Weddings are supposed to be a jumping off point of a young couple’s life together. Whether traditional or trendy the couple (particularly the bride) is emotional vested in the ceremony and what the event means. Even the most minor of ‘hiccups’ on this special day could ruin an otherwise perfect experience. Who hasn’t seen or experienced a bridezilla moment at one point or another? It has always been my greatest fear to be the perpetrator who instigates one such bridezilla moment. Being a organized person and experienced in event planning, I would have liked to think that I think of everything and plan for every circumstance. Today, however, I was humbled.
A young couple who frequents the restaurant asked us to prepare a portion of their wedding reception menu. They would be taking care of the appetizers and one of the entrees. We would prepare and deliver two other entrees, the starch, the salad, the bread and dessert including a sheet cake for the cake cutting. Here’s the kicker. The couple wanted the meal delivered, hot and ready to serve to the Yachats Lions Club. Simple right?
Well it should have been. Earlier I had entered the town of Yachats into http://www.googlemap.com in order estimate milage for the couples reception estimate. It was 75 miles, an estimated hour and half drive. Today, I arrived at the restaurant with time to load everything as well as giving myself (at my husband’s suggestion) an extra half an hour drive time to deal with Saturday traffic on HWY 126. Just before leaving, I printed off exact directions to the reception site with the street address the bride had given me. But wait . . . these directions say it is TWO AND A HALF HOURS to the reception site! The Yachats Lions Club is apparently in Otterrock! Serveral more google map searches later, a frantic but fruitless look for a wedding party phone number, and a vague recollection of the bride mentioning something about Otterock, I rush out the door with said google map intructions in hand already forty-five minutes behind my new schedule.
As I speed along, I reasoned with myself. “Ok. I’m scheduled to arrive a half an hour before the ceremony. I’m only forty-five minutes behind. I’ll get there fifteen minutes into the ceremony and no one will notice I am late,” I thought. This reasoning alternated with “Oh God, please.” Please get this slow car out of my way. Please don’t let me miss my turn off again. Please make the road straighter so I can go faster. Things like that.
After a missed highway connection in Corvallis I arrive in Otterrock an hour later than the agreed upon delivery time and 344 4th street, Otterrock, Oregon is nowhere to be found. Not a single local knew of a 4th street OR a Lions Club in Otterrock. With my father talking me through a detailed google map description of Otterrock I arrive at 4th street and find myself on a deserted deadend road with no Yachat club in site. I have no choice but to disregard http://www.googlemaps.com and go with the logical assumption that the Yachats Lions Club is in Yachats (not Otterrock regardless of what google says) an hour away.
By this point, I had worried myself out. There was no way to make this better. “I’ve ruined this couples wedding,” I thought. Appetizers will be gone. People will be just waiting around for me to show up. The bride will be frantic. If one digruntled customer tells ten about their bad experience, what will 120 disappoined/impatient/streesed wedding guests do? Have I just ruined by business reputation forever? WHAT CAN I SAY TO MAKE THIS OK?
Two hours late for my delivery, I pull up at the reception site. I see assorted guests standing outside, most with a drink in hand. I take a deep breath and pray one quick prayer. It was a simple prayer. “Please, God” I prayed. “Give me the words to make this right and give me peace.”
First contact was nothing much. The two closest guys offer to help me carry. “Sure,” I said. In my mind I am thinking, “I could use all the help I can get!” We begin carrying cambros through the guests to the kitchen. I begin setting up the buffet while the guys continue to haul things in. Then the GROOM asks what he can do to help!
Miracle of miracles! No words were neccessary. Things hadn’t progress very far at all. The couple was still taking pictures. Appetizers were still out. The entree they were in charge of wasn’t even ready to put out yet! I tried to apologize for being late. Trying not to make excuses, I explain about the Otterrock address and found that they had seen the same thing online. (They, at least, had already had a physical experince with the reception site.) They ended up APOLOGIZING TO ME for the stress I had experienced! They love the restaurant. They stop by for brunch on their way to the coast everytime. They tell (and will be telling) everyone about us. I couldn’t have asked for (yet recieved) an easier situation than that. They let me know I can even be expecting a tip with return our equipment!
Now that’s an answer to pray!