been there before. ‘We used to go camping up here as kids…’ Now you just have to figure out who was Sweetiebee.” —Grace
“You better have plenty of alcohol that’s all I can say.” —Grace.
Then she turned to my Dad, “Why couldn’t we have normal children?”
“They’re all unique.” —Dad, with the non-answer
Grace, on her friends: “‘Is she going to have a shower?’ ‘No.’ ‘A bridesmaids luncheon?’ ‘No.’ ‘Monogrammed silver?’ ‘No.’ My girlfriends have stopped asking questions.”
“I’m sure they have a Starbucks in Blairsville.” —Grace, laughing a bit too hard here at her own joke
“The caterers have been to Sweetiebee before?” —Grace
“No. They’ve never done a wedding at Sweetiebee.” —Me
“That should’ve been your first clue.” —Grace
“Right about now (on this drive) your friends are thinking… ‘What did she do to us?’ Your New York friends are looking around saying, ‘I think those are trees.’” —Grace
“Well, I hope this makes you and Dave happy because I don’t know if you’ll have any friends after.” —Grace
Part 2—The Actual Venue:
First of all, when we got there they were still cleaning from a wedding that weekend and the place was TRASHED. The main groundskeeper showed us around. The saleswoman, Caitlin, wasn’t there. Just the groundskeeper. God help him. Grace was mostly in shock and didn’t say much at first.
“This is VERY MISLEADING from the pictures.” —Grace
“I don’t think so. It’s just a little smaller than I thought it would be.” —Me
“You should have Nancy (my attorney sister) sue them.” —Grace
“Is that astro turf? Oh my God.” —Grace, on the middle outdoor deck being covered in fake grass
The cabin we looked in had empty champagne and beer bottles in it and messy sheets from the wedding party that had just left.
“Can you get your deposit back?” —Grace
“Mom, I’m sure this is beautiful in the summer.” —Me
“Don’t EVER book something again without seeing it first.” —Grace
When we got up to the main house Grace and the caterers stared at me for awhile.
“We can make anything work.” —The Caterers
“Maybe you should find somewhere else.” —Grace
“Mom, this train has left the station. People get married here every weekend it’s not like I’m making this up.” —Me
“Do y’all put in real grass instead of astro turf in the summer?” —Grace, to the groundskeeper
“No. The owners like it.” —The groundskeeper
Back Home With Grace
When we got home from Sweetiebee visit, I decided to try to appease Grace with pictures online of nice summer weddings at Sweetiebee. We also opened a bottle of Chardonnay.
“Look at this picture of the couple in the woods, Mom.” —Me
“Aw, that’s pretty. Where is that?” —Grace
“Mom, that’s Sweetiebee.” —Me
“Didn’t see that.” —Grace
“I’m going to email Caitlin and ask her if the Adirondack chairs will be repainted by summer.” —Me
“You better wait until the groundskeeper forgets who we were.” —Grace, in a surprising moment of self-realization
Grace, accepting the things she could not change moved on to something she still could: plates.
“Your caterers only have white and clear plates. I have 30 gold rimmed plates I can bring up in the Suburban.” —Grace
“I would need about a hundred.” —Me
“I’ll buy more on Amazon. They wouldn’t be bad to have. I can always use more. You could have some too.” —Grace
“Mom, you’re not buying plates. But we can look at renting them” —Me
“The venue is very RUSTIC. You need to bump it up.” —Grace
We decide we will visit a party rental place in Atlanta that had gold rimmed plates in the morning before my flight back to LA.
By now, Grace has almost finished her glass of Chardonnay. My brother-in-law calls—Grace answers, and with no trace of irony she happily exclaims, “Sean! Well we have had such a GREAT day!”