Planning in Advance
There are a couple of key points to pay close attention to, in order to simplify the happy couple’s big day before embarking on the search for an Adelaide wedding venue. Before any decision is made they must establish what date they wish to marry on, so the venue can fulfil their wedding day dreams without the burden of choosing a destination that is already booked on a day that is awkward to fulfil.
Be forewarned that the best wedding service venues can be booked up to two years in advance. Planning the reception requires the most lead time. In most cases the reception cost is around 50% of the total wedding, and so the location is a detail that the perfectionist will need to place a priority on and should be the first decision the bride and bridegroom take.
Image by Jonathan Day via Flickr
The Seating Arrangements
Great care must be placed on the seating arrangements as the etiquette is for senior and immediate family members to be placed closest to the Bride and Groom. As two sets of families and friends are present, some compromise should be tailored in on either a roughly even split or a bias towards the family that might possibly be footing the bill. In order to understand the process we should have a clear understanding of the various service roles such as
- Waiters – The waiters are there to serve the food and handle minor inquiries such as specific dietary requests or additional menu items.
- Bus Boy – The Bus Boys (or girls) function is to furnish the guests with drinks and ensure there are no tables that begin to lose their patience because their glasses have been emptied.
- Chefs – The Chef should be consulted prior to the wedding for the latest information on wedding menus, such as how many courses, what wines, latest fashions in wedding reception presentations and of course the chef may well make their presence on the happy day to see that the guests are enjoying the food.
- Maître d’hôtel/Maître D – The Maître D is the head waiter, and to ensure the day goes seamlessly should be very experienced in serving wedding receptions for a large number of guests. The Maître D should be present at the front of the entrance to the reception and will be guiding guests through the use of escort cards and place cards.
Escort cards are placed in the foyer to indicate which tables the guests are sitting on. A good Maître D will assist in providing advice on table composition so that people who the happy couple wishes to seat together are able to perhaps meet serendipitously for the first time. The place cards are visible on the actual table so that guests are seated next to the people they are intended to. The purpose of escort and place cards is to make people feel special on the wedding day and cared about. It’s a point of detail that can add a layer of specialness some venues neglect to provide.
The Maître D is responsible for the overall experience, and a poor selection is quickly evident during the complicated operations necessary on the day. He or she may also be responsible for the buffet service if appropriate. In cases where final cooking is required the Maître D can oversee last minute food preparations such as mixing salads, boning fish or flambéing items.
Image by Jonathan Day via Flickr
A Cocktail Party
If the budget doesn’t extend to a lavish wedding reception a memorable day or evening can be had by holding a cocktail party. The points to pay attention to are the cake cutting ceremony and the guest toasts. A good Maître D will allocate sufficient, but not excessive, time to the toasts and present the cake cutting as a finale to the day or evening. Enough time should remain in order to enjoy the cake before leaving. You can ensure the toasts are kept manageable by asking the venue staff to evenly spread out the speeches in groups of three (or around courses if a meal is being had), and to diplomatically intervene if a guest runs over on their allotted time. It’s a good idea to ask the chosen guests to keep their speeches short and to be disciplined about maintaining this so that the event goes well, with good memories and instead of tedious relief when leaving the venue.
Weddings are momentous occasions and come once in a lifetime. With the proper planning execution, your dream wedding will easily come true especially with many Adelaide wedding venues to choose from. So get researching, call a friend, ask for help, and seek advice! It all starts with the perfect venue.