Problems Encountered At A Friend’s Recent Wedding


Wedding Dinner Reception
6 Problems Encountered At A Friend’s Recent Wedding – How To Avoid Repeating The Same Mistakes At Your Own Wedding :WE SOLVE IT FOR YOU!

It’s the month of sunny June and I’m getting tons of wedding invitations from friends all over. If it’s a wedding of a close friend, you’ll be more than eager to participate and make sure that his/her wedding will be a memorable one for everyone. However, things never seem to go right at times, especially if unexpected problems suddenly crop up. That’s the story I’m going to share with you all and a valuable lesson could be learnt from my experience.

Uncooperative Guests

Dinner Guest Goatee
Some can come looking like a goat!

Problem Scenario – If there’s anything that can stress up your wedding dinner, it’s the guests from hell who refuse to listen to you. You can have the perfect seating plan but always bear in mind that there are always the odd black sheep who refuse to do as they are told. They will saunter into the banquet hall and do their own things. I had the bad experience of trying to tell them to check with the reception counter for their allocated seating arrangement but they just simply refused to listen. This was especially true for the elderly guests as they felt that they had the right to sit with their friends, any where they liked. In the end, we faced a problem whereby a table had too many guests or the guest who arrived later were forced to sit at other tables. This of course lead to many unhappy scenes and problematic seating arrangements.

Preventive Measure – Make sure the couple run through the guest list with their family / ushers a few times prior to the banquet to identify problematic guests (Read : elderly guests). Ensure that the banquet staff keep a few chairs on standby because there’s bound to be guests who insist on “gate-crashing” particular tables where their friends / relatives are. Have the immediate family members on standby so that they can direct their family friends / relatives to the allocated tables and do “trouble-shooting” / “sweet talking” should the guests refuse to cooperate with the ushers.

Unfilled Tables

dont break the bank with wedding Dinner
Don’t go breaking the bank for your wedding dinner!

Problem Scenario – Unfilled tables mean a loss of “income” to the newlyweds. The food is wasted due to insufficient guests and proper management of unfilled tables could lead to savings by “closing off” / transferring the guests to fill up other unfilled tables. The problem is compounded by the fact that the guests at the table do not know who is sitting at the same table or that they are not sure if their friends will make it to the dinner or not. Unfilled tables are the bane of wedding banquets as 1) the guests at the particular table feel “naked” due to the empty seats and 2) food is inevitably wasted as the guests will be full by the 4th – 5th course of the banquet.

Preventive Measure – RSVP your guests to make sure that they are turning up for the banquet. Try to ensure that the guests at the table know each other so that the ushers can request the guests to call their friends to confirm if they are still coming. In the worst case scenario, ensure that the guest’s phone number is available so that the ushers can make the calls themselves to confirm the arrival of the guests. If all things fail, make the practical choice of moving the guests to another unfilled table and hope for the best. Remember, it is not your responsibility to ensure that the guest turns up punctually.

Irresponsible Ushers / Family Members

Dinner Usher
Get the real usher for the job!

Problem Scenario – The duties have all been set and allocated to the respective usher / family member. Suddenly when the crowd starts streaming to the banquet hall, you find yourself doing ten tasks all by yourself. You look around and find that the person who was responsible for their part of the duties have either gone to the bar for drinks and simply abandoning his duty to chat up some pretty lady. It can be tough if you don’t know the person well enough to tell him to come back and the newlywed’s too busy to help you call them back to their duties. All hell’s going to break loose so what do you do?

Preventive Measure – Check with the couple and get them to assign a duty supervisor for the wedding banquet. Preferably, this person knows all the people on duty that night so that things don’t get too confrontational. Get the people on duty together for at least 1 meeting prior to the wedding banquet so that they can familiarize with each other and their respective duties. Iron out potential problems and make sure everyone is responsible enough to carry out their duty respectively.

The Superstar Wannabe

Dinner Singer Wannabe
Just a wannabe ….

Problem Scenario – You’ve hired a MC / wedding singer and she thinks that she is the star of the night. Not contended with just performing her numbers on stage, she insists that the guests applaud after every performance. She might even do a stand up comedy routine and expects everyone to give her the attention she deserves. Just what do you do with someone who’s determined to live out her superstar fantasy in front of an unconcerned crowd?

Preventive Measure – Like all job interviews, check with your MC / singer’s credentials. Get to know his/her routine and make sure you like what you hear before hiring him / her. Keep the entertainment straight to the point and make sure there’s no hidden surprises like cross dressing performances or scantily clad provocative dancing which could make your guests choke on their shark’s fin. If the performance crosses the line, be firm and tell him/her to tone down the performance a little.

Pop Goes The Weasel

pop goes the weasel!
It’s not ME! I’m cute!

Problem Scenario – One of the main highlight of the wedding banquet is probably the champagne toasting. It’s where the MC blesses the newlywed on behalf of the family and friends, wishing them happiness and longevity in their marriage. We had the horror of seeing the groom fail to pop open the champagne bottle and there was no spare bottle. In the end, the guests had to endure the uneasy silence while seeing the groom and the banquet staff struggling to pop open the bottle. I guess delivering a baby is probably much easier. In our Chinese culture where the champagne bottle represents a phallic symbol, the failure to pop open a bottle is sure to invite a lot of sniggers and dirty looks.

Preventive Measure – Make sure that the banquet uses champagne bottles which do not date back to the stone ages. Check the expiry dates prior to the banquet and insist that they keep a few spare bottles in case things really do not go according to plan. Make sure the groom is taught the proper method of opening a champagne bottle and practice before hand if the need arises.

The Lackluster Toast

Dinner Toast
A good toast? I don’t think so …

Problem Scenario- The family members and friends are finally invited to the stage to toast the guests and thank them for attending the wedding. The toasting begins and you only hear the groom staining his voice to make the toast. Generally, it would take more than a couple of family members and friends to spice up the toasting with the long and hearty “Yam Sengs”. We had to listen to the groom struggle for breath after each toast. What a pitiful sight!

Preventive Measure – Make sure that your MC generates enough atmosphere and encourage the guests to toast to the newlyweds. It is even more important to ensure your family members and friends are already pre-assigned to bust their lungs out during the toasting session. Make sure that there are enough microphones to go around so that everyone on stage gets a chance to give their “oomph” for the toasting! If the adults are shy, get your cousins and nephews/nieces to help out!

Written by | Filed Under: Advices, Wedding Day

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3 Responses »

  1. :) This is so true! I have seen too much of these happen during wedding dinners –big chaos. Throw in a drunk groom before dinner, and you have the secret recipe!

  2. Ever seen a fight between relatives before the dinner? Let me tell you, it is MUCH BETTER than Royal Rumble. One after the after …

  3. Tian Hua- Royal Rumble is a classic, I bet the others are consuming more beers watching it then!

So what do you think?