Another favorite wedding weekend was the one I refer to as the Italian wedding. The families came from two different states, as well as points in between, making it a destination wedding, though a very well attended one. What a bunch they were, fun beyond belief. They didn’t quite drink the hotel dry, but they sure did try. As usual for Saturday weddings, the guests arrived at intervals between Thursday and Friday, drinking moderately most of the time. Saturday was hammer down for this group. Having traveled from afar, they were unfamiliar with the signature craft cocktails we served, but boy did they take to them with relish. I’m not sure exactly what time it happened, but with several hours to go before the nuptials and reception, the grandfather of the bride made a momentous statement. He declared, in the tavern, which was full of wedding guests, that all drinks for anyone going to the ceremony were to be charged to his room, 108. Sure, no problem.
After the ceremony, which was beautiful and touching, I worked the bar at the reception. On the contract, the hospitality bar had a cap of six thousand dollars. Beyond that, the guests would have to purchase their own drinks if they wanted to continue consuming alcohol. They were not drinking cheap rail liquor either. Absolut, Jameson, Beam, Jack, and Captain Morgan were among the midshelf spirits offered at the wedding party. And they drank. And drank and drank. But they were fun—not one angry drunk in the bunch. The banquet manager had to restock my bar so many times he worried that we’d run out of spirits before the reception wound down. What I needed was a fifty-gallon drum of Chianti wine and a pallet of midshelf booze. The six-thousand-dollar cap was hit with about an hour and a half to go before the festivities were slated to end. Normally it would have gone to a cash bar, but the father of the groom, when I apprised him of the impending end to the host bar, said to just let it roll, keep the host bar open until the end of the night. By the time the reception wrapped up the tab was just a tad shy of ten thousand dollars—for a four-hour reception.
Sunday morning I arrived early, as usual. Most of the wedding guests had yet to rise, which wasn’t unexpected due to the prodigious amounts of spirits they had consumed the night before. Slowly they emerged from their rooms as the morning passed, making their way into the dining room in pairs or small groups, looking for breakfast. They required Bloody Marys and mimosas, along with food. A little hair of the dog, I assumed—a lot of them looked a little rough around the edges, so to speak. But what tickled me the most was running into the bride’s grandfather at the front desk, where he was checking out. He was looking at his final bill and shaking his head slowly. I inquired if everything was okay with him. He replied that he wished that he had said to have all the drinks he said to charge to his room, 108, charged to room 106. His bar bill for just those four hours before the wedding ceremony totaled a little shy of three thousand dollars.
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