The Gargoyle’s Wedding Planner by Ann Edwards

Chapter 1


I am running around Saint Roman’s Church, trying to get the bridal party in their respective places.  The florist was late, which delayed the pictures, and the whole day has gone off the rails. 

The mother of the groom is drunk.  She keeps repeating “That skank isn’t good enough for my Henry.”  Henry seems to be able to just tune her out, which is a good thing.  This is the first wedding I have done start to finish.  The partners are watching me, making sure this all goes off without a hitch, or we all lose the commission.  I have all but one groomsman in place.  I just want to check on the bride and bridesmaids before I keep looking.  We are ten minutes away from the bridal march.

As I reach the suite for the women, I hear raised voices.  It continues to get louder the closer I get.  I realize no one will hear me knock, so I just let myself in.  Once I get in there, I see all the bridesmaids looking on in shock.

The bride is standing in the middle of the room, vomit all down the front of her dress, and the missing groomsman is standing in front of her.

“What do you mean you’re pregnant?”

Gesturing to the front of her gown “Do you think I would be lying Jordan?  We have been fucking for months.  Henry doesn’t believe in premarital sex.  Do the math!”

Oh, Holy shit.  I don’t even know where to start with this.

“Uhm, I don’t mean to interrupt, but what do you want to do?”

Two pairs of eyes swing my way.  “I have to tell them something.  You are supposed to be marrying Henry in now, seven minutes.”  I check against my watch.

“Well, Maddeline, I sure as fuck am not walking down the aisle looking like this!”  She screeches, motioning to her dress.

“You aren’t walking down that aisle at all!  I will not have that pompous asshole raise my kid!”

As the two of them continue to argue, I inch my way towards the door.  I have no idea what to do, or what to say to a church full of people.  As I swing the door open, to step away from the arguing, I come face to face with Henry and his mother.

“Ha, I told you she was a skank.  The wedding is OFF!!!”

With that statement, she steps into the room, puling Henry with her.  The two of them add to the yelling going on.  I slowly make my way to the chapel. 

I open the door and the whole room looks back at me.  No, I am not the bride, but the music playing is the bridal march.  All of the groomsmen, except one, and the groom are standing at the front of the church.  The Priest is standing at the very end.  When he sees me walking up the aisle, he raises one eyebrow.

When I make it to the altar, I get up on my tip toes to whisper in his ear “There will be no wedding.  There are extenuating circumstances, and it has been at best postponed, at worst cancelled.”  He clears his throat and steps aside.  Great, no moral support from that corner. 

I turn around slowly, trying to gather my thoughts on what to say.  If I say too much, it will ruin everyone’s reputations.  In the, albeit unlikely, event they get back together, I have to handle this with delicacy.  Just as I am about to start talking the chapel doors open once again, Henry’s mother comes storming up the aisle.

“There is no wedding!  My Henry will not marry that harlot!  Pregnant, she is knocked up with the groomsmen’s baby!”

Gasps and titters are heard throughout the church.  Can this get any worse?

“You, wedding planner, this is your fault!  I am going to sue you for this.”

I am at such a loss for words.  I am not sure how the bride sleeping with, and getting pregnant by one of the groomsmen is my fault.  Henry’s mother turns back to the congregation, with yet another announcement.

“Anyone from the Rothchild family, and friends, are welcome to go to the reception site.  The food and booze are already paid for, I won’t let them go to waste.”

With that she starts to leave the altar, missing a step, and almost falling.  I reach out and help catch her.  “Get your hands off me, I will not be assaulted by you.”

Someone pulls her to the side trying to talk her off the ledge, thinking without the emotions being involved.  I start cleaning up the flowers, pew bows, candles and aisle runner, as people finally start to leave.  I feel my phone vibrate in my pocket.

EBEP: Maddeline, come to the office as soon as you get things organized there.

I am not sure what that means.  Surely, they couldn’t have found out yet, about what is going on here.  I try to push this all to the side.  I have to handle one thing at a time.

There are a few stragglers from the bride’s family still lingering.  The organist comes over to where I am packing up items.  “Honey don’t let that shrew's words bother you.  I have seen my share of weddings cancelled for many different reasons.  She was in the cups early on.  The emotion is fueling her words.”  She pats my hand and walks away.

I finally get everything loaded into the company van, and start the drive back to the office.  I have a bad feeling and my stomach feels like it is full of lead.

Once I get the van parked, and start unloading, I see Stella Reynolds walking towards me.  Stella is one of the lead partners in Elegant Bridals and Event Planning.  Once she is close enough, she stands with her hands on her hips, she’s pissed.

“Do you mind explaining to me EXACTLY what happened today?  I got a call from Elizabeth Rothchild threatening a law suit because the wedding was not taking place.  She said it was your fault.  I had to listen to her go on for almost fifteen minutes.  I finally had to come to a compromise to appease her and keep her from suing us.”

“I didn’t DO anything.  I am not sure how it is my fault the bride got pregnant to one of the groomsmen and threw up all down the front of her dress.”

“Well, she left that part of the story out, unfortunately.  However, I had already made my promise.  I’m sorry Maddeline, but I have to let you go, you’re fired.”

“FIRED?!?!?!  For what?”

“That is the agreement I made with Elizabeth Rothchild.  In light of the additional information, I won’t fight your unemployment.  Give me your keys, gate keycard and company phone.  I will have someone go through your office, and pack up your personal belongings.  I will let you know when you can come pick them up.”  She stands there with her hand out.  I can NOT believe this is happening.

I hand over all of the items requested, to Stella.  “Good luck Maddeline, you are a good planner, just not the level we are looking for.”

At that she motions for me to step through the door.  Once I do, she shuts and locks it behind me.  I am stunned.  I have never been fired before.  I am not even sure what to do next.  Elegant Bridals and Event Planning is the biggest party planning company in North Carolina.  I will never be able to find another job in the area.

I slowly walk towards my car, while I mentally run through my options.  I haven’t really been happy here.  I have six weeks left on my current lease.  I guess now I just have to figure out where to go and what to do.  Would it be too cliché to just throw a dart at the map?  I hope I have wine in the refrigerator, I am going to need it.