BWLE: I used to work weddings in the summer as a caterer and I got lots of good tips for when it’s my time (or yours!).
1)pass late night snacks. our most popular were mini-cheeseburger sliders and white truffle fries. the white-truffle mac and cheese bites were also a huge hit. people still like greasy drinking food when they’re in formal-wear!
2)have drinks and fans available if you’re having an outdoor ceremony. Lemondade and cucumber water were the most popular
3) SCHEDULE YOUR TOASTS!!!! SERIOUSLY people. do not let the people giving toasts decide when to do so. If you’re having a seated meal, it could mess up the service time. it happened 2-3 times when someone got up to give a toast just as the main course was going to be brought out and after the long, rambling toast, the food was cold and there was no time to re-heat all 200 plates.
4) flip flops are great for the proud ladies (we know who we are) who wear heels even though we KNOW we will want to kick them off after an hour of dancing
5) give a list of under-age people to your caterer and let them know where they’ll be sitting. minors WILL try to get drunk at your wedding, and unless you’re okay with that, the caterers are not usually in the habit of carding at the table (for wine) though the bartenders do usually card at the bar.
6) Sparklers look GREAT in pictures, but they are also highly flammable! one bride’s thin lace veil caught on fire while running under the bridge of sparklers extended by guests. be careful!
I have seen a TON of crazy things
There was the 50 year old woman in a VERY tight dress trying to grind on the dance floor who ended up splitting her dress right up to her lower back while she was in the middle of a dance circle….awkward.
there was the old woman who was climbing the stairs to the on-site bathroom trailer (with flushing toilets, sinks, etc,) and she lost her balance (she was very tipsy) and fell backwards off of the stairs in a spread eagle back into the grass… also awkward
Finally, my favorite, was the estranged FOB who threw a fit that the bar was closing at the end of the wedding (also, when the venue had to legally close the bar) after we had held it open an extra 30 mintues for him. He screamed to the whole crowd about how he was paying for this and we would do what he said. He was NOT paying a dime for the wedding. Our manager stepped in to try to appease the man and he punched him in the face and fled the scene. The manager pressed charges and the bride was mortified. Keep your relatives in check people!
Also, for the mordily curious, there were no last minute no-shows or left at the altar jiltings during my 3 years working with the company! YAY weddings!