The worst wedding I attended was only a few years before I got married. The memorable mistakes of that wedding were imbedded in my mind when I planned my wedding years later. I think my observations helped eliminate some mistakes.
The Bridal Ceremony: Here Comes the Bride
Although the way the bride entered the ceremony did not hamper my ability to enjoy the wedding, I remembered her entrance as a reminder of what I did not want. I do not remember the exact hotel, but I do recall that the bride descended a circular staircase as she entered the ceremony. Her gown had a long, lace train with beautiful rounded edges. As the bride descended the steps, her mother raced down the staircase behind her and rearranged the train as the bride took each step. Her mother was wearing a tight fitting gown, and as she periodically crouched down to fix her daughter’s gown, I noticed the photographer snapping plenty of photos. The whole scene distracted from the bride’s entrance.
The Cocktail Hour: The Vultures Descend
At this particular wedding, there were no table displays of cocktail food. Instead, hors d’oeuvres were passed. They came out very slowly. It became apparent that the bride did not purchase sufficient hors d’oeuvres. Guests began waiting next to the kitchen. As the waiters took two steps into the room, the hors d’oeuvre trays became empty.
I am not a drinker, but even non-alcoholic beverages required a visit to the bar. There was a single bar in the room with a long line. Unfortunately, two bartenders were insufficient and getting the drinks was very slow.
The Reception: Bad Timing
I love entertaining, so I know that the timing of the meal is crucial. The entree did not arrive until after 10:30 p.m., and everyone at my entire table was grumbling about being hungry. Unfortunately, when the waiter finally served the food, it was cold.
The timing of the music was also wrong. Sedate music was playing between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., but the band began playing upbeat dancing music when our food arrived.
When I planned my own wedding, I chose a wedding venue without steps, so it was simple to keep my train looking elegant when I walked. I did not upgrade the liquor at my wedding, but I spent money to have two bars with extra bartenders at each one. In my mind, eliminating long lines would maximize the enjoyment of the beverages. I also discussed the timing of food service with my caterers and made certain that the band had a schedule of the timing so that they played appropriate music throughout the party.