October 2014

Distasters: Based in True Event As Told by the Professional

Author: Molly Kennedy

Meet Molly Kennedy…
“I’m the Director of Catering at Celebrations Catering & Events. But, my dream job is to have my own Reality Show. It would be called Catering Confidential, and would tell the tale of all the funny things that happen on the way to the ‘big event.’ Here’s just a taste of what can go wrong… as told by me!”

A successful event is a delicate balance of timing, pizzazz and the collaboration of the party professionals that are called in to play their part. A photographer must capture the right moments without being intrusive; the bartender must know when to cut off Uncle Druncle without causing a scene; the wedding planner has to keep things on schedule and the chef needs to make sure there is enough shrimp cocktail for 200. Nine times out of ten, everything comes together without a hitch. But it’s that one out of ten that makes for the best stories.

Take for instance, the time we happened upon the Father of the Bride in the catering closet…with the maid of honor. You can use your imagination from here. Let’s just say he was happy to cut the check quickly at the end of the night—with a big tip for the staff.

The deep freeze in winter of 2003 was memorable, when a water main broke, flooding the wedding location hours before the ceremony. Thanks to a very understanding bride and groom, the event was a happy one, despite the torrent.

Weddings are expensive affairs, generally speaking, with per person fees starting at around $50 and sometimes going up to $500 or more. You can imagine the dismay when, at one recent wedding, the director of transportation (the cabbie) decided to come in and help himself to the buffet. Good thing the wedding coordinator had some valium on hand for her mental breakdown.

Back in 2011, when we hosted a dinner for a group of attorneys, the ceiling fan had a minor malfunction, tossing one of its blades at the head of a guest and landing in the middle of the table. I mean really. At a convention of lawyers…what are the odds? Good thing they were primarily divorce lawyers.

Sometimes Mother Nature makes the call as to when everyone’s had enough to drink. Like the time she blew an entire full bar off the back of a yacht in Shelter Cove Marina. The redfish were partying that night.
Every now and again, someone fails to come through for a scheduled event. DJ DitchedUs (name has been changed to protect the guilty) decided he couldn’t make an event one evening “because he was too tired from the night before.” Thank God the client hired him and not us!

Speaking of vendors who dropped the ball…did you hear the one about the florist who had written down the wrong date for a wedding? Good thing the bride was so pretty.

In my 20 years of doing this crazy wonderful job, every time I think I’ve seen it all, something happens to prove me wrong. Drama waits, hiding around every corner, just to make sure we are on our A-game.

And you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way. Every day we have an opportunity to make a simple or extravagant event memorable, and really touch someone’s life in a positive way. That’s why, despite the challenges, catering really is the coolest business ever. 

Molly Kennedy is director of catering at Celebration Events Catering and has been making brides and corporate planners happy for over 20 years on Hilton Head Island. For more information, or to plan your next event or Christmas Party, call (843) 689-2658 or visit wecelebrateyou.com.

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