Archive for April 25th, 2007

A Tale Of 2 Parties (But Only 1 Was Good)

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

The original Mickey Mouse Club used to reserve one day a week for “Anything Can Happen Day.” Sounds like a lot of parties I’ve attended.

Face it – stuff happens. When it does, all your organization and planned-to-the-minute timelines no longer matter. What does matter is how you react.

Twice recently, I’ve been at events where slow dinner service destroyed carefully thought-out schedules. One party had too few waiters for the number of guests, causing the meal to run almost twice as long as had been planned. The other gala’s guest list simply outgrew their room. Tables were jammed so closely together that the servers couldn’t get through. The end result was the same – a r-e-a-l-l-y l-o-n-g meal.

But at the first event, a wedding reception, the mother-of-the-bride took charge. Items on the agenda that had been scheduled for after the meal were moved forward. Toasts, cake cutting, and ceremonial dances (bride and groom, bride and dad, etc.) all helped conceal the fact that some people were already finished with each course before others had even been served. Nobody had a chance to get bored, and most were probably unaware of the problems. Mom saved the evening with her quick thinking.

Unfortunately, Mom wasn’t at the second party. (And we sure did miss her!) This was a Woman’s Club Valentine Gala, so there were many chiefs – each in charge of one particular committee and one part of the night. I’m sure there was either a club president or party chairperson who could have served as our surrogate “Mom,” but no one did. So the meal drug on and on, folks got fidgety, and some got downright cranky. The official business of the night didn’t start until the last dessert plate had been cleared (which was just about dawn, as I remember.) And a wonderful time was not had by all.

You want your party to be a “night to remember,” but only for good reasons. Somehow, the idea that “this will be real funny – in a few years” isn’t much consolation when all your efforts are derailed by an unforseen glitch. So be prepared for that moment when your event needs a good “Mom” to take command. Your guests will thank you.