Oral Deposition Testimony, Sierra Madre Wedding Centre vs Mike Sacks, Feb 4, 1993

PLAINTIFF: Please spell your name and list your occupation.

DEFENDANT: Mike Sacks. M-I-K-E S-A-C-K-S. Wedding planner.

PLAINTIFF: And how long have you worked as a wedding planner?

DEFENDANT: Since May. This was my first wedding.

PLAINTIFF: Were you familiar with the rock group Guns N’ Roses before being hired?

DEFENDANT (laughing): No. I’m more of a “jazz head.” I’d never heard of the Guns and the Roses.

PLAINTIFF: But you’re familiar with them now.

DEFENDANT (laughing): Oh yes, indeed!

PLAINTIFF: How were you approached?

DEFENDANT: I received a fax about a somewhat large wedding that would be slightly “different.” I located a wedding venue and a church that would suit the occasion. Nothing struck me as odd.

PLAINTIFF: The church on a desolate frontier plain surrounded by mountains? Encircled for no apparent reason by a white-picket fence?

DEFENDANT: That was the cheapest route to take, yes. And that’s what the best man wanted. Slash.

PLAINTIFF: Slash is the guitarist?

DEFENDANT: I mainly know him as the ring bearer.

PLAINTIFF: The ring bearer who forgot the ring?

DEFENDANT (sighing): Yes.

PLAINTIFF: What else did this Slash request?

DEFENDANT: A church with no outdoor electrical outlets.

PLAINTIFF: Slash wanted to play an electric guitar unplugged into any electrical outlets?

DEFENDANT (laughing): He insisted on it, yes.

PLAINTIFF: But then the bride and groom emerged from another church after the ceremony ended?

DEFENDANT: Yes. But I had nothing to do with that church. And I had nothing to do with the groom walking into a deserted ghost town after the ceremony. I don’t know why he did that.

PLAINTIFF: Was a helicopter used to transport the wedding guests to the reception?


PLAINTIFF: The same helicopter tousling Slash’s unkempt locks as he pantomimes on his electrical guitar? The one that was unplugged?

DEFENDANT: As far as I know. The logistics were awful. But that was the plan. The isolated church and then over to a fancier church and then back to the Sierra Madre Wedding Centre for the party itself.

PLAINTIFF: As the hired planner, had you informed anyone beforehand that this could be a heavy-metal-themed reception, with the potential for great, unnecessary, almost wanton destruction?

DEFENDANT: I put in a very specific request for an accordion player to entertain as the appetizers were being served. That hardly implies there’s going to be violence!


DEFENDANT (laughing): No.

PLAINTIFF: Were any actions taken on your part to inform the Wedding Centre that this reception was going to be—as you put it earlier—a little bit “different”?

DEFENDANT: I only said what I knew: that this would be a festive wedding between two extremely attractive younger people. A bit unorthodox, I suppose. Nothing more.

PLAINTIFF: On a side note, were you responsible for the mullet wedding dress?

DEFENDANT: Definitely not. That was on the bride. Or half of it.

PLAINTIFF: Were you responsible for the open-mouthed wedding kiss?

DEFENDANT (groaning): I’m not sure who was responsible for that!

PLAINTIFF: Were you responsible for the gentleman in the blue velvet jacket who flew through the $2,500, five-tiered wedding cake?

DEFENDANT: As in: did I plan that? No way. Who in the hell would plan for that?

PLAINTIFF: Was it your insistence that the reception would not—under any circumstance—take place beneath a tent or a covering?

DEFENDANT: My preference would have been for a tent or a covering. The weather is always a variable. But my clients did not want a tent, as they made crystal clear. How often does it rain in Sierra Madre? Not often, I imagine.

PLAINTIFF: But it did rain that day.

DEFENDANT: Very hard.

PLAINTIFF: Just for the record, was this a November rain?

DEFENDANT: The wedding took place in June.

PLAINTIFF: So this wasn’t a November rain?

DEFENDANT: I don’t know the answer to that.

PLAINTIFF: Did you have any foreknowledge that cutlery would violently and performatively be knocked off catering tables and broken by those fleeing the befouled weather conditions?

DEFENDANT: How would I have known?

PLAINTIFF: This wasn’t something you planned?

DEFENDANT (laughing): I’m not that good a planner. No.

PLAINTIFF: Once it did begin to rain, was it your idea, as the hired planner, to create havoc in a manner not typical for rainfall during a wedding reception?

DEFENDANT: I think that idea came from a Ricky-something-or-other.

PLAINTIFF: Riki Rachtman? Host of MTV’s Headbangers Ball?

DEFENDANT: Sure. I don’t know.

PLAINTIFF: Was it your idea to have the band shelter themselves beneath the catered food tables, to save themselves, while ignoring all others, as this November Rain fell?

DEFENDANT: I was just trying to keep the catered food warm with canned methanol fuel canisters. I was doing my best to keep the older guests calm—

PLAINTIFF: The women in expensive pearls?

DEFENDANT: Them, among others. That kid in the newsboy hat. I was trying hard to prevent the bridal bouquet from being trampled in the rain. I was trying to do a lot of things!

PLAINTIFF: Were you aware, at the time, that a crushed bouquet could signify bad luck?

DEFENDANT (laughing): I was pretty aware by that point that we were all suffering from a bit of bad luck.

PLAINTIFF: Are you aware of the reason for why this bride died?

DEFENDANT: She slipped on something? That was the last I heard.

PLAINTIFF: In the November rain.


PLAINTIFF: Did you plan the bride’s funeral?

DEFENDANT: In that open casket? In that open grave? No.

PLAINTIFF: How many wedding receptions have you planned since this particular November Rain wedding?


PLAINTIFF: Any problems with those receptions? Similar to this one? Any inclement weather? Any overturned tables? Spilled Château Margaux wine bottles?

DEFENDANT: Not even close.

PLAINTIFF: In your honest opinion, how much responsibility should you, individually, incur for the $250,000 in damages suffered by my client, the Sierra Madre Wedding Centre, for this wedding party that you professionally planned that went so wrong?


PLAINTIFF: Is there anything more you’d like to add?

DEFENDANT: (growing very serious): Oh, yes. There’s a lot more I’d like to add. I’m really sorry that the reception started five hours late because Axl was flat-ironing his hair. I’m sorry for those top hats with the silver-scalloped conch ornaments, the devil-oriented rings, the leathered, ass-less chaps. The plastic bride on top of the cake that was also wearing a shorty-short dress. The fact that Slash’s eyes were hidden like an ungroomed sheepdog’s. And that open-mouthed, tongue-drenched wedding kiss… whoofa!

PLAINTIFF: Just so I’m clear: you tell us that you’re sorry… and yet you don’t appear to be sorry enough to pay a single cent for the $250,000 in damages sustained by the Sierra Madre Wedding Centre?

DEFENDANT: At this point, I just need some time alone. Some time on my own.

PLAINTIFF: Because nothing lasts forever?

DEFENDANT: I guess, sure.

PLAINTIFF: No more questions.