Holidays

Wed Alert!

New Year's Eve 1997 just happened to be my wedding day, the day that should have been the best day of my life but ended up being one of the worst.

My day starts with breakfast with my mother and sister ecstatic about my magical, candle-lit evening wedding. Lunch is spent with my fiancé arguing over the cost of our magical event. As I drive off to the bank to pick up travelers' checks for our honeymoon, a Pepsi delivery truck backs up over the hood of my car and drives off as if nothing has happened. Luckily, a construction worker witnesses the whole event and writes down the license plate. Next I'm off to the salon for a relaxing afternoon filled with hair and makeup. I arrive only to be told that my appointment has been canceled. By the time they find someone to fit me in, my relaxing experience has turned into a race to just get my hair into my headpiece and some makeup on my face.

As I drive back to the hotel, the florist informs me that the delivery man can't get my flowers to the chapel on time, which also means he won't be able to decorate. I'll have to find someone to do it -- how about the groomsmen? They don't have much to do but wait for the wedding to start. Bad idea, my lovely cascading flowers on the candelabras look like weeds dangling from a brass thinga-ma-jiggy. They have no idea how to attach flowers to the pews and, instead of asking someone, they just put them back in the box and don't use them at all -- all $800 worth of flowers!

The wedding goes fairly smoothly until the best man hands the officiant a gumball ring instead of the real ring. Apparently, this is supposed to be funny. Following the ceremony and the never-ending photos, we are told that the limo assigned to transport me and my new husband to our reception has left for another appointment. We have 25 people to get to the reception, including the photographer and my husband and me. What to do when we only have one twenty-passenger limo and three cars? We send all the other people in our limo while we call the limo company and demand another vehicle, which they ultimately send. It's a small sedan.

Things only get worse at the reception, where the majority of our guests forget they are there for our wedding reception and not an open-bar New Year's Eve party. The best man rounds up several guests, including the other groomsmen, and heads out with our remaining limo to go to another party down the street. The midnight best-man speech is put on hold while we try to locate him. Thank God my sister is quick on her feet and does the honors. Soon after, the best man shows up with the rest of the crew he'd entertained in our limo. I have a short, angry conversation with him and the other groomsmen about how disappointed I am in their behavior. This infuriates one of the guests, who starts a fight and invites my husband to the garage so they can duke it out.

Enough fun for the night. We send our guests on their way and invite a few friends to go dancing with us. Back at the hotel at the end of the night, we notice several police cars at the entrance. Of course, they couldn't be there for anyone other than someone in our wedding party, and I am right! One of the groomsmen was arrested for kicking in the door to our $2,000-a-night Presidential Suite. At 3 a.m., I'm sitting in my beautiful suite in my cigar-burned, stepped-on, spilled-on wedding dress arguing with my husband about why he isn't in the mood to have sex with me.

The next day is spent getting the groomsman out of jail and fighting with my husband about all the money we spent for our wedding disaster, now appropriately referred to by the hotel as the Newman Brawl. The following day, we leave for our honeymoon trip. Not surprisingly, it doesn't go any better!

Today I'm waiting for my divorce to become final. I've spent the last five New Year's Eves remembering my infamous Newman Brawl. This year, I plan on partying like a rock star!

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Debra Newman