After you've worked on and seen as many events as I have, you start developing certain pet peeves about the events you attend.
Every event planner I know can walk into a room and point out at least a couple things they would have done differently. walks into other people's events and can point out at least a couple things they would have done differently. (It's rare when this doesn't occur, but there have been a few times when I wouldn't change anything... high praise coming from this picky planner.)
It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that we behave this way... after all, we are paid to review details with a fine-toothed comb.
So what are my top event pet peeves?
1 - Ill-fitting Tablecloths
Oh, there is nothing I hate more than an ill-fitting tablecloth!
First of all, an ill-fitting tablecloth looks sloppy.
If it's too short it looks ridiculous. If it's too long it looks clumsy. In either case, a tablecloth that does not fit its table looks terrible.
Also, tablecloths that are too long for a table are a tripping hazard.
Picture this: If you've had your feet tucked under the table and you move to get up, chances are you will drag part of the tablecloth out from under the table with your feet, creating a large tripping hazard for you, other guests at the party, and the waiters who are usually carrying plates with food and glasses with (red) wine.
Aunt Jo getting splashed with red wine during your dinner reception... Nightmare in the making, isn't it?
It might sound like an exaggeration, but I've seen it happen. I've also tripped myself...and I know what to look for!
And in my opinion, there is nothing worse than spending a large sum of money on an event to then have a basic feature look mediocre and disheveled.
2 - Ties on Chairs
While not as noticeable as ill-fitting tablecloths, the ties on reception chair cushions are another pet peeve of mine! It's a small detail but it makes a big difference and for those times when they're really noticeable, I have an army of catering staff re-tie the cushions.
Sometimes two bows on the back of a chair (even though they're small) are just not appropriate. Sometimes they look overtly feminine and cutesy. And half the time they are mis-tied and look lopsided or topsy turvy.
So how do I remedy this quirky pet peeve of mine?
I always like to wrap the ties around the chair and then tuck the tails into the pocket on the underside of the chair cushion, a move that effectively disguises the "mechanics" of the cushion.
For events where we have chair cushions custom made, I will always specify that we should have velcro attachments. They are easier to put on and they look seamless. 👌🏼👌🏼👌🏼
(Why don't a lot of rental companies have velcro "ties" on their chair cushions? Because velcro wears out after many uses.)
3 - Not Thinking About the Guest Experience
While not exactly a physical item, not thinking about this important tenet can ruin an event. I have said it before and I'll say it again -- the guest experience is paramount when planning an event. If your guests have not enjoyed themselves, the party has not been a success.
If an event's layout is not well thought-through, guests will bottleneck in one spot and not fully experience the party.
If not enough bartenders have been provided for the event, all guests will remember is the line at the bar.
If the party favor is a totally impractical bauble (like a photo of the honoree), guests will just throw it out when they get home.
After all the time and effort you've put into organizing and paying for your party, the last thing you want is unhappy guests. Keep them in mind and think about how they will experience your event. It's always nice to walk into a party and feel like the hosts thought about you and went the distance to make you feel at ease.
This list could be a mile long, but these are my top event pet peeves.
What do you think of them? Do you have any? Let us know in the comments!