Thursday, September 1, 2011
The Perfect Storm
It starts in the studio.
I hear Thursday that the 300 person wedding on Sunday upstate will probably have to be postponed. A fury of phone calls begins. It's off, then it's on, - Asheley and I hit the market Friday morning in limbo, camping out around the corner at the ace hotel like hipsters without jobs, waiting for the call from the mother of the bride.
She calls, and tells me they're going forward - that they'll try to get most of their guests up to the camp before the storm hits. And so it's on.
Which is good for us, since we've already bought days worth of flowers and grasses, and have a box full of california heirloom roses in transit. Although the idea of a weekend off is appealing (as is a house full of extra roses - IMAGINE!) we're in the business of getting people married. And to disrupt the momentum we'd been gathering for this particular wedding would be a shame...
We had to rearrange all our plans for Irene, instead of making anything in the studio, we packed everything up and drove it all up to camp on Friday. Making all the arrangements on site is a real joy - since they don't have to withstand trucking it allows me to make pieces that are more fragile, more gestural and loose. I really wish every event could be like this. The flowers were so effing good...but the streamers! A 5000 square foot streamer canopy transformed the camp mess hall into a real party! But as I look back at our prep photos it wasn't necessarily a pleasure putting it up...Thank god for Eric's engineering degree.
It was while standing amidst 50,000 feet of streamers that I get a text from my real estate agent that they were starting to show the farm to other clients. My agent, who deserves a whole chapter in my book titled Guts and Glory, says to me "Focus on what you do best, and I'll do what I do best" (heroic!) Half an hour later she has a verbal agreement from the sellers to give us until September 1st. Which is today, I realize..
Then we camped out and weathered the storm like a bunch of 12 year olds. 12 year olds with wine that is!
The next morning the mess hall had lost power. No power meant no coffee brewed. Someone in the kitchen mentions "boiling water on a fire" and "sanka"
This is probably the lowest moment of the weekend
On a big wedding weekend, regardless of the circumstances, I always hit a point where I start losing focus...I tend to walk around in circles just watching what everyone else is doing. Does that happen to anyone else?
In the dark I make the bouquet and personal flowers...taking them outside once in a while to check the colors...
Then suddenly the rain tapers and the light improves slightly, and a bus full of people pulls up, and there's a wedding. Our staff heads out. The Tisch's start, and I witness what is probably the most touching gesture of family and community support for a couple.
After this weekend I was in awe of Jewish wedding traditions...
And then there was a party, complete with a Klezmer band.
Eric and I lit the candles and then left to start fundraising...
Today, September 1st, we have come up with the 196,ooo we need to buy the farm. And I have things to say about that someday.
It's not quite over yet, we don't have a close date set - but I don't want to leave you hanging too much as you've been ridiculously supportive in the last few weeks. And years.
A few more photos on my flickr.