Megan calls me on my cell phone before I went to work—
“Mom, one of our grooms from 2004 called and needs to talk to you right away. He said that he and his wife are having some problems, and he would like to bring her here where they got married and dance with her to their first dance song.”
“Awwwwh! That is so sweet! Megan we have to do this! When does he want to come?”
“We don’t have anything on the calendar tomorrow, do we?”
“No, I think it’s clear”
“Oh Megan, we have to do this!” I’m already choked up over the whole idea.
“Yes, I agree, we have to!” Megan is a little on the teary side too.
“So did you pull their file?” (Oh yes, we have files in our basement from every wedding we have ever done, all boxed and filed away by date—it’s amazing how often we refer to them)
“Yes, I have it here in front of me”
“What did they have for their dinner?”
“It was cranberry chicken, pesto smashed potatoes, and California medley.”
“Hmmmmmmm. We are serving cranberry chicken Thursday for the golf outing, aren’t we?”
“Yes, we are.”
“Ok, let me call Patti and see if I can make this happen!”
So I dial up Patti, our chef,
“Patti, one of our former grooms called, and he wants to dance with his wife and re-propose to her on the dance floor where they originally had their reception. Have you ever heard anything so romantic?
“Oh my gosh, that’s awesome!”
“I know, so here’s what I’m thinking. We’ll set a little table on the dance floor and serve them the dinner they had for their reception.”
“Oh that would be sooooo cool! I think we can do that.”
“You’re amazing! Thanks!”
So I go to work, and as soon as I get to my office, I call Kevin (not his real name of course) ---
“Hi Kevin! Megan told me about what you want to do, I think that’s about the sweetest thing I’ve heard in years, and we would like to make it extra special for you by serving you your wedding dinner as well!”
“Really? That would be terrific! How much would that cost? I would love that!”
“Don’t worry about it, it’s on us, we’re all just so impressed with how romantic this is, we really want to make it special for you. Can you be here at 5:30?”
We go on to discuss all the finer details, what their first song was, how he will play it and the timing of the whole thing. Then we hang up.
Our kitchen staff comes in to do prep for our Thursday event, and while they are there, they prepare two plates of wedding fare for our guests. Patti leaves them in the cooler for me with explicit instructions on how to finish the chicken, separately from the plate, in the oven so that it is crisp and nice, exactly how long to leave it in, etc. etc. I read all my “marching orders” and figure the times out so that I can put the plates on the table at exactly 5:25, under plate covers, so that Kevin and Lauren will have the place to themselves.
Everyone has left for the day. I go to the kitchen and turn the oven on, fill the water glasses, pour the wine, light the candles on the table, and reread my instructions. All the doors to the building are locked except for the main doors in the front.
At 5:20 I hear someone in the lobby so I walk out to see if someone has come in. My biggest worry is that someone else will come in and “blow the moment”!
Just as I get to the door I see Kevin, looking very spiffy in a suit and tie--
“She’s in the car, blindfolded, she doesn’t know where I’m taking her! Can I bring her in?”
“Sure! I just need about 5 minutes to finish your dinners, but you can come sit down and I’ll bring it to you as soon as it’s ready.”
I plate up their dinners, put the orchids on them, and the plate covers, and take them out to the table.
“She already cried!” Kevin says with a laugh and a big smile.
“It’s just so…..” Lauren says with a tremble in her voice “It’s like being back at our wedding all over… that’s where we sat, and it’s just so….” She can’t go on, I can hear the tears in her voice.
“Well I’ll leave you two alone, enjoy!” I say, and I leave.
I go to the kitchen to straighten up, and after 20 minutes or so, I hear Tony Bennett singing “The Way You Look Tonight”. Kevin had mentioned that this was the song for their first dance. It’s slow and sultry, husky, as only Tony can sing it, with a simple piano accompaniment.
In my mind I see them on the dance floor, under the spotlights, swaying slowly in unison, as I have seen so many couples over the last 12 years. But this time it’s different—this time it’s only for them.
The song ends and I hold my breath, knowing that he is dropping to his knee and asking her to marry him all over again. What will she say? My mind races with all the possible outcomes.
I listen at the door of the kitchen, and all I hear is the music playing on the ipod. I don’t hear any voices, have they left already? I go out to check on them, and there they are, big smiles on both of their faces.
“She said yes!” Kevin tells me, the excitement and joy in his voice nearly has me running for the Kleenex box!
I give them both a big hug.
“That’s wonderful! You know, we marry people for keeps here!” I say with a laugh, “You guys take your time. Would you like a little more wine?”
I hope things work out for them. I hope that they once again find the love that they had the day they were married.
Sometimes it isn’t easy being married.
Sometimes you just need a fresh start; a new beginning.
Sometimes you just need to dance again.