Of dinners, table greetings, cake cuttings and open dancing: 20+ years in and we are still learning!
I was lucky enough to be MCing a wedding last Saturday night at a beautiful indoor/outdoor facility. The itinerary was cocktails outdoor, invite all inside, do intros into the room, then toasts and dinner. Wedding cake was to be cut and served as dessert, the bride and groom would also give a brief speech and then all would be invited back outside to dance until the end. This itinerary was a little different, but nothing we haven't done lots of times before.
All was going to plan, albeit running about 15 minutes late (which was no issue since we had the venue for 6hrs for the reception alone). I checked in as dinner was ending and noticed the bride and groom making impromptu table visits (meaning we never discussed or scheduled these in consultation, but such a cool thing to do just spontaneously!). They were about 85% done when I checked in with them to ask if they were about ready to cut the cake and give their speech. They asked for 10 more minutes to finish up, which of course I gladly accommodated, notifying banquet staff as such.
Ten minutes later, it was time for the speech/cake cut. They did it in grand style, of course and then it was time for the cake to be cut by staff and served to the guests at their tables. This took longer than expected, however, so people (and our banquet staff) understandably were urging me to invite all outside to dance. Now, as the MC, I surveyed the situation and realized that this meant a transition outside where there were no tables, silverware, coffee. And of course as the DJ, once we go out there and do the formal dances I want to get some big-time energy going on the dance floor, so I am hoping to not have an either/or situation with cake plates being put into people's hands!
So therein lies the conflict: we cut the cake but now all asked to leave and dance and what - get no cake?
I felt that I handled it well, announcing that the cake was still being served and "come on out to our patio dance floor and don't worry, one way or another our service staff will make sure that you get to enjoy a piece of wedding cake no matter where you are!" Everyone seemed to like that.It got me to thinking, though: how could I have made this all work better?Here's what I will do next time:
If I see the bride & groom doing these table greetings and the cake is being served as dessert, I will ask to pull them away about half-way way through the greetings so they can give the speech and cut the cake and then simply resume the table greetings where they left off as the cake is being cut and served by staff. This way, as the cake service and table greetings simultaneously wind down it will all dovetail and make for the perfect moment to transition outside with no wasted time at any point!
Makes sense to me.
I hope so.
Kind of basic, but I hope it will help if this ever comes up for you. The important thing is to think of it *before* it is happening and correct the path, not afterward like I did! LOL : D