Freaking out, my DOC wants to bail 30 days before wedding! Am I asking too much?

posted 3 years ago in Logistics
Post # 16
59 posts
Worker bee

I don’t have anything helpful to add except your menu sounds super delicious!! My only other thought would be if you’re not too concerned about food safety perhaps you have family friends who have college kids or similar who would be willing to help serve food?

Post # 18
9388 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

View original reply
veganjenni :  

ok in regards to your first post: I honestly don’t know in your specific case.  For me I found a company that offered servers and bartenders and hired one bartender and two servers.  It wasn’t necessarily the cheapest thing in the world but they were licensed and insured and did a good job.  If you happen to have any friends who are waiters/waitresses they could probably recommend some of their friends to work the event.  A second option.  Cheaper, but then you don’t have a yelp page to ream them out on if anything goes wrong.

regards to the timeline: so 3:15 is where things get cray.  Typically a DOC would stay and watch the ceremony and if anything went wrong during the ceremony they’d fix it.  Instead you want her to sprint off to the reception, which hopefully is well out of earshot of the ceremony, and set up hors d’ouvres.  I will tell you my DOC (who did not set up our food) made the timeline to ensure food was setup BEFORE the ceremony, or at least on platters ready for the waitstaff to take out the minute the ceremony was over (if it needed to stay indoors/cool) because otherwise our ceremony would’ve had people shuffling around in the background.  Dropping stuff, perhaps, or just regular old clanging and clodding that just.. happens when people work. 


  • Place hors d’oeuvres out
  • Fill beverage containers (ice, fruit, drinks)
  • Fill B&G water pitcher
  • Place alcoholic drinks in ice in metal tubs

is to much for one person to do in 15 minutes.  Really what you want is her assistant doing the latter 3 points from ~2:15pm-3pm.  Then at 3:25pm or so, when everyone is clapping as you kiss and leave the ceremony, have her run the hors douvres out.  How many ppl run them out depends on how many trays, and how far they have to go, of course, but for 40 people I’m gonna assume no more than 4 trays so her and her assistant should be able to handle this.

From 3:30-4

  • Direct catering delivery
  • Place salt & pepper, bread & butter on tables
  • Place champagne bottles on tables
  • Place B&G sparkling drink on B&G table

The last three, split between two people, totally makes sense for a 30 min interval.  Probably with 10 min to spare.  Here’s the catch: the DOC is dealing with the caterer.  It’s shocking your caterer wants to arrive less than 30 min before service, though.  Are you sure about this?  


wait, what?!  Really think about this.  Think about how many plates you want to be plated and brought out and what time, exactly, you think it’d be OK for all this to be done if you expect dishes to be cleared by 5pm.  I really hope the caterers will do the plating.  If not, this point is not a 2 person job.  If you’re doing family style each “plate” will be heavy, likely a two hand job.. MAYBE one plate per hand if your DOC or her assistant has a lot of serving experience, but.. as a DOC.. seems unlikely.  So one plate per person per trip from the kitchen.  Just.. think about it.  And remember you DONT want your DOC and her assistant sprinting to put food on plates or take them out to tables–that’s how you make messes and trip and falls.

5pm-5:30pm — Ok sure.  Her and her assistant can definitely handle this, assuming they put the coffee on while ppl are eating.. if they somehow finish serving before 5pm (but I’m gonna assume you’ll fix the 4-5pm issues.)

5:30pm-7pm: yeah, two people can cut and serve 40 slices of cake in an hour and a half.  I would go to the cake, rather than have them bring it to you and back.  It’s what most ppl do anyway, cus these things are typically big/awkward/heavy.


The rest all looks good and isnt food related. 

So really.. the main issue here is you’re asking two people to do something that may not be physically possible from 4-5pm.  Before and after that there are small issues but I think they’re all fixable.. but 4-5pm is absurd.   Does your caterer *really* want to arrive no more than 30 min before service? 

As for is your DOC worth it?  I dunno, I guess it depends on how you settle the rest of the items on the to do list.

ETA: oh, and any staff you have will need a break to eat at some point…. and may have to pee?  Just.. you want to remember that these are humans and can’t sprint nonstop for hours, and plan timelines accordingly.

Post # 22
6167 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2017

Call her and ask her what she needs to make the day easier for her.  Ask her if hired staff will make her consider staying on, and how many people she needs to help her. Try to understand it from her POV. She may not reconsider and might still want to resign but if you hire extra hands to help her ( her assistant for a few hours is not enough ) she might reconsider.

Post # 23
9388 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

View original reply
veganjenni :  Yeah, I really dont think 15 minutes is enough.  I 100% understood what was included in the beverage related tasks (actually I assumed ice would already be in them) it’s just these are one of those things that take longer than you think they do, assuming these jugs are “party size” since its for 40 people.  Maybe 2:15-3pm is too much, but I’d give her 2:30pm to 3pm just so you have padding.  If she finishes early she can start on putting out the bread and butter and all that so that when the food arrives she can start on plating.  How many plates, total, will need to be plated? 

2-6 pm is PACKED.  But sure, ok, they can eat at 6pm–I’ll give you that.

I still really think 4-5pm you need way more hands on deck.  In general you don’t want the vibe your ‘waitstaff’ is giving off to be “frustrated and frazzled”.  Even just 3 people (including the assistant and DOC) who can start plating at 3:45pm and then running the plates at 4pm would really change things for the better.

Post # 25
9388 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

View original reply
veganjenni :  jesus. 90/hr is too much.  Since the assistant is 100% doing food stuff I’d ask her to cancel the assistant and hire 2-3 people from an actual event staff company.

here’s the company I used to give you an idea of prices.

one staff person was 54/hr and the other was 40/hr.. but this is in Seattle, where everything is expensive, so hopefully where you are you can find people more in your range.


Post # 26
7787 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

My guess based upon your posts is that you started with reasonable requests and then just kept adding and adding and adding until she quit. This is way too much for one person and too much for one person with an assistant for two hours. Based upon your schedule you need a DOC plus a number of servers. It was pretty crazy to think that one person could do all that you expected her to do. It reflects poorly on her business when things don’t go well and guests are not well supported. 

Post # 27
1181 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

Wowwww that’s a lot of tasks!

Post # 30
4369 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Those tweaks aren’t enough to make a difference, bee. It’s overall more work than 2 people can handle, especially with the level of professionalism you’re going to expect for your wedding. 

I really think you need to suck it up and figure out a way to hire more help. 

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