Have you ever seen a cellist play standing up? I didn’t think so. What about a guest standing during the entire wedding ceremony? No? Well, I have.
Our trio arrived early at the wedding venue, as is our practice, and discovered that the chairs we had requested for the back of the room had been overlooked. No one from the venue was on hand to help us. Since the wedding coordinator wasn’t there either – she appeared after we had begun playing the prelude, five minutes before the procession was to start – we had to commandeer three chairs from the last row of guest seating. And since the wedding drew a full house, three invited guests were left standing.
The chair problem occurred again when we moved to the ballroom where the reception and dinner were being held. This time we borrowed chairs from one of the round dinner tables. It’s a good thing we were only engaged to play during the reception. Had we stayed to provide dinner music, three guests might have had to eat standing up.
The takeaway lesson of this little story is that despite meticulous planning and careful execution, most weddings aren’t “perfect”. Make sure your musicians take their obligation to provide a seamless musical accompaniment seriously and are capable of rolling over any little bumps along the way.