Where did the month of May go? I am sure that most of us in the event/wedding world are now caught up in a crazy whirlwind of ongoing events, changing customer orders and just the day to day chaos that will be our “normal” lives for the next few months. I have put my writing on hold while I try and juggle all the pieces and find time to be inspired again. I have missed sharing our crazy and sadly unbelievable stories, where, oh where, is my reality TV show to capture these moments?! Sometimes truth is indeed stranger (or funnier) than fiction.
Let me get you caught up on some of our latest adventures. Sit back and enjoy and be thankful you just get to read about it and not necessarily live through it. Let’s roll back to the end of May to start this week’s story (I feel like I should have a very large ornate story book and a group of people sitting around me as we read this “fairy tale”).
We have been fortunate to grow the corporate side of our business so that we are diversifying and not solely focused on weddings. We recently got to work with a great planner and her team. They were doing a large conference in Ottawa and needed some linen and décor items for this multi day event.
The initial plan was for a small awards presentation on the Thursday, a fun night on the Friday and then a gala on the last night. Our original numbers had the gala at around 350 guest. I got a call earlier in the month asking how much stock I had for that weekend since registration was going better than anticipated. I said no problem we had about 62 of the table linens, so as long as it was under that we would be fine. She said no worries it wouldn’t be more than 450 max for the Saturday night.
Our normal process is to follow up with clients about 1-2 weeks before their event to try and get final numbers (if possible). In most situation numbers will have dropped. The Friday afternoon a week before the event we get an email from the organizer saying that the number has spiked and she will be in touch with final numbers a bit later. We emailed her to try and find out what “spike” meant. We didn’t get a response over the weekend or Monday during the day. Both Mandy and I were working late on Monday when the phone rang. I eavesdrop while Mandy takes the call. Apparently they are now sitting at registration of 660 for the gala! We both just look at each other and say we will figure it out in the morning not much that can be done at 7pm, after all it will only be Tuesday the next day and that gives us 4 whole days to pull it together.
We come in the next day to a new phone call saying the room is maxed out so they promise the number is final at 700! That isn’t a spike in registration that is a DOUBLING of registration. I get on my email and reach out to my suppliers and try and get the additional sashes, runners, and chargers plates we are going to need to make this happen for Saturday.
Luck must have been on my side this time, as everything arrives with more than 24 hours to spare. We show up Saturday morning to begin the install. We find out that 2/3 of the ballroom won’t be available until 4pm that afternoon. We get the first 200 or so chairs and sashes done and plan to regroup and be back at the hotel before 4pm. With the help of our incredible MME team, the speedy hotel staff and some volunteers from the conference, we finish installing the last 500 chairs covers and sashes. Did I mention the doors opened at 6:30pm? We finished with about 8 minutes to spare. Nothing like cutting it close and then sneaking out through the back so the guests don’t see you. It’s like it all happens by magic.. Thankfully our team pulled together. Mandy even showed up between the ceremony and the reception of a wedding she was attending to help tie bows! She was the fanciest dressed setup crew member we had!
We have come to realize that in situations like this you can freak out and stress but often taking it with a bit of laughter makes it easier to swallow and keeps it fun.