Toasted words Marcy Nathan, Rouses Creative Director I n theory, making a wedding toast is easy. You stand up. Introduce yourself. Say how you know the bride and groom. Share a few kind words about the couple. Close with something funny — or sentimental. Ask everyone to raise his or her glass. Cheers! You’re done. In practice, it’s never that easy. People ramble on. They share totally inappropriate stories in front of everybody who matters most to the bride and groom. They end up being remembered for all the wrong reasons. I was a full minute into toasting one bride before I realized my bridesmaid’s dress was tucked into the waistband of my Spanx. And that’s not even my most embarrassing wedding toast. Some people — notably Beyoncé — are known for their singing. I’m afraid I’m not one of them. But that didn’t stop me from performing not one, not two, not three, but FOUR songs at a rehearsal dinner. Fortunately, it wasn’t a solo act. Five of us, all friends from high school, dreamed up the idea to write our own lyrics to a popular song, Weird Al Yankovic-style, for another friend’s rehearsal dinner. “Have some more chicken, have some more pie. It doesn’t matter if it’s boiled or fried. Just eat it!” The groom’s father was a Methodist minister, so we started with the most obvious choice, Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man.” Clearly overestimating the public’s affection for original lyrics — and us — we forged on with three more.The Kinks’“Lola” became “Jodi.”We turned “Chapel of Love” by the Dixie Cups into “Temple of Love” (it was an interfaith wedding). We set “Alaska” — in honor of the honeymoon destination — to the tune of the Green Acres theme. “The trails. My nails. Fresh air! My hair!” It gets worse … Not content to just sing,we turned our songs into a full-blown performance, complete with choreography and stage costumes. We practiced every day for a week. One of us ( ahem , Christy, ahem ) clearly saw herself as

the star. In her mind she was Diana Ross, the rest of us, Supremes. The rehearsal dinner was held in a second-story event space in the French Quarter. It was dry except for beer — a compromise with the Methodist minister — but our boyfriends, knowing how nervous we were, kept us fortified with Sazeracs from the downstairs bar. After the entrée was served — chicken and steak — we excused ourselves from the table and went to change in our “green room,” a butler’s pantry just off of the main dining room. There was no walk-on music — one of the boyfriends was in charge of pressing play only after we were all in place, Diana Ross in the center spotlight.

shows. Suffice it to say that someone — anyone — should have pulled us away. So the moral of this story is: Never assume something will be as amusing to everybody as it might be to you. Nowadays, we leave the toasts to others — sort of always hoping someone will outdo our girl- group-gone-wild jam session, consigning the memory of our performance to a dim corner of everyone’s mind. Oh, and we pace ourselves on the Sazeracs … just in case we experience a powerful urge to get the band back together.

Showtime! “Peter A was a preacher’s son ...” I remember looking out into the crowd. It’s going well enough, I thought. People are smiling. They even clapped when we finished! Enlivened by the applause, we confidently started in on our next number. “Jodi ... J-O-D-I ... Jodi ... Jo Jo Jo Jo Jodi!” By the time we got to the fourth song ... well, there’s a reason they kept a shepherd’s crook just off the stage during the old vaudeville



Made with FlippingBook - Online catalogs