Regardless of what type of event you are planning: a birthday, corporate event or a wedding, there are many details that will go into ensuring its success.  Many venues typically work with a circle of professional vendors that provide various services:  audio visual, cakes, DJ’s, florists or specialty linens.  These vendors are seasoned industry professionals whose sole job is to make sure that their services execute according to a contracted time and to the details that have been discussed in advance.  They know the venue’s layout and the logistics of:

  • where to park
  • unloading locations
  • rules regarding use of venue equipment
  • affixing things to walls or ceiling
  • location and usage of volume controls, etc.

Calling on friends, family or employees to assist in executing an event may save you a few dollars along the way, however, it will likely make for a stressful event.  It can lead to huge disappointments if they do not follow-through with your vision or simply fail due to their lack of experience.  From cracked cakes – to crackling sound equipment that impedes an important toast or presentation – to stained or tattered table linens – to flowers that do not arrive in time for the ceremony or the reception…I have seen it all.  These problems also take away from your guest’s ability to enjoy your special occasion.

Once we had a beautiful wedding cake delivered by a family member.  At the top of this cake, there was a custom-made bobble head of the bride and groom.  It also had cat hair from one layer of the cake to the next.  The family member made this cake in her home and then transported the cake in her personal vehicle.  Miss Kitty Cat had to have been traveling in the same van previously, as her fur was an unintentional and unwanted addition to the cake.  The solution?  I tactfully took this cake, alerted the parents of the bride and removed the cat hair for pictures and the cake cutting.  Then, with the permission of the mother-of-the-bride, I tossed the cake in the garbage and had a staff member run to the store to purchase a sheet cake.  The “faux wedding cake” was served to the guests and the bride and groom knew nothing of the chaos behind the scenes.

So if you are considering calling on friends and family to help with your event, stop and take a moment to discuss the venue’s preferred vendor list with your Event Planner.  Look over the items that are important to you and work the cost of their services into your overall event budget.  You will be so happy you did.

Ann Marie Mathews, General Manager
Silver Garden Events Center