How to Ride a Viking Ship in Your Wedding
Clarify to the fantastic production crew at Arena Stage that no water will be involved. And that the Viking Ship will have foot brakes so it doesn’t careen across the stage and crush the wedding party. And that all the foul-mouthed honey badgers the bridesmaids and bridesmen will be wielding won’t be live. And that the weapons the groomsmen and groomswoman-in-full-chainmail will be wielding aren’t real weapons.
Find some random prop design company in the greater Washington, D.C.-area to make your Viking Ship. Freak out a little about the price ($25,0000!!!) Ask your wedding planner, the amazing Edelina Rose, to help find someone. Discover she’s such a good negotiator, the company she found has to be bid up from their asking price. Realize you’re getting a real bargain at $1600.
Clarify with the prop company what your timeline looks like for Viking Ship delivery and how the payment will work. Grow a little concerned about the generally disorganized nature of the company, the inability to contact the person who will actually be making the Viking Ship, and the amount of personal information you’ve learned about the prop company owner’s personal life and his relationship with his family. Smoke a mental doob (just a hypothetical one!), cuz seriously that first place wanted $25,0000!!!
Work on literally 1,000 other things in the months leading up to the wedding. Invite nearly 200 people, most from out of town. Plan four days of events to encourage them to have a good time. Try not to think about how many times you’ve talked to the prop company owner and not the prop lady who’s supposed to be making the Viking Ship. Hope the prop company owner is able to clear up the infection he talked about that you didn’t even know was possible. Try to be assured by the prop company owner saying prop lady always comes through.
Talk with prop lady! Grow concerned about the amount of personal information you learn about her. And her family. And her job. And her illnesses. And her problems. And why she can’t meet a deadline.
Watch the due date for the Viking Ship to be delivered come and go. Wonder if you can make a Viking ship out of cardboard and wear it like a sandwich board. Try to think about other things. Make your parrot tutu pirate costume for a pre-wedding event. Watch Star Wars. Contemplate the treachery of George Lucas. Talk with Cake Man about Viking Ship Plan B.
It’s eight days before the wedding. Learn that the prop company owner thought prop lady was going to be at your house the day before. Tell him she didn’t make it. Listen to him get upset because he needs the rest of the money you and Cake Man were going to pay him upon completion of the Viking Ship. He needs to pay his rent. Oh My God are you serious you’re over fifty years old you own a business and this is a concern?!? DID YOU JUST SAY YOU NEED MY MONEY SO YOU CAN PAY YOUR RENT?!? I’M GETTING MARRIED IN EIGHT DAYS AND CAKE MAN WANTS ME TO ARRIVE ON A VIKING SHIP. Be happy you didn’t say any of that out loud. It definitely wouldn’t have helped. Think about where the nearest storage companies are that might sell you four of the biggest cardboard boxes they have. Wonder why you didn’t get a structural engineering degree in college.
It’s six days before the wedding. Clear out the garage. Prop lady is coming! She’s bringing a friend. They’re going to make the Viking Ship in your garage! This is a miracle!
It’s five days before the wedding. Prop lady arrives! There is no ship – just an idea. She forgot this. She forgot that. This isn’t going to work. She never would have signed up for this if [insert reader’s choice of random thing]. Chaos. Chaos! CHAOS! Talk her off the ledge each time she tries to leave without finishing the Viking Ship. Stay up all night. With Cake Man! There’s so much to do around the house! Go down to the garage at 6am and discover prop lady and her assistant snuck out while you were not bugging her. They had to hit the automatic garage door and run for it to get out. The Viking Ship looks to be 70% done. It could be worse.
The Viking Ship is only 60% finished. It’s four days before the wedding. Cake Man has a go at the ship. You call your favorite (only!) hired handyman. He brings a buddy. The second Viking Ship team brings the vessel’s completion level to 100%. You pay them for their work with the large tip you were going to give prop lady if she had actually finished the ship and not snuck out of your house without telling you.
It’s three days before the wedding. Cake Man discovers the ship is only 90% completed and is neither sea- nor stage-worthy. The ropes are on the back of the ship and not on the front of the ship. Cake Man engineers a solution. Your brother arrives from out of town. The third Viking Ship team fixes the rope issue and brings the ship’s completion level to 100%.
It’s two days before the wedding. The ship is only 98% done. Prop lady never installed foot brakes on the wheels. Wonder if the theatre production manager is going to freak out. She doesn’t. She’s amazing. She lets you borrow brakes, and her crew installs them.
It’s the day before the wedding. It’s the wedding rehearsal. Borrow some brawny nephews. Get out the camera. Wheel the unlicensed Viking Ship vehicle down the street to Arena Stage. Thank Ragnarok the ship doesn’t fall apart. REHEARSE THE WEDDING ON A FULLY FUNCTIONING VIKING SHIP (prop).
It’s the day of the wedding. Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song booms throughout the theatre. Ride a Viking Ship in your wedding.
Note: Photos compliments of the most amazing wedding photographer Pavlos Karalis.