Sunday, October 08, 2006

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: A DISCUSSION OF WEDDING RECEPTION SITES (PART III)

I've been thinking a lot about the concept of presentation (as relates to wedding planning, of course) -- and how thoughtfulness can affect your guests (or at least communicate certain messages to them, whether or not a bride intends to do so).

Don't get me wrong here - In thinking about this issue, I'm really putting aside money matters, and whether a bride has a blow-out budget--or only a few dollars to throw around. The most beautiful affair CAN be pulled off on a shoestring budget, and the most thoughtless, thrown together event may be the most expensive you ever attend.

The issue of presentation/thoughtfulness really comes into play when the ceremony/reception is at one's home. Why? Part of the reason is that HOME = COMFORT ZONE. The idea is not to get TOO comfortable in your surroundings - otherwise guests may notice, and it may end up to a bride's disadvantage.

Take, for example, the concept of catering at an intimate, home affair. Vanessa ("V"), a colleague of mine, attended a wedding of one of her close camp friends ("Tina"). The wedding was at the groom's childhood home, an elegant home in the suburbs of Philadelphia (topped with white picket fences, a beautiful white colonial with black shutters, and a backyard to boot).

V said that the location was beautiful-- perfect for a medium sized affair that could be elegant and intimate. The execution? Not great--actually, thrown together and unplanned--at least when it came to the food.

"I'm really not high maintenance, but I could NOT understand how, given how nice the house was and how much money they obviously put into the event (bridesmaids dresses, rehearsal dinner, etc.) food was sort of an afterthought. It was just weird."

What V meant by "afterthought" was the fact that there was (a) VERY little of it and (b) what little there was, it was left out willy-nilly on a dining room table in those picnic-like alumnium tins with tongs for guests to serve themselves.

If this were an afternoon, casual affair, I would think perhaps V were being a little hard on her friend. But V and the other guests were expected to attend the wedding in semi formal/formal attire -- therefore, she was justified in being slightly surprised that the dinner aspect of the evening was somewhat disregarded, and appeared to be an afterthought.

While one need not have white-gloved butlers serving gourmet little hotdogs and champagne when guests first walk into an event, laying out aluminum tins for guests at an otherwise formal event is inconsistent with the appearance of careful planning.

Sure, guests can dig in--and dish out their meals themselves. If they're getting all dressed up and taking trains/planes/automobiles to get to this lavish affair, should they really have to?

The point about home receptions is that a bride/groom wouldn't necessarily face this issue if they were to have the event at an event site/banquet hall - the idea of catering is oftentimes included with choosing such a site. In having the event at home, ALL factors have to be considered. Otherwise, it will look like you didn't really think much about certain aspects of the evening -- feeding your guests is probably one of the most important parts

Stay tuned!

1 comment:

JR said...

hey..i love ur blog...for reception, from my own experience it must be something u like it...

for our culture, we just have a simple table just outside our ball room