Long story short, Kim and I walked over the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday and ended up working a wedding in Dumbo.
Long story long:
My job has given me the opportunity to meet so many amazing people in New York. From co-workers to clients and partners, I’ve been able to build relationships and friendships with so many people. While talking to my old client, Kim, at a happy hour we discovered she had never walked the Brooklyn Bridge. Kim has lived in her apartment, which is ONLY five minutes walking from the bridge, for over a year and has never walked it! Maybe it was crazy to me because I’m not from the NY area and you always hear about the Brooklyn Bridge and see it in almost every NY movie, but we made a plan right then to walk it in an upcoming weekend.
Yesterday it the forecast called for rain in the morning but the it never came and we decided to take advantage on the first warm day we’ve had in a while and walk the bridge. Usually the bridge is usually crowded but manageable, especially once you make it past the first pillar where people only make it to for the insta shot, but apparently half of NY also thought the same about the nice weather so it was a bit of a battle getting across. The pathway over the bridge is not very wide and in the short time I’ve lived in the city I have found that the majority of people (tourist) do not know how to walk in crowds. Literally no clue. People (tourist) have no clue of their surroundings, will abruptly stop to take a picture, look at their phone, watch a butterfly, who the heck knows. I could go on about this for days. But despite the massive crowd of people taking photos, stopping to reflect on their life, baby strollers, and literal photo shoots with their personal paparazzi (engagement maybe? we’re still not sure) we made it across. It was slightly drizzling so we decided to walk into Dumbo to grab a coffee somewhere.
We walked to the park under the Manhattan bridge where a local artist, David Crumbley, created a DUMBO sign that changes colors to tell you a number of things. All you have to do is send a tweet with a hashtag.
Following we continued to walk along Pearl St discussing all things life, naturally. We were talking about careers and discovered that we were both interested in events. Kim mentioned that she knew someone that works in the wedding event field and I was commenting on how I would love to go into corporate philanthropy events. It was just about then that a man who was walking ahead of us had slowed his pace in line with ours and chimed into our conversation. We were a little taken back but were chatting with him. He told us that he worked in the industry and asked if he could offer some dad advice. Being that my dad works for a catering company that mostly does weddings and big parties I was ready for the usual “it’s long nights and weekends” spiel. However, this man told us of all the people, mostly women, he knew that worked events for non-profits and how much harder it is to make a living for yourself. That it’s a fulfilling job but they don’t make enough to have much of a life outside of work; marriage, kids, etc.. Which is something that I was aware of and has been my biggest hesitation to go right into that industry, thank you educational loans. We chatted for a little longer and asked if he had a business card. He was on his way to grab some food and his cards were back at the venue, a block behind us, he was setting up a wedding for that night. We agreed that we would swing back by in 15 or so, made introductions and parted ways.
By this point, Kim and I were starving and conveniently came up to a restaurant that had a big Margarita sign and obviously it didn’t take long for us to trade in our coffee idea for a margarita and some tacos. We didn’t think much of the encounter during our lunch at Pedro’s but afterwards we checked out this vintage shop down the block before swinging by the venue to pick up the cards.
The wedding was at this beautiful venue called The Dumbo Loft, and inside they had set up a ceiling of lights with tables beautifully displayed with a succulent and rose arrangement with candles. We were chatting with Joe about his events and a staff member came over to tell him that a waiter could make it that night. It didn’t take long for Kim to ask if he needed some extra help. They were looking for another person to cover and Joe told her she had 10 minutes to decide if she was serious. There were some details about what the job would entail and I offered to help too if they needed a second person. He thought about it for a second and told us we’d probably have more fun working together so asked if we both would work that night. We agreed and the next thing we know we’re getting directions on the uniform, time and what we wold be doing. Joe introduced us to the main coordinator for the night, Jen, and another woman who was working that night yelled across to Joe asking if he pulled us in off the street. To which we all responded with a yeah pretty much!
Next thing we know we’re in a cab laughing at how crazy and ridiculous we are by signing up for this right off the street. We’re hurrying over the bridge to get home and change neither of us knowing if we definitely even have the proper items that they told us to wear. We’re texting each other pictures of the makeshift “uniform” we’re trying to put together and 40 minutes later we’re back in a cab heading back over the bridge for a night we weren’t sure how would go.
The next seven hours went by in a flash. We arrived and the majority of the wedding guests are already there. We quickly went into the back kitchen to be greeted with open arms by the rest of the staff that are also laughing at how ridiculous Joe was for picking us up off the street and at us for agreeing with it. They tell us the plan for the night and we are given our tasks for the beginning. The wedding begins and Kim and I are peering through a crack in the door to get a look at the wedding party come out and the whole ceremony, dishing about everything from the most adorable ring bearers and flower girls to how beautiful the bride was and the look on the grooms face. If you could fan girl over a wedding we were doing it.
After the ceremony we were quickly thrown into tasks of setting up the chairs and passing out hors d’oeuvres then setting up for dinner. The wedding was on the smaller size so there was a smaller staff that night but still a lot of things going on. So I think we covered everything you could have possibly done at a wedding; passing out food, filling wine and water, setting up the food, clearing dishes, lighting candles that the kids kept running around blowing out. It was an action packed night but it was so much fun. By the end of the night our whole bodies ached and my arms felt like they were going to fall off from carrying the trays around, (might have been the best upper body work out I have ever done), but we were so proud of ourselves for throwing ourselves into this crazy situation. Jen was impressed with us and is adding us to the list for future events!
In our cab ride home, packed with leftover food and cake and random leftovers, we decided that this was the most New York thing to happen to us. Started the day by walking over the Brooklyn Bridge to being picked up off the street and work a wedding that night.
We still can’t get over the whole story but sometimes opportunities come when you least expect them and you just have to take them and run. Now we made wonderful connections with some of the most friendly and hard-working people and I’m sure we’ll be seeing them again soon.