Tuesday Marriage Desk Clerk L sent me a text, would I be able to come in on Wednesday. I worked out details with Marty, and I went in today from 9:30 to 4:30 to cover for vacationing volunteers. A good thing I was able to go in, it was a busy day. I am only writing about one wedding. This one needs a lot of info and I am venting for most of the staff.
I was at the Marriage Desk and L is on the phone. I hear her say, no, no, we don't do that. No, they can not do that, NO! She hangs up and another staff person comes in and they tell me what is going on. We have a large group who seem to think they are paying for the room for as long as they want it. They have big plans, which do not fit with an in and out wedding room.
Couples pay for the room and the commissioner to do the ceremony. I always tell them they have the room for a LIMITED time. The room is first come first served. No one gets to set the time for their ceremony. Normal weddings are in and out in 15 or less minutes.
This couple was demanding the room at 10:00. They had invited guests for 10:00. So they harped on 10:00. They kept going back to clerk P (who was with other customers) and demanding the room. They were so distributive they were upsetting other staff. Other demands were to be able to set up a gift table and a chair for the person guarding the gifts. (what kind of guests had they invited) They wanted time after the ceremony for the professional photographer to do his thing. No one could see the bride until she was ready to come upstairs to the Wedding Room. Everyone had to be seated before she would come upstairs. And on and on.
One of the staff S told them they could set up the gift table and I said I would bring the bride (who was hiding in the public computer room) upstairs. S took the group up and tried to get them to set up the table, to sign the guest book, and to mute phones. They totally ignored her.
I finally found the bride, who then wasn't ready. Her friend is arranging the veil and the train of the dress. The train is going to be carried until she enters the room, so why start arranging it? I get to the door, and bride isn't ready to go up. I think my brain will explode. I basically told her it was now or never. So she saunters to the elevator. I walk her to the door of the lobby in front of the Wedding Room.
When S sees her she tells them the bride is ready and they start playing "Here comes the Bride". Bad me, I told them to cut the music. As a school teacher I have rules, and I used that teacher's voice. I have wedding room rules to explain, the main one limited time in the room. I told to mute the phones, and if one rings, I will stop the ceremony. Not really, but they needed a whip hand. I said you will have 5 minutes after the ceremony, then you will exit the room. I run through the rules and then we should have started the ceremony. The bride decided she needed more time. She wasn't ready. I always say we don't start until the bride is ready. Well, today I was ready and I told the bride I would walk her in so she wouldn't be alone and nervous. That worked. I did not feel she did not want to marry, she wanted to stall and make a better entrance.
Let the ceremony begin! And that part went well.
Picture taking began, the witnesses and I signed, and I was ready to get the certified copies. I gave the 2 minute warning. I told them finish getting the pictures they wanted, to sign the guest book which no one had, and to gather up the gifts, break down the card table, and I would return in 2 minutes and we would exit the room.
Well when I came back people are milling around, signing the book, talking, some taking pictures, and no one had packed up the gifts or broken down the table. My head exploded! I told them they had to exit the room now, I had other couples waiting for their ceremonies. Nothing, I could not move them. So I told them I was leaving to get the next couple and they best be gone when I came back. I did say that with my sweet Southern drawl.
I was firm, but I was not rude, but we had all had it with this group. I spent 35 minutes dealing with them. L, P, and S had already spent more time working with them. We were all amazed at the sense of entitlement the whole group had.
Yes, they were out of the room when I came back upstairs. But they stood in front of the building for at least another 25 minutes. I guess they moved the reception to the street.