After all of your planning, you feel prepared for your wedding day and you are excitedly waiting for that date to arrive!
Well, let’s take a look at a few things that have to happen before you enter the venue on that wonderful day and what challenges may arise with the logistics of staging your event. In other words, make it doable for your caterer, florist, photographer/videographer, tables-chairs-linen providers, musicians, etc. to all get set-up on time for your party. (Note that many of these concerns evaporate if you are having your event at a hotel – and all of them go away with an experienced event planner).
• One slow small elevator available for all vendors can cause delays if vendors arrive at the same time. (I am aware of at least 3 Chicago venues with this challenge. My set-up crew has had confrontations with vicious florists or devious caterers over this very issue!) The solution is disciplined scheduling of the load-in times of your vendors.
• Room turn-over. This happens when you have the wedding ceremony in the same room that later becomes the dining room. The room set has to be changed from a ceremony lay out to a dining configuration during the cocktail “hour” (which is usually 45 minutes) making for an unbelievable scene you’d have to see to believe! Most bands need at least 1 hour to set-up the band gear on the stage, but we have done it in as little as 35 minutes with a lot of sweating! Give the band a break and make sure that setting up the stage is one of the first priorities.
• Check for big events and road construction occurring on your day in the area of your venue. We once played at a hotel on South Michigan Avenue on July 3rd, the night that Chicago traditionally has a fireworks display for a million plus people in Grant Park. Need I say more?
• Make sure there is adequate electrical power available for your vendors, especially in older venues. We found out that unintentionally running the band and a large electric coffee warmer on the same electrical circuit can result in a blown fuse, causing the musical accompaniment of the first dance to be a drum solo.
• Overly long toasts at dinner cause chefs to become homicidal, no one really likes cold steaks or rubber chicken.
• A cocktail hour that stretches to 2 hours makes for unruly inebriated guests who will move very slowly into the dining room which also results in rubber chicken. (See above)
Attention to the small details before your wedding day will result in an event that’s on time and stress free.