When you have a smaller venue sometimes you have to get a little creative with your seating plan for guests. This particular couple decided to have fun stations for dinner, serving their favorite cuisine from all of their travels and cocktail style seating for guests. With this style of seating you only offer about 65% of your guests with an actual seat and then place a cocktail tables and possibly lounge areas. We used the dinner tables for family and the older guests and the rest of the younger guests mingled and explored the garden area and all was great!
After dinner, my assistant and I started to notice a few female guests placing their personal belongings under the photo booth prop table. This wasn’t a big deal as they weren’t in the way and it wasn’t messing the table up in any way so we didn’t think twice about it. The dance floor opened and the photo booth was full and everyone was having a great time!
When we started breaking down everything at the end of the night, I mentioned to my assistant to allow guests to get their personal items first before touching the prop table. We went about our way and packed up decor while guiding lingering guests out of the venue so catering could break down tables. That’s when we heard a guest yelling at one of the other guests. (We’ll call her “Linda”) As I walk over to see if everything was ok and ask them to step out of the venue, I become the target of the poor Linda’s rage. Turns out she was one of the guests that decided to leave her wallet under the prop table while going about her evening. Her wallet was now missing and the table had been stripped along with pretty much the whole room. While trying to calm (drunk) Linda down, I tell her let’s all take a walk around the room in case it had been placed somewhere else...it wasn’t anywhere.
I knew the next step was to notify the venue manager in case anyone decided to turn it in. He came down and did a sweep of the room also. I then go over to Linda to let her know we have notified everyone and hopefully someone will turn it in. This is when she decides it is all my fault and I am responsible because “aren’t you the wedding planner? You are in control of everything!” (add a few nasty words in there for good measure) I tell Linda’s friend, that was now trying to get her into a car, that if she felt the need to do so, they should call the police and file a report. I would be happy to wait for the officer to arrive and speak to them, but at that point I could do nothing else as every guest had already left the property and they were getting ready to lock the venue. They decide to move along and go about their way all while Linda is still yelling and cussing at me on her way to the car.
So how could any of this have been prevented?? Easy...if you opt to do a cocktail style seating for guests, make sure you explain this to everyone. Put it on your invitation, on your wedding website and tell your family and friends what to expect. Hire security if you are in a venue that could potentially have more than one wedding at a time or access from the public into your wedding area.
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Photo Credit: Lauras Focus Photography