The local meteorologists have created more than a few headaches for events at the Stillwater Public Library over the past 2 weeks. On the Sunday of our second rain out of 2010, all the local weather stations predicted sunshine mixed with clouds. Oops!
The cake, pictured on the right was created by Buttercream. I think a lot of people would have been tempted to add a dark purple ribbon to the base of each of the tiers. The ivory ribbon makes the cake look larger, and more elegant. The contrast of the ivory cake against the ruched aubergine silk table cloth, and the aubergine floral is perfection, and the sun shining on the rhinestone topper was show-stopping. The cake tiers were different flavors, but since one was my very favorite flavor (Chocolate Rasperberry) and I ate 3 pieces - there was no room for sampling the white cake.
Years ago, a mid-afternoon outdoor wedding would have been considered more of a garden party. Sequins and sparkles would have been discouraged, and only a casual atmosphere considered appropriate. I'm so glad that nothing was traditional about this affair! The bride wore sparkles, satin, sequins and feathers.
After the ceremony, cocktails were served by the Grand. The bride and groom departed to take pictures about town. The ceremony chairs were gathered by library staff, and tables moved to the center of the terrace. Just as the transformation was completed, a soaking rain started to fall. If you've read this blog before, you might recall Deepa's wedding in 2009. Once again, the table linens were soggy and had to be removed (including the table-for-two, or sweetheart table for the bride & groom that was draped in white with dark purple sashes). All guests retreated into the gallery and Margaret Rivers Room to wait out the showers. Luckily, the weather passed, and everyone was back outside and drying chairs in only 10 minutes. It is always sad to see soggy linens, but once people sit back down at their tables, nobody seems to notice the bare tables.
The thing that the guests DID notice was their hunger! The ceremony was held at 2:00, cocktails began at 2:30, rain at 3. People began approaching the caterer and asking when food would be served. The caterer made the decision to start the buffet of finger sandwiches and heavy appetizers early. By the time the bride and groom returned from pictures, the majority of guests had finished eating. The bride missed the opportunity to dine with her guests, and was not happy with the caterer's decision. So, what should have been done? I'm not sure which side I fall on, but here is a bit of advice:
1. If you are a wedding guest, READ YOUR INVITATION. Most invitations will have a reception card, or list the reception time. If you see that food will not be served until 3:00, eat a light lunch before you leave. I receive an average of 3 calls per Saturday from wedding guests wondering how to get to the Library, what time the wedding begins, what time dinner begins, etc. and most of this information is printed on the invitation.
2. As a bride or groom, for go the save-the-date card, and send out last minute wedding post-cards that remind all your guests (who have, by now, lost their invitation) of the important times and directions for your wedding day.
3. As a bride or groom, ALWAYS plan appetizers if you are hosting a cocktail hour. It's never a good idea to provide liquor to empty stomachs.
4. Consider how to make-up lost time if things don't go according to plan. Would you rather see the band play for less time? Have your cake plated and set out for guest's to serve themselves during the dance? Omit the receiving line?
5. Be clear about who is in charge. Let all your vendors know who they should take direction from if they have questions, or the schedule changes. Is it you? Your mother? Your personal attendant? And also let them know who they should not take direction from, because somtimes there is a friend, mother-in-law, or parent who has forgotten that it is NOT their wedding!